Yesterday marked the beginning of one of the most exciting experiences in the Austin food scene – Austin Restaurant Week – and I couldn’t be more excited. Never heard of Austin Restaurant Week? This great city tradition happens for two weeks in the spring and two weeks in the fall each year and provides Austinites a fantastic way to discover new food in their beloved city. Participating restaurants develop a specialized three course menu (appetizer, entree and dessert) that showcases the talents of their chef. Most of the selections for restaurant week are not regularly on the menu, so even loyal restaurant patrons get a unique dining experience. The best part? All the menus are set at pre-fixed prices ($11-16 for lunch and $26-36 for dinner), so you know what you are getting into before you even sit down at the table.
Another great thing about Austin Restaurant Week is that a portion of the proceeds goes to charity (who would have ever thought giving back tasted so good?). This year’s beneficiary is Austin Meals on Wheels and More, an organization that has dedicated over 40 years of service to the Austin area. A local organization, Meals on Wheels and More began in 1972 as a way for volunteers to cook and deliver meals to homebound seniors. Today, the organization delivers meals to over 4,000 people each week. If you’re interested in donating to Meals on Wheels and More you can go here or you can just eat at one of Austin Restaurant Week participating venues.
For four years I’ve talked about making reservations somewhere during Austin Restaurant Week. And for four years, I’ve watched the food celebration come and go…without making reservations. But this year is different- I’m finally breaking my pattern. Now that I’ve developed a stronger interest in exploring the Austin food scene (and am no longer on a college, Ramen-Noodle-every-night budget), I’ve taken the plunge and made my first restaurant week reservation. Tomorrow, Brandon and I will be dining in style at Crú Wine Bar at the Domain. I hope that this is the first of many forays into Restaurant Week and I can’t wait to let all you readers know how delicious the food will be.
I highly suggest everyone make a reservation at one of the participating restaurants this year. I’m hoping to make multiple reservations, so if you have any suggestions please let me know!