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Some of the best restaurants in town are offering discounted meals as part of Fresno County Restaurant Week.
Back after a years-long absence, more than 20 local restaurants are participating in the week – which technically lasts 10 days so people can dine out over two weekends. It starts Thursday, Sept. 12. The event has been taken over by the Fresno Chapter of the California Restaurant Association this year.
Other more casual restaurants are participating too, along with some that may be new to many Fresnans. Those include Señor Ají Peruvian Kitchen, Japanese restaurant Namikaze, Sabor Mexican Bar & Bistro and Mochuelo, the tapas restaurant inside the Piccadilly Hotel.
See the full list of restaurants at the bottom of this story. Restaurant Week menus are available online.
Things to keep in mind: Some restaurants offer only deals for dinner. Some are doing both lunch and dinner. If you suspect a place will be busy, make a reservation.
The restaurants have created special, fixed-price menus for the week. With multi-course meals, the prices are often significantly lower than the typical menu.
For example, 13 Prime Steak, the 1-year-old upscale steakhouse in Clovis that’s getting a reputation for its cocktails, typically has steak on its menu ranging from $40 to $120. As part of restaurant week, the eatery at Willow and Nees avenues has a $40 meal that includes a 6-ounce filet mignon and salad. You can add dessert for $10.
For diners, Restaurant Week is a chance to try out a new place that’s normally outside their budget. Or maybe to test out a new-to-you restaurant without much risk, like trying Peruvian food for the first time at Señor Ají Peruvian Kitchen.
For restaurants, it’s a chance to show off their culinary skills.
“It’s important for people to see not just our regular menus but … we’ve all come up with special menus, stuff you wouldn’t normally see.,” said Chuck Van Fleet, president of the Fresno chapter of the California Restaurant Association.
At his restaurant, Vino Grille & Spirits near Cedar and Shepherd avenues, bruschetta is on the menu. But for Restaurant Week, they’re offering a special bruschetta made with duck prosciutto with coriander fig jam and herbed goat cheese.
September is also Restaurant Appreciation Month, a designation from the Fresno City Council. In its proclamation, the city points out that restaurants in the city generate more than $977 million per year in taxable sales, and provide 27,000 jobs in Fresno County.
Here are the eateries participating in Restaurant Week. More may be added in coming days, so check the association’s website for the most updated list.
Piazza del Pane (both locations)
Sal’s Mexican Restaurant in Fresno
Sequoia Brewing Company (all three locations)