Want to try someplace new? Eat Downtown next week in DuluthDuring this year’s restaurant week, $10 will get diners lunch entrees ranging from Croque Madame at Restaurant 301 to a handmade salami platter from Northern Waters Smokehaus to a beer burger at 7 West Taphouse.
By: Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune
During this year’s restaurant week, $10 will get diners lunch entrees ranging from Croque Madame at Restaurant 301 to a handmade salami platter from Northern Waters Smokehaus to a beer burger at 7 West Taphouse.
Not to mention what happens for $20 at dinner.
The Greater Downtown Council’s annual Eat Downtown event starts Sunday and includes 20 restaurants offering a set-price menu — $10 for lunch, $20 dinner — for eight days. The meals come with three courses.
The event is billed by the Greater Downtown Council as a way to give downtown diners a deal and restaurants a boost in business.
Mary Kay Berarducci, owner of Va Bene Berarducci’s Café, said it is an incentive to move beyond the same-old spots.
“It’s a great chance for people in Duluth to try new restaurants,” she said. “I think people get into a routine of where they go.”
Berarducci’s Café has been part of Eat Downtown in the past and has tried wowing customers with new menu items and has served up the regular fare. The latter seems to be the best approach, she’s found.
“We try to do the things we do on a regular basis so they know what we’re about,” she said.
For lunch entrees, Va Bene is offering hummus panino, which is homemade hummus with fresh bell peppers, tomatoes, olives and red onions or Bolognese, a house-made meat sauce with fettuccini. Dinner is shells with Italian sausage, fresh tomatoes and cream or wild Alaskan salmon with prosecco chive reduction.
A newbie on the block: 7 West Taphouse opened in the fall. Manager Ben Herseth said he’s hoping to introduce people to the quick-hit beer and burger joint.
“We still feel like a lot of locals don’t know we’re here,” he said. “This summer we’ll get a lot of people we’ll never see again. We’d like a good, solid relationship with locals.”
The restaurant has had to tweak its menu a bit to fit the parameters of having a starter-entrée-dessert. Regular customers will see new options that will eventually become part of 7 West’s day-to-day fare.
But serving a lunch for $10 won’t be a stretch for this crew:
“Our menu is built so people can come in and eat for $10 all the time, not just this week,” Herseth said. “That’s something we want people to see. Our regular menu prices aren’t that different.”
Restaurant owners aren’t immune to the lure of the trying other eateries.
Berarducci said there are about five places she wants to try.
“I’ve never been to Canal Park Brewery,” she said. “I think they have fish tacos.”
They do: The Superior fish tacos are on the dinner menu.
Eat Downtown started in 2010 and was modeled on similar events in larger cities such as Minneapolis. In previous years it has been held for two weeks. Eat Downtown runs through April 21.
For a list of participating restaurants and menus go to downtownduluth.com.