Ann Arbor Restaurant Week

. December 19, 2012.

 

In 2009, Kathy and Jim McDonald, owners of the (since closed) Bella Ciao Trattoria, visited San Diego and had a foodie epiphany. The city was hosting a restaurant week, giving people a chance to experience a multitude of menus without breaking the bank, with the intention of encouraging diners to patronize area restaurants. "They said, 'we have to do this!'" says Maura Thomson, executive director of Main Street Area Association. It was Thomson they approached with the idea of starting Ann Arbor Restaurant Week, now in its eighth installment. This year's event takes place from Sunday, January 20 to Friday, January 25, and offers an opportunity to try food at about 50 participating restaurants (from fancy to casual) for the lunch rate of $15 and dinner rate of $28. "It's a great opportunity to explore places you haven't been or places you haven't been in a while," Thomson says. Her three tips for surviving the frenzy are to make reservations, exercise patience, and tip a little more generously, since restaurant staffs put in extra effort to make the week special. One treat will be experiencing Isalita (on 341 E. Liberty), the new Mexican venture from the owners of Mani Osteria, which won't be officially open but will be offering a sneak peak during restaurant week. Located at various restaurants around A2;

visit annarborrestaurantweek.com for a complete list. —AO

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