By Donald Wittkowski
There are some days when dieting seems just plain, well, dumb.
Thanksgiving immediately comes to mind.
Then, there are those very special times when it makes sense to ditch the diet for an entire week.
Sea Isle City’s Restaurant Week is here, so stop counting those calories and get out and indulge. It began Monday and runs through Sunday, June 11.
In all, 15 participating restaurants will be cooking up the best that Sea Isle has to offer – from casual, old-school taverns to gourmet waterfront restaurants.
Foodies will have the opportunity to savor a variety of meals, such as steaks, seafood, chicken and pasta dishes. Restaurant Week offers a prix fixe menu that includes four courses for $34.
“We have some really fine restaurants that are participating,” said Mike Monichetti, owner of Mike’s Seafood & Dock Restaurant, a bayside eatery at 42nd Street and Park Road. “I’m very encouraged by the amount of restaurants we have participating this year.”
Returning after a two-year hiatus, Restaurant Week fizzled out during previous attempts because not enough eateries participated.
This year, the Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization was able to enlist more restaurants. By reviving Restaurant Week, the beach town hopes to show off its array of dining options, including fresh seafood.
“It’s a great way to showcase the abundance of seafood that is caught here locally,” Monichetti said.
The Chamber of Commerce is using Restaurant Week as a catalyst for more business in early June, traditionally a slow time on the calendar because it falls between the big Memorial Day weekend celebration and the start of the full-fledged summer tourism season.
“We’re hoping that is what Restaurant Week is going to achieve,” said Kathy Larkin, manager of O’Donnell’s Pour House, the Irish pub and restaurant on Landis Avenue in downtown Sea Isle.
Larkin said she has already been receiving calls from customers who want to make reservations for Restaurant Week.
Restaurant owners are counting on the event to elevate Sea Isle’s culinary scene to an even higher level. They hope to tempt tourists to visit the town a little bit earlier in the summer season by appealing to their appetites.
“Not only can tourists enjoy Restaurant Week, but also many of the locals from surrounding communities,” Monichetti said. “We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls, as well as people stopping in who are very excited about Restaurant Week.”
The Chamber of Commerce is promoting Restaurant Week through its website, social media and more traditional forms of advertising, including fliers.
“Sea Isle City has so many great restaurants and we wanted to showcase the unique dining opportunities to visitors and residents alike by offering four courses for $34,” said Christopher Glancey, president of the Chamber of Commerce.
Visit www.seaislerestaurantweek.com for a full list of participating restaurants and menus for Restaurant Week.