Hungry diners in Morristown will have over three dozen options from April 4 through 16 when the 2011 Downtown Morristown Restaurant Week begins.
With the motto of "Think Global, Dine Local," the Morristown Partnership has extended the event from one to two weeks this year, its second.
"It was a great success," said Jennifer Wehring, Morristown Partnership's director of marketing. "We're very excited to bring this back for a second year."
Several new businesses have joined the dining scene in Morristown, as well as other established restaurants signing on this year for the first time, bringing participating businesses from 35 to 49.
, on Speedwell Avenue, is participating for the first time this year, offering a prix fix menu consisting of an appetizer, entree, dessert and beverage for $25. Items include "Fensenjon," one of the restaurant's most popular items, consisting of pomegranate and walnuts, which can be ordered with or without meat, said restaurant owner Rick Manesh.
"It's something you really cannot get anywhere in this area," he said. Manesh said the restaurant week was a good opportunity to expose people to foods and restaurants they might not have otherwise tried, such as his, thus encourage them to return on their own in the future.
"It gives people the opportunity to choose whatever they want for the fixed price, enjoy their meal and enjoy their time," he said. "Proper service and proper food will make sure they keep coming back."
Return business is a strong motivator to participate in the restaurant week, said Desmond Lloyd Jr., owner of , which has operated in Morristown since 1981. Items on his restaurant's $30 prix fix menu will include escargo with Thai basil butter on crispy scallion croutons, Andouille sausage, Chicken Francaise, sauteed thinly-sliced calves liver and the restaurant's popular ceasar salad, among other choices.
"It draws people into town, and hopefully to your restaurant," Lloyd said. "It gives an opportunity to expose your wares. It's not something you're looking to make a lot of omney out of, but it's good PR and it's good for the town. People come back once they get an experience at the restaurant.
Some businesses will offer dining specials instead of complete prix fix menu items. will offer free desserts for every entree purchase; will have pizzas at $5 off the regular price, as well as $5 cafe sandwiches, among other specials; At the , those dining in can enjoy a pastrami, corned beef or turkey salad with a choice of selected sides and a can of soda or iced tea for $10.
Even non-restaurants are participating this year. will have wine tastings from 3 to 8 p.m. on April 9 and 16; will offer upgrades on purchases of $50 or more.
Wehring said business initiatives like the 2011 Downtown Morristown Restaurant Week go beyond just dining establishments, reaching other business sectors just by being in town and complementary to the overall downtown experience.
"It's getting more exciting here," she said. "We're trying to reach new audiences. And, everyone loves to go out to eat. Why not bring in those deals for the consumers showcasing restaurants from all over Morristown?"
"'Think Global, Dine Local,'" Wehring said. "We have probably every taste that you can imagine in downtown Morristown."
Restaurant Week businesses will offer prix fix menus for lunch and/or dinner, not to exceed $30 per person, or special promotions in their establishments. Look for the 2011 Downtown Morristown Restaurant Week window decal and posters at participating businesses and ask for their Restaurant Week menu or special promotion. For complete event participation list, menus and special promotions, visit www.morristown-nj.org and Downtown Morristown Restaurant Week on Facebook, or call Morristown Partnership at 973-455-1133.