Restaurant Week: Back for a second helping

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by Melissa Booraem


Think you have to leave Gwinnett County to experience the absolute best in cuisine and dining ambiance? Think again!  >>


You don”t have to travel far to experience fine, gourmet dining. Our own backyard is full of restaurants that offer everything from tapas to traditional southern dishes with a European flare.


Enjoy it all during Restaurant Week – at a price that also goes down easy!


The Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau serves up Restaurant Week from May 21-24, bringing the event back from its successful debut last year to the anticipated approval of hungry fans.


"Last year was our first-ever Restaurant Week, so we really didn”t know what to expect," says Lisa Anders, marketing and communications director for the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau. "We were tremendously pleased with the response the restaurants received."


Last year, says Anders, 80 percent of the restaurants were sold out on all four nights and several had waiting lists for reservations. Many of them reported that customers were new, which is exactly what restaurants were hoping would happen.


The cost per meal is only $18.18, plus tax and tip, which means you can sample a fabulous three-course meal at any of the participating restaurants for much less than you would normally pay.


The average cost for the same three-course meals usually runs between $35 to $50 per person.


"We want to show off our dining destinations, and keep our locals, as well as our visitors, coming back," Anders adds.


Many of the chefs at the participating restaurants have impressive culinary backgrounds. Chef Eric LeVine of Chef Eric”s American Bistro at Vines has been featured on the Food Network; and Chef Christopher Hope, who owns Sperata and Picasso Cafe and Wine Bar with his wife, has literally prepared food for the queen of England.


Hope says, "If you drive by the Mall of Georgia area on any given Friday or Saturday night, there are people lined up outside the major chain restaurants. People should try something new, give something new a chance."


Chef Paul Smith, who creates in the kitchen at Park Cafe agrees. "People should really take advantage of what we have to offer them," Smith says. "We really cater to our guests and offer great food, a wonderful patio and fine wines."


Anders says those that take advantage of Restaurant Week come away with the knowledge that they don”t have to drive to downtown Atlanta for a high-end, delicious meal, served in a setting with great ambiance.


Make your reservations now for Restaurant Week! Check out the accompanying list of participating restaurants. More information and menus are available online at the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau web site,



COMPLETE THREE-COURSE MEAL: $18.18 (plus tax and tip)*
* Note: Some restaurants require reservations


Aqua Terra Bistro
55 East Main St., Buford



Armaan Indo-Pak Fusion
3064 Old Norcross Rd., Duluth



Blue Bay Seafood Restaurant
2750 Buford Hwy., Duluth

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