County restaurants are hoping residents and visitors alike will sink their teeth into the first-ever Carroll County Restaurant Week, scheduled for Aug. 21-28.
Promising a wide variety of menus and deals for lunches and dinners, the goal of the restaurant week is to draw local residents — and perhaps expand a few waistlines.
"The restaurant scene in Carroll County has really grown, and there are some great restaurants," said Ken Lurie, owner and chef of Bud's at Silver Run.
"This will open people's eyes to …the great variety of restaurants literally in their backyard," he said.
Twenty-six restaurants are participating in the event, which was organized by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism.
Ranging from small cafes to fine dining establishments, the restaurants taking part will offer either lunch and dinner specials — or both — with all specials ranging in cost between $10.11 and $35.11.
"They were asked to come up with a menu that is attractive in what serving and price wise," said Peggy Soper, director of operation for the Chamber of Commerce. "The 11 cents represent the year."
For instance, a three-course meal featuring either sesame ginger salmon, rosemary chicken or grilled flat iron steak will be the choice items at Mount Airy Tavern in Mount Airy, according to James Dichiara, owner.
"We have a very nice restaurant. Nobody out here has food like we have," Dichiara said."We want the exposure in Mount Airy and are hoping to attract a little from Frederick, Howard an Montgomery [counties]."
At Birdie's Café in Westminster, owner Sherri Hosfeld Joseph will offer combinations of salads and drinks, or sandwiches and drink, at reduced prices.
"My hope for this is to introduce more people to my business," said Hosfeld Joseph. "It will make a time that is usually a slow time for restaurants a little busier."
Lurie, who helped with the planning of the event, thinks the timing is "great."
"People are getting back from vacation. It's the end of summer and the start of school," he said. "The timing is a kickoff back into fall. Fall business is always stronger."
Already, Lurie has received reservations for the week.
Joanne Crone, manager of the Carroll County Tourism office, is pleased with the response from both restaurants and the community.
"We're hearing a lot of good things," Crone said. "We're very pleased. I hope the restaurant get a boost out of it."
Stan Ruchlewicz, the City's of Westminster's economic development administrator, said Restaurant Week, "should definitely help the participating Westminster restaurants from both an awareness and monetary perspective.
" 'Eating local' is the rage," said Ruchlewicz. "I believe the eight participating downtown (Westminster) eateries are some of the finest local restaurants in the state, if not the mid-Atlantic region, for the quality of their products."
Ruchlewicz said he thought the week might give restaurants in Westminster a needed boost after they experienced the loss of a customary summertime rush — the Baltimore Raven training camp at McDaniel College. This year's edition was canceled because of the NFL lockout.
"Hopefully, the event will even help offset a bit of the lost revenue resulting from no Ravens training camp this year," he said.
For more information on the inaugural Carroll County Restaurant Week, go to http://www.carrollcountyrestaurantweek.com. The site lists the restaurants that have signed on, and also includes links to the menus that will be offered during the week.
Restaurants participating are:
• Baldwin's Station, Sykesville
• Birdie's Café, Westminster
• Brick Ridge Restaurant, Mount Airy
• Bud's at Silver Run, Silver Run
• The Buttersburg Inn, Union Bridge
• The County Cork Wine Pub, Eldersburg
• E.W. Beck's Pub, Sykesville
• Giulianova Groceria & Italian Deli, Westminster
• Grilled Cheese & Company, Eldersburg
• The Greene Turtle, Mount Airy and Westminster
• Gunner's Grille, Taneytown
• Gypsy's Tea Room, Westminster
• Harry's Main Street Grille, Westminster
• Johansson's Dining House, Westminster
• Liberatore's Ristorante and Catering, Eldersburg and Westminster
• Maggie's Restaurant, Westminster
• Mount Airy Inn, Mount Airy
• The Mount Airy Tavern, Mount Airy
• New York J&P Pizza, Eldersburg and Mount Airy
• O'Lordans Irish Pub, Westminster
• Paradiso Ristorante, Westminster
• Rafael's Restaurant, Westminster
• Salerno's Restaurant, EldersburgCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun