Buon Appetito: Carroll Restaurant Week offers its second helping

Dante Liberatore already knew the value of participating in a "restaurant week" — a special promotion in which restaurants offer various discounts and special menus to showcase their establishments. With restaurants in Harford and Baltimore counties, he had seen these types of events be successful in promoting the industry overall.

So last year, he decided it was time for Carroll County — where he operates Liberatore's in Eldersburg — to join the trend.


In 2011 Liberatore joined with Ken Lurie, owner of Bud's at Silver Run, and the two pitched the idea to the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce and the Carroll County Department of Economic Development/Tourism Office. "They put their arms around it," said Liberatore. Both organizations agreed to support the idea, and provided funds to market the week.

Finding restaurants to take part was the next step.


"It was not difficult," Liberatore said. "The fact that it is held in summertime ... we all can use some more traffic in restaurants."

About 20 restaurants took part last year. The majority of those, plus several more, have signed on for this year's Carroll County Restaurant Week, which opens today, Aug. 19, and runs through Aug. 26.

In all, 30 restaurants — from Eldersburg to Taneytown, Union Bridge to Mount Airy — are taking part in the week, offering special prices on certain menu items. (Go to http://www.carrollcountyrestaurantweek.com for a link to each restaurant's specials.)

One of the two-time participants is Gypsy's Tea Room in Westminster. Manager Lora Andrews said last year's inaugural event was a definite benefit.

"We definitely had a lot of people from out of the area," Andrews said of the 2011 promotion. "It brought a lot of new people."

This year, Gypsy's will offer its "royal tea" — a full presentation that includes soup, salad, scones, sandwiches, dessert and, of course, tea — at a discounted price for restaurant week.

"Reservations are recommended," she said. "We're filling up very quickly."

Andrews is also the owner of a CUP Tea Bar & Cafe in Westminster. Andrews said it was only natural to have her new restaurant, open since September 2011, participate in the week by offering lunch specials.

"I think it's fun," Andrews said of the week. "It is a good excuse to meet with friends. It is a fun social time, too."

Restaurants are an important facet of a county's tourism trade, and contribute a significant amount to the area's economy, from taxes to employment.

But Liberatore said he views the week as, essentially, a "customer appreciation week."

"We are blessed with very steady business all year long," he said. "(Restaurant week) is an opportunity for us to offer our menu items for considerably less."


The folllowing restaurants are taking part in Carroll County Restaurant Week, Aug. 19-26, offerings special menu items and pricing as a means to promote dining out in Carroll.

Baldwin's Station

7618 Main St., Sykesville

Birdie's Café

233 E. Main St., Westminster

Bud's at Silver Run

4115 Littlestown Pike (Route 97), Silver Run

Bullock's Country Family Restaurant

2020 Sykesville Road (Route 32), Westminster

The Buttersburg Inn

9 N. Main St., Union Bridge

The County Cork Wine Pub

1716 Liberty Road, Eldersburg

The Corner (J&P) Family Restaurant

2600 W. Liberty Road, Taylorsville

CUP Tea Bar & Cafe

7 E. Main St., Westminster

E.W. Beck's Pub

7565 Main St., Sykesville

Giulianova Groceria & Italian Deli

11 E. Main St., Westminster

The Greene Turtle

1604 Ridgeside Drive, Mount Airy

Grilled Cheese & Company

577 Johnsville Road, Suite 1, Eldersburg

Gunner's Grille at Taneytown

5525 Taneytown Pike, Taneytown

Gypsy's Tea Room

111 Stoner Ave., Westminster

Harry's Main Street Grille

65 W. Main St., Westminster

J Cafe

172 E. Main St., Westminster

Johansson's Dining House

4 W. Main St., Westminster

Liberatore's Ristorante & Catering

6300 Georgetown Blvd., Eldersburg

Liberatore's Ristorante & Catering

521 Jermor Lane, Westminster

Maggie's Restaurant

310 E. Green St., Westminster

Mount Airy Inn

1401 S. Main St., Mount Airy

The Mount Airy Tavern

1001 Twin Arch Road, Mount Airy

New York J&P Pizza

409 E. Ridgeville Blvd., Mount Airy

New York J&P Pizza

6252 Sykesville Road, Eldersburg

O'Lordans Irish Pub

14 Liberty St., Westminster

Paradiso Ristorante

20 Distillery Drive, Westminster


Rafael's Restaurant

32 W. Main St., Westminster

Roberto's Pizza Italian Restaurant

625 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster

Salerno's Restaurant

1043 Liberty Road, Eldersburg

The Stable's Restaurant

452 E. Main St., Westminster

Recommended on Baltimore Sun