In 1992, a small number of enterprising restaurants in New York City coordinated efforts to create the first of what would become “Restaurant Week.” These pioneer restaurants offered a lunch-only $19.92 prix fixe menu from Monday through Friday of the one week, and its great success has since altered the promotional schedules of restaurants throughout the world. From the entire country of Brazil to the city of Bangalore in India and almost everywhere else, diners can find opportunities to choose from specially priced menus for a limited time each year.
Each town’s, city’s, county’s, region’s and country’s Restaurant Week promotions are different. Some events last for only a few days, others are many days or only week days and may occur more than once a year. Prix fixe prices vary, also. There are Restaurant Week events that coordinate with area festivals or have programs such as cocktail competitions, beer tastings or cooking exhibitions. The size and shape of the Restaurant Weeks are as varied as the places where they occur.
The original format for Restaurant Week may have changed as it expanded around the world, but in NYC the 3-course Prix Fixe remains the only available special menu even as the number of weeks it’s offered has increased.
With homage to the original NYC promotion, SoVT Restaurant Week offers a Prix Fixe 3-course menu at many fine dining restaurants in the southernmost Vermont counties of Bennington and Windham. The twice-yearly event is scheduled when it may be less crowded by seasonal tourism but still a beautiful area to visit. Many of the restaurants are part of some of the most remarkable New England inns while others are located in historic rural towns and small cities. A full list of participating restaurants can be found at the website http://www.sovtrestaurantweek.com
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