This month’s Triangle Restaurant Week has felt the changes brought to the industry by the COVID-19 pandemic, but its mission remains the same.
“It’s about supporting local restaurants,” said Damon Butler, founder of Triangle Restaurant Week. “It’s about reinforcing the face that restaurants are part of our communities. Living in Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham, eating out is a big part of that.
The region’s oldest organized catering week returns from January 24-30, capping a tough month amid two brutal years for the industry. Butler said Triangle Restaurant Week began 15 years ago with the goal of filling dining rooms during the quiet months of January and June.
Here’s how it works
Triangle Restaurant Week isn’t meant to be your typical night out, Butler said.
“It’s about experimenting for restaurants, and for diners, it’s about trying something new,” Butler said.
Participating restaurants will serve two- and three-course menus, which range in price from $15 to $40.
Butler said there were still deals to be had from regular menus, but some prices were $5 higher than in previous years due to soaring food prices.
Choose from these restaurants
Triangle Restaurant Week’s winter event features more than 40 restaurants throughout the region, offering everything from rich bowls of ramen to handmade pasta and smoky barbecue. The list includes many veterans of the week, like Parizade and Mothers and Sons from Durham, Gravy and Oro from Raleigh and exciting newcomers like Peck & Plume from Cary.
For the full lineup of restaurants, visit trianglerestaurantweek.com/restaurants.
Impact of COVID
Over the past few years, Triangle Restaurant Week has seen nearly 100 restaurants concoct special menus for the week. Butler said turnout has been reduced by 40% from typical years, due to the decline due to the impact of the pandemic and the continued shortage of workers many restaurants are experiencing.
Butler said takeout is available for diners looking to avoid dining rooms.
“It’s been tough,” Butler said of the pandemic’s impact on restaurants and promoting it. “We’re trying to bring the focus back to restaurants and remind people that there are a lot of local businesses hurting right now.”