by April Lisante
When the summer doldrums set in and the Hill starts to get land-locked with heat, Restaurant Week comes along to save the day.
Now in its fourth year, Restaurant Week: A Taste of Chestnut Hill, runs Aug. 11 through 16 and promises to be bigger than ever, with its inclusion this year of all types of food establishments. After a test run last year, organizers found success with extending participation from solely fine dining restaurants to prepared food stores, pubs and even ice cream.
There will be prix fixe specials during lunches, dinners and even at breakfast at select spots, so diners can sample menus and even try new additions for a lot less than the usual price.
This year, organizers anticipate nearly 100 percent participation from local restaurants on The Hill. It marks the second Restaurant Week of 2019 organized by the Chestnut Hill Visitors Center. The March Restaurant Week marked their annual spring event.
Restaurants have free rein to choose which specials they will offer, from three-course meals to discounts on items.
“The restaurants really feel this is a worthwhile event because they continue to buy in each year,” said Kate O’Neill, of the Chestnut Hill Business District, “and we have the added tagline that all the foods are available, not just fine dining.”
Much like the Center City District Restaurant Week, which is typically held in January each year, the Chestnut Hill event is a way to try some of the local places that are quieter during the summer months. Many of the sit-down restaurants hand-craft their prix fixes to reflect seasonal offerings, and they price them reasonably.
Here is a look at some of the participating eateries and their Restaurant Week specials.
• Chestnut Hill Grill and Sidewalk Café (8229 Germantown Ave., 215- 247-7570) is offering a $45 prix fixe which includes an appetizer and two entrées served after 5 p.m. More than a half-dozen appetizers include New Orleans catfish, veggie chili nachos and wings. Entrees include flat iron cheesesteak, lamb chops, brisket or salmon among others.
• Campbell’s Place (8337 Germantown Ave., 215-242-1818) will have an appetizer, entrée and dessert special for $35 fixed, including entrees for everyone, from a meatless meatloaf to salmon or barbecue ribs.
• Mica (8609 Germantown Ave., 267-335-3912) has an amazing upscale three-course prix fixe with appetizer, entrée and dessert for $40 per person. Standouts will include summer melon soup with cucumber and marcona almond, as well as tagliatelle pasta with local corn, new potato and basil.
• El Poquito (8201 Germantown Ave, 267-766-5372) is joining the Restaurant Week action with a $35 per person menu that will include four courses, from apps, to starters, entrees and desserts. Entrees include either tacos or quesadillas. One of the best parts about their prix fixe is that it includes one alcoholic drink per customer, from beer to sangria or a margarita.
• Iron Hill Brewery (8400 Germantown Ave., 215-948- 5600) has a $35 three-course menu which includes its signature Kennett Square mushroom soup. Some of the adventurous entrée choices include “Pig Iron Porter Barbecue” and pan seared trout.
• Jansen Restaurant (7402 Germantown Ave., 267-335- 5041) has come up with a unique menu for its $45 prix fixe. Customers can choose an appetizer, entrée and dessert from the special limited menu. Choose either a gazpacho or wedge salad to start, then either Norwegian salmon or chicken Paillard, and finish with either a brownie mocha mousse cake or a blueberry olive oil cake.
• McNally’s Tavern (8634 Germantown Ave., 215-247- 9736) is in the spirit with a “Schmitter” special during Restaurant Week. Either dine in or take out three of the salami, beef and dressing-laden sandwiches for $20.
• Tavern on the Hill (8636 Germantown Ave., 215-247- 9948) has a truly traditional summer menu if you’re in the mood for barbecue without all the work. For $30, choose gazpacho or salad, then BBQ ribs, salmon or fried chicken, and end with a brownie sundae, rice pudding or a pound cake with berries and cream.
• Baker Street Bread Company (8009 Germantown Ave., 267-336-7410) will offer a special for $15 that includes a cold sandwich, a side of pasta salad, chips and a drink for $15.
• Cosimo’s Pizza Café (8624 Germantown Ave., 215-242- 9900) has a great deal for the entire week. Order a large pizza, and get a side order of fries and four drinks, all for $20.
• Paris Bistro and Jazz Café (8235 Germantown Ave., 215- 242-6200) will have a three-course meal for $37, including a summer salmon cassoulet, a seasonal twist on their popular cassoulet.
Restaurant Week runs from Aug. 11 to 16. For more information, go to ChestnutHillPA.com