Restaurant Week is here!

Time to make your reservations, folks: Restaurant Week is upon us. Read on for more information on this Richmond dining tradition and find out how RVANews will help you make the most of it.

Time to make your reservations, folks: it’s Restaurant Week, a Richmond dining tradition since 2001.

No matter what cuisine is being enjoyed or where, Restaurant Week a win-win for all involved. Patrons can expect to spend $25.10 on a three course meal at some of the best restaurants in Richmond (28 in all). Restaurant owners see a boost in attendance, and $2.10 from each meal sold goes to Meals on Wheels in conjunction with Central Virginia Food Bank.

According to Kristin VanStory, Director of Communications for the food bank, Restaurant Week allows Richmonders to “enjoy a variety of restaurants and do so knowing they are giving back to their community.” The food bank has seen an increase in the amount of money raised by Restaurant Week every year, peaking at $23,000 in 2009. “It’s quite phenomenal considering the state of the economy…I think it speaks to the popularity of this event,” VanStory says.

The woman responsible for coordinating this week of culinary excellence is Aline Reitzer, co-owner of Acacia Mid-town with chef and husband Dale Reitzer. According to their website, the Reitzers created Restaurant Week in 2001 “because Acacia wanted to create a program to donate time and money to a charity that was in alignment with [their] interest: food.”

Previously, proceeds from Restaurant Week went only to the food bank before it merged with Meals on Wheels two years ago. It was decided by both Ms. Reitzer and the food bank that Restaurant Week should benefit both causes. If eating good food isn’t enough reason to eat at participating establishments, then supporting a much needed organization might be.

Some specific uses for Restaurant Week proceeds include food distribution, food purchasing, and after school “Kid’s Cafe” meals. According to the food bank, the need for these programs has increased. Last year the need for greater food distribution rose by 21%, demand for Kid’s Café meals and snacks increased by 41%, and the number of Meals on Wheels clients rose by 7%. The food bank has also seen a 9% increase in general inquiries about how to get food.

Richmond Restaurant Week 2010 runs today (October 25th) through Sunday, October 31st. The RVANews Restaurant Week Guide is up and ready for you to use throughout the week:

Bon appetit!

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Leah Small

Leah served as our editorial intern during the Fall of 2009. She is a VCU student who thoroughly loves Richmond, its niche culture, and all there is to see and do.

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