BERLIN – Community members are encouraged to eat local in celebration of Berlin Restaurant Week.
Returning Jan. 10-16, officials say Berlin Restaurant Week is a chance for residents and visitors to dine at any participating eatery in town, try new culinary creations and take advantage of special offers.
“It’s really important to eat local and support local restaurants, said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director. “If you haven’t tried one of the newer restaurants, this also gives you an opportunity to try something new.”
Berlin Restaurant Week was established in 2016, when Bunting Realty’s Cam Bunting brought forward the concept of showcasing the town’s restaurants.
“We were at my daughter’s in Bethesda and they were doing a restaurant week event,” she said. “I through this was something good that Berlin could do since it had so many great restaurants.”
Since that time, the annual event has only grown in popularity. Held each year in mid-January, Bunting said Berlin Restaurant Week provides a boost for local restaurants following the holiday season.
“For restaurants, it’s great because it’s a slow time of year,” she said. “And for people, it’s a great time to try restaurants when they aren’t as busy.”
Robin Tomaselli, owner of Baked Dessert Cafe, said Berlin Restaurant Week is a great off-season event for both the restaurants and patrons.
“It is one of the best ideas that has come about in Berlin, particularly in what has been our off-season months,” she said. “It really does bring in a lot of customers who might not have come in. It’s also a good opportunity for our business to showcase our savory options, as well as our dessert options. We are looking forward to it, and I think there are some people out there that don’t know Berlin is an exceptional place to dine.”
Blacksmith owner and chef Justine Zenga agreed.
“The timing is perfect for locals who have a bit of time on their hands after the holidays to visit our charming little town and sample some of our fine restaurants and shops, most of which are owned, curated and operated by Berlin locals,” she said. “As a chef it provides the small challenge to create some inventive and affordable dishes that our guests will remember long after January.”
This year, Berlin restaurants will also be joined by the town’s newest eatery, Sterling Tavern. Owner Matt Borrelli said he is eager to welcome new patrons to his establishment.
“My hope is it will bring people to town that don’t normally come to town,” he said.
Berlin Restaurant Week will feature its annual “Dine Three Times” contest. Those who have dined at three separate restaurants during the week can staple their receipts to the contest card – located at the Berlin Welcome Center or at each participating restaurant – and drop it off in the Welcome Center’s collection box. The contest winner will receive a $100 cash prize from Bunting Realty and restaurant gift cards.
“We have a drawing to see who wins,” Bunting explained.
More information on Berlin Restaurant Week will be posted on the Facebook event page.