Kansas Citians can feast on multi-course meals while also helping out local charities during Kansas City Restaurant Week 2017.
As of Thursday, 182 restaurants were planning to participate in the eighth annual event, which starts Friday and runs through Jan. 22. This year, restaurants have the option of offering $15 or $33 lunch specials and $15 or $33 dinner menus. Reservations are recommended.
The event also is now on Instagram and has a newly designed mobile app for checking out menus and sharing photos. It also has a new logo and color scheme.
“Every restaurant has a different concept, and we throw down three-course meals at discounted prices,” said Michael Garozzo, owner of Garozzo’s Ristorante and president of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association. “It’s a great deal for the customers, and it’s good for the charities.”
The event has donated more than $1.4 million to area nonprofits in the last seven years. This year, 10 percent of restaurant week proceeds will go to BoysGrow, Cultivate Kansas City and the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired.
At a kick-off event this week, several chefs said they were participating in order to give back to the community, but the event also boosts their business during the typically slow post-holiday season.
Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que is participating for the first time, saying it has had good excuses in the past for opting out: a new delivery program in 2016 and the opening of the Leawood restaurant and Olathe event space in other years.
“We kind of ran out of excuses,” said Doug Worgul, spokesman for Joe’s Kansas City. “It is something our customers have asked us about and there are an awful lot of great restaurants participating, so we wanted to join in the fun.”
Kevin Timmons, partner in Nick and Jake’s in Overland Park, Parkville and south of the Country Club Plaza, previously saw an uptick in business during restaurant week even though his restaurants did not participate.
“We think being a part of the actual machine with the advertising and the apps and the social media and everything that goes with it is probably going to help us for this 10-day stretch during a time when it is extremely bitter cold,” Timmons said. “We are just excited about the opportunity to give back to the community through this.”
Most of the restaurants are locally owned, but some national chains also are participating, including Gordon Biersch and Yard House in the Power & Light District, and the LongHorn Steakhouse locations.
A sampling of Kansas City Restaurant Week menus:
▪ Avenues Bistro in Brookside: KC strip steak, salmon piccata, double pork chop, lobster ravioli or wiener schnitzel for the second course at dinner.
▪ Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que: Dinner special includes one full slab of ribs and two meats (choice of brisket, pulled pork, sausage, turkey or ham), two sides, apple cobbler and two fountain drinks for $33.
▪ Ophelia’s Restaurant & Inn on Independence Square in Independence: Three-course lunch and dinner menu that will include short rib risotto and salted caramel pot de creme.
▪ The Sundry in the Crossroads: Dinner for two menu for $33 includes charcuterie plate or flatbread, choice of two entrees, two drinks and apple carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
Kansas City Restaurant Week is presented by US Foods, a leading food service distributor. Visit KC and the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association are founding sponsors.