Traverse City, Mich. — It’s the type of thought that keeps Alex Truck up at night. Is he doing enough to put his best foot forward during Traverse City Restaurant Week? Truck is a veteran of many TC Restaurant Weeks in the area, but this is his first time at the new Artisan Restaurant at the Delamar Hotel in Traverse City where he is the Director of Food and Beverage.
Artisan opened late last year, and Restaurant Week is his chance to showcase all they have to offer to new customers in the hope that they become regular customers. “There’s a lot of excitement about what we’re building with an extremely talented team that folds local producers into the food we serve,” said Truck.
Traverse City Restaurant Week is February 20 – 26 where over 35 restaurants roll out special menus with a set price of either $25 or $35. It’s an opportunity for all of them to earn new advocates and regular customers. A week focused on food and dining is as important for restaurants in their first year in business as it is for those that have been around for many years.
“This allows us to push the envelope,” said Jeffrey Libman, General Manager of Amical in downtown Traverse City. “It pushes our chefs to put something together that’s fun for them and fun for our guests.”
For customers, it’s an opportunity to eat at restaurants that may normally be reserved for special occasions and do it on a value budget. That draw has made restaurant week popular. “There is definitely an influx of bodies in chairs at the end of February,” said Libman. "It’s an energy changer for the hospitality industry in winter.”
Libman said he sees more people coming not only from Detroit, Grand Rapids and other areas of Michigan, but also from Illinois and surrounding states. “People love to eat out and it’s affordable,” said Libman. Traverse City has been identified as a top “Foodie Town,” by both Midwest Living Magazine and Bon Appetite Magazine. Libman says that recognition helps draw people to the area.
Traverse City Restaurant Week becomes a social week among friends, said Truck. “You get groups of friends trying new things and they all take tastes of each other’s dishes.” Truck said it’s that type of friendly experience that makes the Traverse City week stand out from other communities that host their own restaurant events. “Here it feels more intimate,” said Truck.
Both Libman and Truck suggest customers don’t hesitate to make reservations, many of the popular nights are already filling up.
Chefs at both Artisan and Amical labored over their Restaurant Week menus to create entrees they feel will be popular and bring customers back for more. Among the Restaurant Week selection at Amical is the beef bourguignon and a beet salad. Artisan’s selections include gulf shrimp and black truffle cacio e pepe.
More information about Restaurant Week, including the entire list of participating restaurants is available at: https://www.traversecity.com/event-detail/2022-traverse-city-restaurant-week/13569/