Updated: September 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Attention diners! Two feeding frenzies are about to return to the Pikes Peak region.
Colorado Springs Restaurant Week and Local Food Week kick off Saturday. Over the course of two weeks, you'll have the chance to sample foods at local restaurants at discounted prices, attend classes and food festivals, listen to speakers and take a garden tour.
Colorado Springs Restaurant Week, formerly known as Pikes Peak Restaurant Week, runs through Sept. 27 and is a great opportunity to try some new eateries at lower-than-usual prices. Around 50 restaurants will be offering bargains on three-course dinners for two, for $30, $45 or $60.
New York City is credited with launching the first Restaurant Week in 1992, and other cities picked up on the idea. These events usually are held during slow periods for dining, either in the chilly months of winter or the dog days of summer. A late September date was chosen here because that's when the bulk of tourists depart, causing a slump in business. Denver has been holding Restaurant Week in March for nine years and enjoying great success.
"Denver Restaurant Week has been a wonderful opportunity to introduce new customers to The Fort," said Holly Arnold Kinney, owner of The Fort restaurant in Morrison and a member of the Colorado Restaurant Association Board.
As an example of what awaits Colorado Springs diners, The Famous Steak House will offer a menu that includes the Famous or Caesar salad; choice of tenderloin, rib-eye or organic salmon; and choice of New York cheesecake or chocolate torte, all for $60 for two people. For $30 for two people, the Texas T-Bone Steakhouse, at the 4659 Centennial Blvd. location, will let you choose among a 10-ounce New York Strip, a 10-ounce rib-eye steak, an 8-ounce bacon-wrapped filet or a 10-ounce grilled prime rib (while supplies last); two light create-your-own salads and two side dishes.
If you've never dined at The Broadmoor, you might want to experience two of the resort's eateries: Play @ The Broadmoor and Summit. Restaurant deals are offered at both. Play, the newest restaurant at The Broadmoor, will offer a three-course menu for $30 for two people that includes a choice of matzo ball soup, baby lettuce salad or seven-layer dip; choice of Frenchy Burger with hand-cut French fries, sushi plate combo or veggie udon; and choice of whoopie pies or sweet pizza. At Summit, you will be able to get three courses starting with a choice of sweet corn soup or country salad; a choice of Monkfish Provencal or braised beef brisket; and a choice of cherry clafouties, pistachio ice cream, candied pistachios or a selection of ice cream and sorbet for $45 for two people.
Colorado Springs Restaurant Week is organized by The Gazette, the Colorado Restaurant Association-Pikes Peak Chapter and the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The complete list of participating restaurants and menus can be found online at csrestaurantweek.com. Check the site often for updates.
Local Food Week, which runs through Sept. 22, is sponsored by Green Cities Coalition and was launched four years ago to celebrate the bounty of Colorado's fall harvest and to encourage eating locally. While there are a handful of eateries offering special menus (a couple of restaurants are on the CSRW lineup), much of the focus of Local Food Week is on food preservation classes, farmers' market events, food festivals and garden tours. Find details at greencities coalition.net.