All businesses are taking a hit right now. The restaurant industry has been particularly hammered by COVID-19 and its new goal is simply to survive.
To bolster this sector of the economy, the City of St. Albert brings back Dig In Dining Week. It runs Friday, Nov. 6, to Sunday, Nov. 15.
This 10-day culinary extravaganza not only showcases the talent of local chefs. It also features novelty two- and three-course meals at special prices.
“With restaurants being closed a couple of months and the new space restrictions, it's been difficult for restaurant operators. This is an opportunity to draw people back to restaurants,” said Dig In Dining Week co-ordinator Nicole Pearson.
“It’s an opportunity to try new restaurants or go back to a favourite restaurant and try something new on the menu you would not normally try.”
Twenty restaurants have hopped on board, including three new establishments that opened this year. The trio includes Tryst Wine & Small Plates, a trendy boutique venue that focuses on locally grown ingredients; Links Woodfire Sausage Co., promoting original recipes and top-grade meat; and The Hot Grill, a reasonably priced location featuring a fusion menu.
The rich flavours of Italy are the hallmarks of Nello’s Fine Italian Dining, Luisa Risto and Sorrentino’s. For the more casual diner, Buco Pizzeria + Vino Bar as well as Famoso Italian Pizzeria + Bar offer their twist on the traditional comfort food.
Pizza not your thing? Check out the piquant dishes at Cajun House or the delicate Vietnamese flavours of Red Brick Wall or the hearty fare at Taste of Ukraine.
If Canadian is more your style, Riverbank Bistro, Central Social Hall, XIX Nineteen, Vee at Century Casino, Ricky’s All Day Grill and St. Louis Bar and Grill serve mouth-watering, piping hot meals.
And anyone who needs a quick fix is welcome at Jack’s Burger Shack, The Atlantic Kitchen and Socrates Restaurant.
“There’s one thing that’s different this year. In the past Dining Week was sit-down only. This time most restaurants are offering take-out so people not comfortable sitting in a restaurant can bring (the meal) home," Pearson said.
Pearson initially contacted all restaurants with business licences in St. Albert, welcoming their participation in the dining week. While family-run establishments were quick to reply, few chains responded.
“(Chains) tend to have a set menu they have to follow. They are more restricted than independent restaurants. Chefs have to come up with a specific menu for Dining Week. Not all chains have the flexibility to offer that. The exceptions were Ricky’s and St. Louis Bar and Grill.”
To help drive consumer pullback, Dig In Dining Week is also hosting a special contest where the lucky winner receives 20 gift cards of a $50 value, one from each participating restaurant.
To enter, guests must take a photo of dining menus as proof of participation. The photo may also include people or a plate of food ordered.
Diners are requested to share the photo on Facebook @diginstalbert or Twitter @diginstalbert. Entries must mention/tag @diginstalbert and include the hashtag #DigInStAlbert. Entries may also be submitted through email to [email protected].
As an additional Dining Week promotion, St. Albert Inn & Suites and Best Western Plus are offering discounted room rates for the culinary festival’s duration.
For complete information visit diginstalbert.ca.