Fredericksburg’s Summer Restaurant Week returns July 26 and there’s more on the menu than ever before.
The summer event, which lasts through Aug. 4, boasts the most businesses participating yet. Thirty-four restaurants and coffee shops are offering Restaurant Week menus in downtown Fredericksburg, according the the city’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
Participating eateries offer menus that exemplify what they create best at affordable price points. Each restaurant will fix its own price point this summer, all ending in $0.19 to reflect the year. Most lunches ring in at $10.19, while most dinners range from $20.19 to $30.19. Featured cocktails, beer or wine are available on some menus for $5.19. And participating coffee shops have a beverage and pastry for $6.19.
Among them is Foode at 900 Princess Anne St., where owners Joy Crump, Beth Black and Jeremy Harrison are offering a “Meat + Three” menu that evokes the classic Southern plate. Their menu options range between $15.19, $19.19 and $29.19.
Black said while the menu is obviously a nod to meat and cream-heavy Southern cuisine, they are also including options after feedback that wider dietary needs could be met.
Crump expanded on that, saying, “Southern food is no longer synonymous with unhealthy eating. Like most cuisines whose history is steeped in tradition, we have our favorites. We love butter. We love cream. We love just about anything that’s fried nice and crispy. But veggies can and should be the star. Especially this time of year when there’s nothing better than a freshly pulled veggie on a plate with a little bit of salt and pepper.”
She said that the seasons and Virginia are her driving force for creating summer staples diners might remember from cookouts, picnics and family gatherings. Tomatoes and other vegetables will take center stage, along with local beef, pork and chicken. Summer peaches and even Bowman’s bourbon will star in the dessert menu.
Black said the menu is a reflection of what they do everyday: “Cook seasonal Southern-inspired cuisine that feels familiar—but with small, unexpected and delicious twists from our chefs.”
Likewise, Orofino owners Alona and Danilo Orofino are showcasing what they do in a new way.
The Italian restaurant recently launched a pizza menu following a renovation and the addition of a pizza oven to their 1006 Caroline St. space.
“The pizza has only been a part of a larger renovation of our restaurant,” she said. “While it is not complete yet, we love seeing our guests experience the changes and support us along the way.”
Margherita Pizza, Quattro Formaggi Pizza and Piccante Pizza are all among the options for three-course lunch or dinner.
Alona Orofino called the event “a very busy time with many new faces, many of which keep coming back long after.”
Though, she cautioned that reservations should be made early, since it is a busy time.
Pimenta, just down the road at 1108 Caroline St., is participating for the first time in Summer Restaurant Week after opening in January.
Owners Ray and Jackie Simmonds run the Jamaican-inspired eatery with their daughter and feature longtime family favorites heavily on the menu.
Two-course and three-course lunch and dinner options are available, ranging from $10.19 to $30.19. They’re also featuring $5.19 drink specials.
They said people still finding out about the restaurant and newcomers should expect “farm-to-table food prepared fresh daily with Caribbean and Jamaican spices.”
But Xquizit Coffee Roasters, which recently reopened on Caroline Street with Abner Butterfield Ice Cream Company, proves that farm-to-table isn’t a term that applies to coursed dinners alone.
Owner Brianna Lopez said they source coffee from their hometown in Guatemala and roast it in the same space where it is served. They will offer a latte and a biscotti for $6.19 during the event.
“We source the coffee ourselves and roast it on-site,” she said. “It’s a family effort, and it’s our passion.”
In Fredericksburg, the expanding food scene created an abundance of options for Restaurant Week at a great value. The event, too, has evolved during the decade it’s been offered.
For Crump, the public’s sense of what value truly means has changed, as well.
“It’s not just a good bang for your buck,” she said. “It’s also about the spirit of celebrating, of continuing to engage in the downtown community, of sharing the energy of our city’s growth with visitors and residents.”
The event is an experience that has value is in its long-lasting memorability, as well.