OCEAN CITY – Locals and visitors alike got their first taste of the delicious prix fix meals that restaurants participating in the Ocean City Restaurant Week had to offer this week.
Ocean City’s premier Restaurant Week began June 2, marking the beginning of a week-long opportunity for diners to enjoy prix fix meals at any of the participating restaurants. This is the first year that Ocean City will be participating; however Restaurant Week is a popular event all across the country, reflecting the latest trend of “Culinary Tourism.”
Diners have the option of a prix fix three-course dinner for $30 and/or the prix fix lunch for $20. Each restaurant chooses a menu for the prix fix option that reflects some of their most popular and tasty dishes. For those wishing to order off of the regular menu as well, that is still an option. There is no ticket, pass, or coupon required, all one needs is their appetite.
Participating restaurants spent the week serving regular menu and prix fix menus to their customers. Of course, restaurant opinions on the week ran the gamut, but overall everyone felt it was a good event for the town.
According to Susan Jones, of the Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association, both restaurants and diners were pleased with how the week was going. “It’s going really well. I’ve talked to participants and diners who were really pleased with this week.”
In particular, Jones mentioned Shenanigan’s. “They sold about 15 of the prix fix dinners on Saturday night,” she said explaining that it not only brought good revenue to the pub, but also got the chef excited about creating a new and creative menu.
Tammy Cebula, owner of Galaxy 66 Bar & Grille, was delighted with both the event and the turnout. “It’s been a very nice, successful week so far,” she said. “It’s been a great experience for people. We’ve had a lot of people coming and trying it out.”
According to Cebula, people are really enjoying coming in and having the option of the prix fix menu. “We’ve had positive responses from the customers, they really enjoy the option.”
When asked whether she prefers having the event this week or later in the summer Cebula said, “I think this is a nice week to have it. It’s bringing a lot of business to a normally slow week.”
Fresco’s Fine Dining owner and operator Pino Tomasello also saw good response throughout the week.
“It’s been a pretty good response and so far it’s working out pretty well,” he said. “As for June, this was a good week to have it,” he said, noting that the prix fix featured menu was bringing in a good crowd of people.
He further explained that he was pleased with the crowd that the event was bringing in during a week that is normally a “June Bug” week for Fresco’s.
According to Tomasello, Fresco’s would be more than willing to participate in next year’s Restaurant Week aptly stating, “It if brings business, then why not.”
Phillips Seafood House assistant manager Sean Bryan felt the week was starting off a little slow. “It’s going okay,” he said. “We have had some customers come in and ask for it.” Bryan explained that although the Restaurant Week has been in all of their advertisements he attributes the slow start to it being something new.
Bryan agreed that the timing of the event was beneficial. “I think this is a good week for it because it’s slow.” He also agreed that the concept and potential for the town were both advantageous. As for next year, he sees potential. “We will probably participate again. I just think it might not be catching on yet.”
Local diner Chelsea Remines said she enjoyed the additional menus provided this week. “It’s a nice option to have,” she said. When I heard about it, I thought this was a chance for me to try some restaurants that I hadn’t been to yet this year.”
“I hope we see this again next year,” she said. “I think it’s a good event for the town and for the restaurants.”
Restaurant week will come to an end Saturday, June 9.