Dining With Denise Neil

What you need to know to navigate Wichita Restaurant Week

Public at the Brickyard is participating again in Wichita Restaurant Week and offering a striped bass with fennel beet salad, lemongrass risotto and red pepper sauce.
Public at the Brickyard is participating again in Wichita Restaurant Week and offering a striped bass with fennel beet salad, lemongrass risotto and red pepper sauce. Public at the Brickyard

If you haven’t had a chance to get to Georges French Bistro for mussels and frites or have been wondering what the food is like at the new Kitchen at Union Station restaurant, your week has arrived.

The fourth Wichita Restaurant Week starts on Friday and will continue through Jan. 29, giving local foodies a chance to sample multicourse meals for a set price at 32 restaurants across Wichita. The event doubles as a fundraiser for The Boys and Girls Club of South Central Kansas, and the participating restaurants have agreed to donate 10 percent of their Restaurant Week sales to the club. Last year during Restaurant Week, 2,200 meals were served and $10,000 was raised.

“From the perspective of those of us who like to go out and eat and go out and try something new, knowing that 10 percent goes back to a good cause, is nice,” said Susie Santo, president and CEO of Visit Wichita, which organized the event.

The architects of Restaurant Week have tinkered with its setup every year, based on feedback from restaurants and diners. They made another tweak this year.

People who participate in Restaurant Week will find that each restaurant offers either a $15 or $30 option. The restaurants were free to decide whether they wanted to offer one price level or both, and they were free to decide what they would include at each price level. Last year, participating restaurants were asked to offer three-course meals and could set their own prices.

“It really gives flexibility to the restaurants to do what works with their restaurant offerings,” Santo said.

An example of a $30 menu: Georges French Bistro at 4618 E. Central is offering diners a choice of appetizer (Parisian cheese dip or mussels and frites), choice of entree (braised short rib or sea bass) and choice of dessert (banana Nutella crepe or croissant bread pudding). Meanwhile, Greatroom at the Wichita Marriott is offering a $15 option that includes a choice of one of four entrees (Southern Cobb salad, wedge salad, penne pasta or French dip sandwich) plus an apple tart with sea salt caramel for dessert.

Organizers added 10 restaurants to the list this year: Bella Vita Bistro, Bella Luna Cafe east and west, Bricktown Brewery east and west, Bonefish Grill, El Mexico, Georges French Bistro, The Kitchen, Larkspur Bistro & Bar, Wings & Things and Ya Ya’s Eurobistro

The list also includes several Wichita Restaurant Week faithfuls who have participated since the first event in 2013: Public at the Brickyard, Newport Grill, Chester’s Chophouse and AVI Seabar & Chophouse.

People can find a complete list of participating restaurants and menus at wichitarestaurantweek.com.

Another fun addition to this year’s Restaurant Week: People who take selfies with a Wichita Restaurant Week menu or meal, identify the restaurant and post it to Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #ICTdining will be entered into a drawing for a $25 restaurant gift card. Organizers will give away 25 cards throughout the week.

A look at ten of the Wichita restaurants that closed in 2016. (video by Jaime Green)

Wichita Restaurant Week

When: Friday through Jan. 29

Where: 30 participating restaurants will be offering $15 or $30 pre-set meals

Why: To raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of South Central Kansas

To see menus: Visit wichitarestaurantweek.com