As local foodies try out new and old favorite restaurants during this week’s Lancaster City Restaurant Week, they will be raising money for an organization that helps those who can’t go out to eat.

“We support people who can’t dine out anymore,” Kevin Ressler, executive director of Meals on Wheels of Lancaster, told a group of restaurateurs at last week’s preview reception for the city dining event.

“We’re trying to provide a restaurant-quality meal ... for our friends who are stuck at home,” Ressler says.

Meals on Wheels of Lancaster is the “social mission partner” for the semiannual Lancaster City Restaurant Week event, in which about 35 restaurants around Lancaster city will offer special meal packages at $10, $20, $30 and $40 price points.

The event runs from Monday through next Sunday.

“Different restaurants will be supporting us in different ways” during restaurant week, Ressler noted.

The staff at some participating eateries may ask if you want to round your bill up to the nearest dollar, with the difference going to Meals on Wheels.

Others may choose a restaurant week menu item from which to donate proceeds. There’s a link from the event’s website, lancastercityrestaurantweek.com, that takes diners to a donation page for Meals on Wheels.

Restaurant Week Preview

Lancaster Restaurant Week committee president and Decades Lancaster partner Chris Trendler talks about the upcoming restaurant week at a preview reception at Decades.

And, courtesy of Maker’s Mark, 50 cents from every cocktail made at a participating city restaurant with the Kentucky whiskey will go to Meals on Wheels, said Chris Trendler, partner and general manager at Decades restaurant, bar, arcade and bowling alley.

Decades, 438 N. Queen St., is also a new participating eatery for restaurant week.

Restaurant Week Preview

This blackberry crostini, featuring toasted baguette slices with goat cheese, fresh mint and a fresh blackberry reduction, is one of the appetizer choices in the $40 dinner deal at Altana Rooftop Lounge for Lancaster City Restaurant Week Sept. 16-22.


On the menu

A few city eateries have joined the list of restaurant week venues for the first time for this week’s event.

Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse, 112 N. Water St., for example, is offering a free movie pass with each of its two restaurant week dinner specials: a $20 tapas package and a $20 flatbread special.

The tapas special includes a choice of three small plates from a list including deviled eggs, smoked Gouda dip, bruschetta fries, seasonal vegetables, and a beet and apple matchstick salad.

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Moroccan wings are among the choices in the $20 tapas and small plates dinner special at Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse for Lancaster City Restaurant Week Sept. 16-22.

The flatbread special includes a choice of two small plates from among three flatbread dishes: margherita, rustic Italian and seasonal roasted vegetables.

The Grape Leaf Cafe, which serves from a takeout window at its 30 W. James St. kitchen, has joined restaurant week, as well.

“All of our food is prepared by refugee and immigrant women,” says Grape Leaf Cafe founder Patience Buckwalter. “Our signature items are stuffed grape leaves and hummus, and I really just let the women make their signature cuisine.”

The hummus Buckwalter served with pita bread at the restaurant week preview is made from a Syrian recipe.

“We do catering ... with different cuisines (such as) Pakistani, Congolese, Ethiopian, Sudanese,” Buckwalter says. “And I always have Syrian (food) on the menu.

Restaurant Week Preview

Syrian hummus and pita bread will be served with all the food options for the $10 lunch and $30 dinner deal at Grape Leaf Cafe for Lancaster City Restaurant Week Sept. 16-22.

“We’re very new," Buckwalter says. “And any opportunity we have (such as restaurant week) to let the community know what we’re doing, any opportunity for work for the women, I’m all for it. ... It’s just another opportunity for the women to cook.”

The cafe is offering a $10 lunch deal, with a choice of a falafel or chicken shawarma sandwich platter served with a stuffed grape leaf and hummus and pita chips.

The cafe’s $30 dinner deal for two includes a choice of a Syrian fish or kebab Hindi platter, each served with curry rice, a baba ganoush salad and hummus with pita.

The cafe is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. during restaurant week.

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Deviled beet eggs, featuring horseradish whipped yolk, jalapeno relish, S. Clyde Weaver ham and beets, is an appetizer choice for the $10 lunch deal at Shot & Bottle for Lancaster City Restaurant Week Sept. 16-22.

Dough & Co., 46 N. Prince St., is offering a $10 restaurant week “sweet deal,” which includes two scoops of cookie dough or ice cream and two beverages from a menu including coffee and various kinds of regular, flavored and almond and coconut milk.

Dough flavors include fluffernutter, s’mores and vegan chocolate chip.

Lancaster Cheesesteak Co., 43 W. King St., is offering a $10 lunch or dinner deal of one 12-inch chicken or steak sandwich — from an options list including classic, Italian style, and Cajun-style chicken — and a $20 deal for two, offering a choice of two 12-inch sandwiches.

Silantra Asian Street Kitchen, 101 E. King St., is offering a $20 dinner deal for two that includes any two bowl or bing (wrap) meal with a choice of a side or dessert and two beverages.

Restaurant Week Preview

Chicken and shrimp spring rolls are one of the appetizer choices in the $10 lunch or dinner deal at Sprout of Rice & Noodles for Lancaster City Restaurant Week Sept. 16-22.


Full circle

Lancaster City Restaurant Week has come full circle for Decades’ Trendler.

Trendler, who co-founded Lancaster City Restaurant Week back in 2011, is managing a Lancaster eatery during the local dining-out event for the first time in several years.

Trendler remembers helping create the small weekend-long promotional event, which was initially called On the Square, eight years ago, when he was working at the former Penn Square Grille in the Lancaster Marriott.

Restaurant Week Preview

The Scarlet Ibis (oven-roasted turkey, melted Muenster cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo on regular French bread) and the Eagle (smoked ham, melted Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and mustard on regular French bread) are sandwich choices in the $10 lunch or dinner deals at Isaac's Downtown Bar & Grill for Lancaster City Restaurant Week Sept. 16-22.

“I thought about that earlier today,” Trendler says. “I thought, ‘This is so cool.’ We started restaurant week back then, and now, here we are, (and I’m) part owner of a restaurant downtown. It’s a very exciting time.”

Trendler has been chair of the restaurant week committee since the beginning, though, for several years, he couldn’t directly participate; he was director of beverage and culinary service at the Clubhouse at the Willow Valley Communities, outside the city.

Restaurant Week Preview

Decades Lancaster served up a charcuterie board as host of the preview reception for Lancaster City Restaurant Week, which runs Sept. 16-22.

For her first restaurant week as Decades’ chef, Lauren Yeagle is cooking up a $30 dinner deal for two.

Diners choose one appetizer — buttermilk-soaked and cornmeal-crusted fried green tomatoes, skillet cornbread or a salad with shaved asparagus, arugula, grilled local corn and a strawberry balsamic vinaigrette — to share.

They also get two entrees to share, chosen among a Southern vegan plate with Caribbean-inspired greens, vegan mac and cheese and seitan “drummies” (drumsticks); a pulled chicken flatbread and a catfish po’boy.