A unique concept

This year's Eat ADK Restaurant Week builds on the premier event, which kicked off last year with resounding success. A branded concept for Lake Placid, the week-long event was spearheaded by the Field Studies in Hospitality class at nearby Paul Smith's College. EAT ADK Restaurant Week returns in 2017 and we're looking forward to even more growth, with some excellent out-of-the-box meals and fun dining experiences. 

The idea originated with Professor Joe Conto of the Hotel, Resort, and Tourism Management program at the college more than two years ago. Conto and professor Kelly Cerialo of the Business and Hospitality department approached us here at the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) with the concept and asked if we'd be interested in having Cerialo's students structure an Adirondacks branded, restaurant week concept. Of course we jumped on the idea.

The idea was to have them create the concept and we would attempt to find a group of business people from the community who would be willing to make it a reality. If it didn't become a reality, they would still have the experience of the work done. We readily found a group of restaurant owners and managers who were thrilled with this idea. After a year of work by two semesters of students and the committee, EAT ADK Restaurant Week kicked off last May. It was deemed a complete success and a positive learning experience for all involved, especially the students.

The students of the Field Studies classes completed a tremendous amount of research and development, interviewing principles from many successful restaurant week organizers around the country. The research they completed helped them create a presentation to local restaurant owners during the spring 2015 class semester. After another full year of work by the committee, together with the students, EAT ADK debuted in May, 2016, spread over 10 days. The work by these students was invaluable to the committee, who admit if it wasn't for all the work they did the event would likely not have been nearly so successful in its first year.   

Come dine with us!

The original goal of EAT ADK was to expose locals to dining establishments they don't ordinarily visit by creating fixed price, affordable dining options during the event. In addition to getting more locals out and about trying new places, the ultimate goal is to create overnight visitation and fill hotel rooms during a historically slower time of year. This year's event kicks off on April 27 and runs through May 4, and includes one weekend. Lodging rates are traditionally lower during this time, making for some great deals for visitors.

This year the event has expanded to the neighboring communities of Wilmington, Saranac Lake,and Tupper Lake, adding many more great dining options to the mix!

Spend a night or two!

In addition to the fixed price dining, many local lodging properties have created packages and/or discounts to entice participants in EAT ADK to stay one night or more while enjoying the event. Several properties with onsite dining are offering discounts on dining or inclusive dining packages. 

Check out the participating dining establishments from 2016 — the 2017 participant list will be available at this same link after April 1. You can view the fixed price menus here as well. Having worked on the committee and experienced many of the dining experiences last year, I can assure you there will be some amazing food presented during this year's event. 

Cerialo and the students are particularly excited for this second year, as Kelly unfortunately had to miss last year's event due to a prior commitment out of town. The students also missed it last year, as the event was scheduled after their school year ended and most live outside of the area.

"It's hard to believe that it's been two years since our students first pitched the idea of restaurant week," Cerialo said. "Those students have since graduated from PSC and have passed the baton onto this year's. Field Studies in Hospitality class. Right now the class is working with the EAT ADK Restaurant Week Committee and local businesses to create EAT ADK themed promotions to spread the economic impact of the event. Restaurant week is during our semester this year so you'll certainly see me, professor Conto, and our students out and about!

Get out for EAT ADK!

If you're a local, we hope you'll make plans to get out and about and dine in some new places this year, and we hope visitors will take advantage of this enhancement to the quieter season by making plans to come and stay. You won't be disappointed — trust me on this one!

Be sure to also check out our events schedule so you don't miss anything else happening in the region while you're here.

This week in related ADK news:

Tupper Tinman

Funky town

Mmm maple 

Putts & Pints

Spring into action

Bread and beans

Baa, baa, baby