“We went out to talk to restaurant owners but what we had more fun with was talking to the people who were out to eat,” she said. “It was like a party was going on inside ... there was an air of excitement. Every restaurant we went into was busy if not packed.
“You just felt like something cool was happening and you wanted to be a part of it,” she added.
Hobart said there’s a growing interest nationwide, but especially in Western New York, in eating locally and celebrating celebrity chefs.
“We see Food Network is growing and there are all sorts of celebrity chefs. Every city has their own celebrity chefs ... people are more in tune to that,” she said, stressing the importance of spending money locally instead of going to a restaurant whose headquarters are in another part of the country.
“We treasure our local restaurants here,” she said.
For more information about Local Restaurant Week and to see a list of participating restaurants, visit www.localrestaurantweek.com.
A new feature of the website this go-round is that the restaurant listings can be ordered by what meal it offers for the Local Restaurant Week special. Some offer only dinner specials, while some may offer lunch and dinner, or even an “other” option for eateries that might offer brunch, for example.
Contact features editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116.
RESTAURANTS IN THE TONAWANDAS PARTICIPATING IN LOCAL RESTAURANT WEEK
• Amici Ristorante, 2516 Elmwood Ave.
• Jovi's Italian Grille & Bistro, 2795 Delaware Ave.
• Manzella's Restaurant, 3347 Delaware Ave.
• Orchid Asian Bistro, 2756 Elmwood Ave.
City of Tonawanda
• Smoke on the Water, 77 Young St.
Town of Tonawanda
• La Hacienda Brighton, 900 Brighton Road
• Rizzo's Casa di Italia Restaurant, 2763 Eggert Road
• Saigon Bangkok, 512 Niagara Falls Blvd.
• Shannon Pub, 2250 Niagara Falls Blvd.
• The Grill @ The Dome, 175 Brompton Road
• The Hideaway Grille, 399 Division Street
• Yummy Thai, 92 Webster Street