» GALVESTON – Galveston Restaurant Week returns bigger and better than ever. This year, 32 restaurants are participating, offering special two- and three-course menus that showcase each restaurant’s best attributes.
Diners have two full weeks, from Sunday through Jan. 25, to eat their way from the island’s East Beach to the shores of West Galveston Bay.
Each of the restaurants participating in Galveston Restaurant Week has developed a special limited menu with choices available for each course. Most of the establishments are offering both a lunch and dinner menu.
“Galveston is a small island, but it has a great food scene,” Galveston Restaurant Week spokesperson Leah Cast said. “You can try out new places during restaurant week and relax, because you know just what it’s going to cost.”
All the Restaurant Week menus are at preset prices ranging from $10 to $40, depending on the restaurant and time of day.
Several new restaurants will be participating in their first Galveston Restaurant Week. The Grotto, Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar, Number 13 and the Porch Café all opened since last January and are looking forward to introducing themselves to a wider circle of diners.
First-time diners at Grotto, located inside The San Luis Resort, will find that their emphasis is on using the freshest ingredients.
“We pick up the fish daily at the local market,” sous chef Vincent Alexander said.
Even diners familiar with other Grotto venues may be in for a surprise, said Michael Hammes, food and beverage manager for The San Luis.
“Although Grotto is known for steaks and pasta, this location offers more seafood. It’s from-scratch cuisine with a coastal twist,” he said.
For other establishments, Galveston Restaurant Week is the time for getting reacquainted and familiarizing diners with changes, such as Farley Girls Café’s expansion into dinner service and The Galvez Bar and Grill’s renovation.
“It’s a chance to explore the island in a new way,” Cast said.
While Galveston Restaurant Week’s off-peak timing offers locals an opportunity to visit places they might consider too touristy in the summer, Galvestonians still won’t have the places all to themselves.
Cast said last year’s Galveston Restaurant Week brought an increased number of diners from the surrounding area, lured by the special menus at exceptional prices.
“The price points make it very inviting,” she said.
Galveston Restaurant Week also helps to fill more stomachs than just those of the diners visiting one or more of the 32 restaurants.
The event also promotes the Galveston County Food Bank, an interfaith, community-based organization serving the needy. Contributions to the food bank can be made at the restaurants, online and through mobile devices.
One of the most popular components of previous years’ Galveston Restaurant Weeks has been the “Celebrate Delicious” photo contest. Diners are encouraged to photograph their favorite Galveston Restaurant Week dishes and upload the photos to the event’s Facebook page.
The photo deemed the favorite wins a cruise, and all the photos help other diners decide which restaurant to visit next.
Even places that don’t serve food are participating in Restaurant Week this year. The Old Quarter Acoustic Café will present a special concert by singer-songwriter Clarence Bucaro on Jan. 24.
At a glance
WHAT: Galveston Restaurant Week
WHEN: Sunday through Jan. 25
WHERE: Galveston restaurants
DETAILS: 32 restaurants will offer special two- and three-course menus that showcase each restaurant’s best attributes. Most of the establishments are offering both a lunch and dinner menu ranging from $10 to $40.
Greek Fish and Shrimp Salad
MAKES: 1 quart
4 tilapia fillets, 4-5 oz. each
12 Gulf shrimp
3 tablespoons Paul Prudhomme blackening seasoning
1 tablespoon margarine, melted
8 ounces cream cheese
1⁄2 cup rémoulade dressing
1⁄2 cup Greek dressing
1⁄2 cup Roma tomatoes, diced 1/4-inch
1⁄4 cup red bell peppers, diced
1⁄4 cup pepperoncini peppers, sliced and drained
1⁄2 cup diced red onions
2 tablespoons capers
1⁄8 cup Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1⁄8 cup cucumbers, seeded, skinned and diced
Romaine lettuce leaves
1 ounce fresh dill weed
Coat the tilapia and shrimp in blackening seasoning. In hot iron skillet over medium high heat, add the margarine and coat pan well.
Add the fish and shrimp and cook thoroughly on both sides. Cool the fish and shrimp in refrigerator until chilled.
Whisk or blend together the cream cheese, rémoulade and Greek dressing. Set aside.
In mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, peppers, onions, capers, olives and cucumbers.
Flake the chilled tilapia and add to mixing bowl. Chop the shrimp into three pieces each and add to the bowl.
Pour enough of the creamy dressing on mixture to coat all ingredients and toss well. Refrigerate.
To serve, scoop 1 to 2 ounces in each Romaine leaf and arrange on serving platter. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs.
(SOURCE: Recipe courtesy Fish Tales)
Shrimp Diablo Sauce
MAKES: 1 quart
1⁄8 cup sliced garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
5 ounces shrimp
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon white pepper
1⁄4 cup white wine
1⁄2 cup tomato sauce
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Chipotle pepper
Sauté the garlic in the olive oil until the garlic is light brown. Add the shrimp, salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the tomato sauce, cream and chipotle pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
Purée the sauce in a food processor until the shrimp is chopped up. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve.
Serve on seafood.
(SOURCE: Recipe courtesy Fish Tales)