Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
Find a listing of all of the participating restaurants, along with their specially priced menus, at Las Vegas Restaurant Week's website.
Chef Beni Velazquez is asking Restaurant Week diners to sink their teeth into a Cubano panini, a culinary creation built with Black Forest ham and pork that’s been slow-roasted for three hours.
“It’s so good,” said Velazquez as he described the panini, one of three courses on Bar + Bistro’s Restaurant Week $20.12 lunch menu.
The inaugural spring Las Vegas Restaurant Week kicks off Monday and continues through March 4. More than 100 restaurants, like Bar + Bistro, RM Seafood inside Mandalay Bay and Lavo inside the Palazzo, are serving up three-course lunch and dinner menus for $20.12, $30.12 or $50.12. Portions of the proceeds will benefit Three Square, the food bank of Southern Nevada. Depending on the restaurant, $4, $5 or $6 will be donated for each specially priced three-course meal sold during the week.
“Las Vegas has taken it to new heights,” Brian Burton, president and CEO of Three Square, said of the spring Restaurant Week.
The event started in 2007 and raised about $20,000 for Three Square that year. Since its début, the event has had to make room for new restaurants and new deals.
With more than 100 restaurants participating in the fall 2011 Restaurant Week — a two-week affair to celebrate the event’s fifth anniversary — Three Square received $200,000 in donations.
Restaurant Week provides an opportunity for the culinary community to give back as well as attract new customers to the participating restaurants.
“Lunch was really great; that’s when we got the most people coming in,” said Velazquez, of Bar + Bistro’s Restaurant Week participation in 2011.
Burton hopes donations for Three Square from the spring Restaurant Week reach $100,000. That would allow Three Square to provide the equivalent of 600,000 meals.
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will match every dollar Three Square raises as part of a grant program that started in November 2011. The donations will be used to help supply food to nonprofit groups that partner with Three Square, which serves more than 100,000 people every month, 45,000 of whom are children.
“We need the whole community to turn out and support it,” Burton said. “All of it helps our local economy as well as fighting hunger throughout Southern Nevada.”