Who doesn’t like to go out to dinner?
The 13th edition of Downtown Syracuse Dining Weeks begins Wednesday, Feb. 15, with a record 32 restaurants participating in the tasty winter tradition. It’s a great opportunity to experience a newer restaurant you’ve been meaning to try, or a chance to visit an old favorite establishment during what tends to be a slower time of year.
Some say that Downtown Dining Weeks is the next best thing to Taste of Syracuse, except there are no $1 samples. Restaurants offer special three-course (or more) menus for $25 or less, which does not include tax and gratuity.
New to the event this year is a longtime fixture of Hanover Square and four restaurants that opened in the last year. The veteran is Niko’s Family Restaurant, which has been in business for decades.
The newcomers are Apizza Regionale, which opened in April at the site of the former Mimi’s Bakery and Cafe; Eleven Waters, a “Finger Lakes bistro” at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown; Khao Gaeng, a casual build-your-own Thai bowl restaurant near Clinton Square; and Original Grain, a fast-casual restaurant with a focus on healthy food, in the Pike Block.
Where can you enjoy pancetta and manchego mac and cheese as a first course? Or hot chocolate pancakes as a second course? Or pistachio pesto pasta as an entree? For a complete list of participating restaurants, visit the Downtown Committee of Syracuse website, downtownsyracuse.com/diningweeks.
Dining Weeks menus are being posted as they become available. You’ll also find information on discounted parking at select garages and lots ($5 after 5 p.m.), including the Atrium and Clinton Street garages and the open lots at Fayette and Walton streets and Fayette and Clinton streets.
Expecting guests from out of town? Several downtown hotels are offering a “sleepover package” that includes a $185 room rate and a $25 dinner credit at one of the restaurants participating in Dining Weeks. Visit the Downtown Committee website for more information.
The Downtown Dining Weeks event continues through March 1. Participating restaurants include:
317 at Montgomery, 317 Montgomery St., 214-4267
- Apizza Regionale, 260 W. Genesee St., 802-2607
- Aster Pantry & Parlor, 116 Walton St., 373-0031
- Bistro Elephant Steakhouse, 238 W. Jefferson St., 475-1111
- Black Olive, 250 S. Clinton St., 399-5599
- Byblos Bar & Grill, 316 S. Clinton St., 299-6512
- Byblos Mediterranean Cafe, 223 N. Clinton St., 478-3333
- Clinton Street Pub, 127 W. Fayette St., 424-1187
- Creole Soul Cafe, 128 E. Jefferson St., 530-4178
- Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St., 476-4937
- Eleven Waters, Marriott Syracuse Downtown, 500 S. Warren St., 554-3541
- Empire Brewing Co., 120 Walton St., 475-2337
- The Evergreen, 125 E. Water St., 870-3500
- Funk ‘N Waffles, 307-313 S. Clinton St., 474-1060
- Indian Tandoor Halal Restaurant, 232 Harrison St., 565-4099
- Khao Gaeng, 208 W. Genesee St., 424-8424
- Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub and Restaurant, 301 W. Fayette St., 424-1974
- Lemon Grass, 238 W. Jefferson St., 475-1111
- Liehs & Steigerwald, 117 E. Fayette St., 299-4799
- Maxwells, 122 E. Genesee St., 299-6633
- The Mission, 304 E. Onondaga St., 475-7344
- Modern Malt, 325 S. Clinton St., 471-6258
- Niko’s Family Italian Restaurant, 125 E. Water St., 475-7000
- Original Grain, 302 S. Salina St., 299-5011
- Otro Cinco, 206 S. Warren St., 422-6876
- Pastabilities, 311 S. Franklin St., 474-1153
- Peppino’s Neapolitan, 409 S. Clinton St., 422-8811
- Prime Steakhouse, 101 E. Water St., 299-8047
- Sakana-Ya Sushi Bar, 215 Walton St., 475-0117
- Sky Armory, 351 S. Clinton St., 473-0826
- Syracuse Suds Factory, 320 S. Clinton St., 471-2253
- The York, 247 W. Fayette St., 701-0636
White Rabbit Pop-Up Hops To It
In addition to the Downtown Dining Weeks, there is a new dining series on the scene: White Rabbit Dinners, which takes the concept of “out to dinner” beyond the confines of restaurants.
Jennifer Capozzi and Heather Murfitt have teamed up to introduce the White Rabbit Dinners, a series of mysterious, monthly pop-up dining experiences around Central New York that are designed to be both memorable and delicious. The first event, a “Woodland Gathering,” will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, at a location to be revealed on the morning of the event, for guests who have purchased tickets.
Capozzi, a holistic wellness consultant and plant-based chef, and Murfitt, a yoga instructor, promise meals that are in tune with the seasons and made with locally sourced ingredients. The Woodland Gathering will include cocktails, appetizers, dinner at a table or tables set up outside and dessert by a warm fire. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly and bring snowshoes and/or ice skates to enjoy the setting.
Tickets for the Woodland Gathering are $85 per person. For more information on the series and to purchase tickets, visit thewhiterabbitdinners.com.