Mystic Restaurant Week, running March 1 to 7, has a different look this year
The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce is holding its first Mystic Restaurant Week of the year from March 1 to 7, but with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, the biannual event looks different this time.
For one, you could win all sorts of prizes just by eating out or taking out.
More than 25 restaurants in Mystic and beyond are participating, though not all are offering a two- or three-course prix fixe menu like in years past. Bruce Flax, interim director of the chamber, said the chamber tried to do a more typical restaurant week last year in March and November but participation wasn't as high as desired.
"They didn't want to start offering these special menus and reducing their prices, because they're having a really hard time," Flax said.
The new plan is modeled in part on the Eat Local, Win Local program that Groton Economic Development launched last April, in which people who submitted restaurant receipts could be entered to win gift certificates.
Here's how it works for Mystic Restaurant Week: When dining in or taking out from a participating restaurant, patrons will receive a text-to-win number and a keyword. They can text the word to the number, and on March 8, winners will be drawn.
Prizes include a climbing pass for two people at Fields of Fire Adventure Park, two guest passes to Mystic Aquarium, two guest passes to Mystic Seaport Museum, a one-hour rental from Adventure Mystic, an overnight stay at Harbor View Landing, a gift basket from the Spice & Tea Exchange of Mystic, and a $100 gift certificate to Mystic Massage & Wellness.
In addition, the chamber is offering gifts to people who spend a minimum of $75 on a takeout order, while supplies last. People can bring their receipt to the chamber office at 22 East Main St. to get a fleece blanket, wine tumbler or espresso cups.
Flax said the restaurants participating in Mystic Restaurant Week for the first time are Rio Salado and Nana's Bakery & Pizza in Mystic, and Par Four and Mint Leaf in Groton.
What other restaurants are participating?
Pink Basil and Samurai Noodle Bar & Grill are each offering a $5 tapas menu. Options include red curry with chicken, spicy tuna roll and California roll at Pink Basil, and kimchi fried rice with chicken, a mini ramen bowl and katsu fries from Samurai Noodle Bar.
The Irons has a two-course prix fixe menu for $25, with bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, Asian marinated skirt steak, seared Arctic char, and wild mushroom ravioli as the entrée options.
The $30 menu at Anthony J's Bistro is soup or salad; chicken parmigiana, Bolognese with house-made pappardelle, or catch of the day; and a cannoli.
Chapter One Food & Drink has a three-course dine-in menu for $20.21 or a takeout box for $70, which comes with two salads, two entrees, two desserts and a bottle of wine.
The Fisherman at Long Point is offering 20% off all takeout orders every day, $1 oysters from 4 p.m. to close, and a three-course menu for $30.21 with options including a beet trio, tuna poke, lobster shrimp scampi, chicken marsala, and a fruit tart.
Steak Loft is offering 20% off all food and beverage orders for dine-in and takeout, while Go Fish is offering 20% off for takeout plus the dine-in option of making any entrée a three-course meal at no extra charge.
The Shipwright's Daughter has a four-course tasting menu for $40, and Captain Daniel Packer Inne has a family-style option (four people) for $50.
The chamber lists other participating restaurants as S&P Oyster, Jealous Monk, Friar Tuck's Tavern, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, Angie's Pizza, Noble Smokehouse, Oyster Club, Engine Room, Grass & Bone, Somewhere in Time, Pizzetta, Karma Kitchen, and The Harp & Hound. As of Saturday, these restaurants hadn't listed special menus or deals on the chamber website, their websites or Facebook pages.