Dig in to Restaurant Week

The annual event highlighting Hinsdale's dining destinations returns next week

Your table awaits!

Hinsdale Restaurant Week kicks off Friday, May 13, running through Sunday, May 22, and the village's eateries are readying to give diners gastronomic experiences they can only enjoy here.

The annual event, sponsored by the village and its economic development commission, is an opportunity to let Hinsdale residents and those in the surrounding area experience what the town is serving up.

"The restaurant scene in Hinsdale continues to thrive", said Kathleen Gargano, Hinsdale's village manager. "The customer base for our restaurants extends beyond Hinsdale borders as word continues to spread of the wonderful food options available."

Customers can enjoy a specially prepared menu, discounts on food, or sometimes both. Village newcomer Sauced Pizzeria, which last year took over Baldinelli's at 114 S. Washington St., is offering a pair of $45 dinner-for-two multi-course selections, one with a build-your-own pasta entreé and the other featuring a two-topping pizza. Just make sure to save room for dessert.

"Either the cheesecake or the tiramisu - and the cheesecake is homemade," owner Greg White related.

White is hoping Restaurant Week will help spread the word that his establishment offers more than delivery and carry-out service.

"We are a dine-in place, and we have some good options for (diners) for both food and for beverages," White said, highlighting the well-stocked bar.

Officials are delighted that 13 restaurants are participating this year, the most ever. Restaurant Week was previously held in March. But when the pandemic compelled the shift to outdoor dining, it was moved to the more al fresco-friendly May, which clearly seems popular with eateries and diners.

The village has recently taken steps to support outdoor dining by modifying its regulations around the practice to help restaurants design their areas, and investing in more attractive barriers to separate the eating areas from traffic.

"Based on the positive feedback from our residents, outdoor dining will again be offered," Gargano said. "The plan will allow our community to enjoy the outdoors while dining in an aesthetically pleasing environment."

And the offerings are not limited to dinner service, with several breakfast and lunch spots catering to the daytime appetite. Garden Berry Café in Gateway Square, another newer arrival opened last year by couple Selene Padilla and José Jasso, will take 15 percent off customers' bills during the week. Padilla said she was alerted to Restaurant Week by her loyal clientele.

"A lot of our customers are the ones that actually are letting us know and keeping us informed," Padilla said. "We want to let people know that we're here and give them special discounts, as long as they come and give it a try. Hopefully they like it and they keep on coming back."

There are no passes to buy, coupons to carry or cards to punch. Reservations are highly recommended - and be sure to mention "Restaurant Week."

"I look forward to the restaurants being able to showcase their food offerings," Gargano said.

Of course the hope is that those in the know about the diverse culinary landscape in town will introduce it to family or friends through the event.

"I think it's really good for traffic," White said of Restaurant Week.

But even locals are likely to have a fresh taste sensation.

"For us, being a new concept - but not necessarily a new restaurant - we've rebranded and added 22 things to the menu, so it's getting people in here to look at it." White said. "I've had so many people come in here and go, 'Oh my gosh, I didn't realize you served this kind of stuff.' "

Gargano said there's no better to time to discover, or rediscover, a favorite spot.

"Our restaurants offer a vast number of amazing items," she said. "Each restaurant has a little something for everyone and it's sure to be an enjoyable experience for all".

For details on Hinsdale Restaurant Week, visit https://hinsdaledining.com. Prices listed do not include tip or tax.