Taste of Downtown returns with new dates, format

harrisonburgTaste of Downtown, Harrisonburg’s restaurant week, returns for the eighth year on Sunday, April 24th through Thursday, April 28th. Traditionally, this week-long event has focused on deals and discounts. However, this year’s celebration will feature new, innovative menus; one-of-a-kind restaurant collaborations; chef expos and culinary events that showcase our thriving, downtown food scene.

“The concept of Taste of Downtown is not changing; it’s being elevated to a new level,” says Kim Kirk, director of promotions at Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. “Rather than focus on discounts, Taste of Downtown will recognize the culinary skill, creativity and spirit of collaboration that exists downtown.”

During the event, participating restaurants will offer a variety of culinary experiences. Several restaurants such as Clementine and Food.Bar.Food will offer small plate menus that allow diners to sample multiple dishes from the menu. This format is also perfect for foodies who want to explore multiple restaurants while creating their own progressive dinner — appetizers at one restaurant, an entrée at another, and dessert at a third. Other locations like the Artful Dodger, Pure Eats, and Kline’s Dairy Bar will roll out creative dishes and desserts that are brand new.

Perhaps the most exciting change is the addition of collaborations between restaurants. For the first time, chefs are teaming up to show off their creativity and boast support for their fellow downtown businesses. Some of the collaborations you’ll see include:

  • a Bella Luna-inspired burger on Cuban Burger’s menu;
  • a Cuban pizza at Bella Luna;
  • ice cream from Kline’s Dairy Bar paired with fried oreos at Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint;
  • Three Notche’d beer paired with cheeses from Friendly City Food Co-op
  • And more!

Much of downtown Harrisonburg’s revitalization success is the result of strong partnerships within the community. “We’re leveraging the power of partnerships to grow Taste of Downtown into a regional event,” says Brenda Black, director of tourism for the City of Harrisonburg. Taste of Downtown will host a media tour on Tuesday, April 26th. Travel writers, food bloggers and an acclaimed chef will be in attendance. “We are excited to host this tour and introduce our local chefs, brew masters, and restaurateurs who have built Virginia’s first Culinary District.”

For more information, including a list of participating restaurants, please visit www.downtownharrisonburg.org/events/taste-of-downtown.

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