Georgia has a wide variety of dining options and an abundance of creative dishes that we can all feast on during Georgia Restaurant Week. From flavorful Italian pastas to juicy sirloin steaks, savory buttermilk fried chicken to pan-seared snapper, Georgia Restaurant Week has you covered. But when preparing menus for restaurant week, chefs try to keep one culinary trend top of mind — sourcing local ingredients. Sustainability is always in season in Georgia, and using local ingredients never goes out of style.
Georgia Restaurant Week celebrates the flavors of Georgia and aims to highlight unique local ingredients. The second annual event is brought to you by the Georgia Restaurant Association and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. From Monday, July 18 to Sunday, July 24, participating restaurants will showcase their menu options at a fixed price of either $15, $25 or $35. Here are some insights into how a few restaurants are featuring local ingredients on their special restaurant week menus:
Head over to Common Quarter in Marietta if you’re in the mood for some seafood. They will be serving Georgia mountain trout, summer vegetable succotash, BBQ butter and crispy Vidalia onions, as well as Georgia shrimp, Logan Turnpike grits, heirloom tomato, corn, chiles and basil as one of their many menu options.
Springer Mountain chicken
A few restaurants will be featuring Springer Mountain chicken, which comes from a farm nestled in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You will enjoy dinner at Zola Italian in Milton, where they are serving a cacciatore dish with bone-in Springer Mountain Farms chicken thighs braised in DOP San Marzano tomatoes for five hours and served with two links of sausage from Double Hill Farms. This is served over a bed of wild mushrooms, stuffed agnolotti, and topped with some fire-roasted red and yellow peppers.
Farmview Market Café in Madison features delicious, locally sourced offerings at their farm-to-table café. Try one of their first course options, which is a Farmview Market charcuterie sampler with Springer Mountain chicken liver mousse, pate and local pork sausage, served with toasted Luna Baking Co. bread.
Peaches and other local ingredients
Keen on trying something peachy? KR Steakbar in Atlanta is showcasing an 8-oz. pork chop with Georgia peach mostarda, arugula and pickled chili.
These are just a few examples of the amazing dining options that will be offered by restaurants during Georgia Restaurant Week. Browse the participating restaurants on ExploreGeorgia.org, and get more information on participating restaurants and menu items on GARestaurantWeek.com.
Since sourcing locally has remained a top culinary trend for chefs, it’s great to see so many Georgia restaurants incorporating local products into their menus. When asked which current food trend has grown the most over the last decade, 44 percent of chefs said local sourcing. Chefs serve as a culinary translator and bridge the gap between the farmers and consumers. When chefs highlight local Georgia products on their menu, it increases awareness on the bounty of produce available in Georgia. When consumers support local, seasonal foods while dining out, it helps our industry to be more sustainable, both for the environment and the economy.
Rachel Bell is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA), an organization that serves as the voice of Georgia’s restaurants in Advocacy, Education and Awareness. She has over eight years of experience in the hospitality industry and specializes in Digital Marketing.