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Tacoma Restaurant Week Oct. 20-24 and 27-31, 2019

Kicking off the season with big flavor and a small tab

Eat your way through a foodie-fueled feeding frenzy Oct. 20-24 and 27-31. Photo courtesy Asado

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I am, what some might consider, a glutton. Surprise, surprise. I know. But in my realm of reality, I'm simply a lover of the culinary culture. Chefs take great care to be innovative and creative while also paying respect to the history of cuisine -- it takes a certain sort of genius to craft compelling, delectable dishes that display artistry but also remain true to that which they derived from. Texture, presentation, colors and of course flavor are all valuable components, and when crafting a coursed dining experience, it matters even more so. Add to that a monetary limitation and you're getting into some impressive territory.

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Tacoma Restaurant Week (Oct. 20-24 and Oct. 27-31) challenges participating establishments to curate three-course meals on a dime -- appetizer, entrée and dessert for a slick $30 ($15 if we're talking lunch. I've spent more than $15 at Taco Time, no seriously, I have). As though the value wasn't enough to lure you in, participating establishments tend to use Tacoma Restaurant Week as an opportunity to experiment with seasonal ingredients. With this being the autumn rollout, think cozy, satisfying bites -- as a glutton I'm especially looking forward to creamy bisques, rich entrées, savory carnivore finds, fulfilling pastas and freshly made desserts.

I've listed just a few glimpses of the menus I find especially enticing and anticipate a follow-up feature discussing flavor inspirations with the chefs themselves.

Crab Bisque makes an appearance of Table 47's lunch and dinner offerings. Think Dungeness Crab with pops of fresh flavors, texture and color courtesy of pickled blueberries, cilantro and crisp prosciutto. While we're on the topic of soup, which let's be real, may as be a warm hug warming your heart and your belly, Lobster Shop's Lobster Bisque is a long-time crowd-pleaser. The Matador mixes things up with Tex Mex flare in their Chicken Tortilla Soup loaded with roasted chicken, vegetables, fire-roasted corn, avocado, cotija, cilantro and tortilla strips. You will spy Chowders at Dukes Chowder House and Boathouse 19 - naturally.

Squash and Brie happen to be a couple more of my very favorite fall-time indulgences and lucky for me, both abound. Asado features a Butternut Squash Bisque. This rich dish begs you to scoop spoonfuls into your face with a touch of balsamic drizzle and gremolatta. Matriarch at Alma Mater sets the cozy mood with their lush, green couches and an enticing Roasted Squash Soup with toasted pepitas, smoked yogurt and Ras el Hanout spice. They also use Delicata Squash in their Gnocchi entrée boasting housemade potato dumplings, brown butter, pine nuts and Parmesan. The Social Bar and Grill doubles down on their gourd-loving ways with both a Butternut Squash Bisque and a Chili Con Carne boasting beef brisket, tomato, Modelo Negra, butternut squash, pico de gallo and a side of rustic bread.

Brie cheese has that creamy, delicious funk that I love and is found at Table 47 in a Chicken, Brie and Prosciutto Sandwich, adding caramelized onion and aioli layered on focaccia and served with a side of brussels sprouts. Stanley and Seafort's serves it up on a Bacon Brie Burger which has me drooling at the thought of bacon jam, caramelized onions, peppery arugula and garlic aioli elevating your average burger experience.    

Did I mention that TRW equates to three-course foodie-fueled journeys for a measly $30?! It challenges you to try some spaces whose dollar signs might otherwise deter you and entices you with scrumptious flavors that will have you going back again and again. Stay tuned next week for more from Tacoma Restaurant Week chefs.   

To find participating establishments and menus, visit:

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