Feb 262009
Authors: kelly bleck

Restaurants cook up dinner specials priced at $18.68 in celebration of Fort Collins establishment in 1868.

Downtown restaurants have collaborated for three years, encouraging residents to dine out and try a plethora of restaurants.

Fish, Austin’s and The Rustic Oven are just three of the 27 participating restaurants.

“It’s really to bring activity downtown during a time of year that has traditionally been slow,” said Amanda Miller, event director for the Downtown Business Association. “It helps convey to the community what a great dining culture we have here downtown.”

The restaurants will serve a full service dinner for only $18.68, not including tip or the addition of a donation to the Larimer County Food Bank.

“We have a partnership with Larimer County Food Bank,” Miller said. “It’s an additional donation that people can leave, besides the tip.”

All the donations will be collected on March 16, the last day of Great Plates. Last year the food bank received $7,600, Miller said.

“It allows people to come out and have a great time downtown and at the same time give back to the community,” she said.

The cuisine ranges from steak and seafood to ethnic cuisine and even breakfast.

“This year The Silver Grill Café is offering a two fried egg special instead of a full service dinner because they’re traditionally a breakfast and lunch only restaurant,” Miller said. “There are a few new ones: Rodizio Grill, which is Brazilian; LuLu Asian Bistro; and Sonny Lubick Steakhouse.”

Sponsors include Yancey’s food service, Stella Artois, The Fort Collins Coloradoan, Music Sponsor Bohemian Foundation, Citizen Printing and the Downtown Business Association.

“For the first time we’re adding a music element to Great Plates, with some outside wandering through downtown and some inside the restaurants,” Miller said. “It’s a chance for the sponsors to showcase a really unique product, like Stella Artois. Yancey’s has been supportive since year one.”

Great Plates will be running March 1 to 14 from 5 p.m. to close at the participating restaurants. Visit www.DowntownFortCollins.com for menu options.

Staff writer Kelly Bleck can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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