Feast Around the Fox Cities

Happening January 2-31

If your resolution for the new year is to expand your horizons and try new things, you’re in luck—especially if you’re  a foodie.

For the month of January, the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau (FCCVB) brings a new concept to the local food scene: Feast Around the Fox Cities.

The approach (taking the place of Restaurant Week this year) not only considers hungry diners, but the restaurants working hard behind the scenes. 

“That was something that we really wanted to think about,” Leah Szews, Social Media Marketing Specialist of the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, explains. “We wanted to make it user friendly for people who are attending the event, but also on the flip side of that, those who are carrying out the event—the establishments. We wanted to make sure that it was easy to execute.”

Feast Around the Fox Cities differs from past food-centric events in that it’s an entire month long, and it’s going digital.
It’s a trend a lot of other communities are seeing, one that the FCCVB thinks is a perfect component for the “Feastival.”

“So around the country, a lot of things are going digital but we still have an experience where people walk through the doors of a local restaurant or bar,” Szews says.

How the Feastival Works

Establishments across the Fox Cities have crafted a special menu item exclusively for the Feast Around the Fox Cities mobile passport. Available only from January 2-31.

Diners download the mobile passport created by the FCCVB (on, serving as a “ticket” to check in to local participants.

Browse participating local establishments you want to try on the app, and when you visit the establishment, open up your mobile passport and be sure to use the check-in feature at that location. Each establishment will provide you with their unique check-in code when you show them the passport.

“You can try new dishes and drinks at a wide variety of local hotspots including bakeries, cafes, neighborhood sports bars, cocktail lounges and fine dining restaurants,” Szews says. “Restaurants are excited about this. They’re excited for something new.

“It can be overstated, but really there’s something for everyone. From restaurants to local bakeries and bars… this caters to what people are looking for.”

A few of the participating restaurants and their exclusive dishes include:

Area 509

Area 509’s objective “has always been to share our culture with you through flavorful and delicious dishes that will give you the authentic Caribbean Taste.”

For the Feast Around the Fox Cities, the eatery is doing so through three entree flights.

“If you’re new to a restaurant and torn on the item to try, why not have something that provides a few options?” Roxanne Adams, Manager of Area 509, asks. “The three flight options we are offering are:

The Cheesy Trio: Includes pork mac, a Haitian patty and loaded plantain chips
Feeling Spicy: Includes jerk chicken w/rice & beans, jerk pork mac, shrimp w/pikliz
The Classics: Includes pork mac, griot, jerk chicken w/rice and beans

“Learning about the new concept for the event is exciting because it gives us a whole month to try out a menu feature and also connect with new and returning restaurant guests. Even if new guests are not coming for the featured item, we are happy to connect and show the community that we’re much more than the “spicy food” label that is placed on Haitian food or Caribbean food. We have options for just about any eating preferences as well as restrictions: vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, mild spice, lots of spice – just let us know and we’ll be happy to discuss the options to make sure everyone is accommodated, full and happy.”

Cafe Aquila

At Cafe Aquila, they “strive to craft an enticing and unique atmosphere while staying locally sourced and environmentally friendly.”

The new restaurant in Appleton is excited to participate in the new event for added exposure to the cafe and is offering specials:

Short Rib Breakfast Tacos: “Coffee-ancho braised short rib, scrambled eggs, onions, cotija cheese, salsa verde, ancho-guajillo sauce, cilantro, avocado, on a corn or flour tortilla, side of house potatoes and fruit. A vegetarian option will substitute roasted peppers and onions for short rib,” Bryan Maves, Head Chef, explains.

Black Forest Croque Madame: Black forest ham, Mornay sauce, dijon sauce, sunny side up egg, chives, sourdough, house potatoes, fruit.

Cleo’s Brown Beam Cocktail Lounge

Charming and Christmas-centric Cleo’s downtown is elevating a Wisconsin staple for the feast.

The Blackberry Brandy Old Fashioned is a brandy old fashioned with a twist.

“We are happy to participate,” Alicia Andrews, manager, says. “Since we aren’t a restaurant, this is the first year we have been able to!”

Santé Wine Bar & Bistro

Known for wine, cocktails and small plates, Sante Wine Bar & Bistro brings an elevated comfort dish to the forefront for guests in January.

Chicken Pot Pie: Housemade Chicken Pot Pie, Roasted Carrots, Peas, Cream Sauce, Topped with a Biscuit.

“We like participating in things like this, it brings new guests into the restaurant, guests who may not have had a chance to experience what we have to offer,” Matt Gloede, Owner, says. “We have so much more to offer than just wine. I love the idea of this concept so much more because it’s a lot easier for us as restaurant owners, chefs and staff to execute.”

Whisk & Arrow

“Our item is a delicious 8 oz latte called ‘Remembrance’ because of the rosemary included in this drink. Rosemary has long been used to strengthen memory, and who couldn’t use that in the New Year? Complemented by other things we crave on long cold winter nights: vanilla, citrus, and brown sugar,”  owner Nea Hahn, says. “The comfort and familiarity of vanilla, the bright citrus cutting through the darkness, the smokey warmth of sitting by a fireside from the torched rosemary. And of course, a touch of sweetness from the brown sugar espresso.”

Check In to Win

Each check-in completed on your mobile passport will count as an entry submission to FCCVB’s Ultimate Fox Cities Giveaway valued at over $1,000.00. There is no limit as to how many submissions you can have, however, you may not check-in at the same place more than once per day. Additionally, 12 lucky Feast Around the Fox Cities mobile passport holders will be selected to win $50-$100 gift cards to local establishments. The more check-ins you earn, the more chances you have to win. (Winners will be drawn and notified at the conclusion of the event.)

The Ultimate Fox Cities Giveaway Grand Prize:

  • Two Night Stay at Best Western Premier Bridgewood Resort Hotel in Neenah (terms and blackout dates may apply)
  • Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Gift Card – $300
  • RYE Restaurant – $200
  • Downtown Neenah Gift Certificate – $100
  • Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Gift Card – $100
  • Xe54: Wine and Cocktail Lounge – $50
  • The Sweet Lair – $50
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