Celebrate Fox Cities Food January 27-February 5
From fine dining to light casual fare, restaurants in the Fox Cities run the gamut. This month, beginning January 27 and running through February 5, veteran foodies and those new on the scene get the opportunity to experience all they offer in the form of Restaurant Week Fox Cities.
The change in time of year from late summer/early fall to winter stems from the desire to help boost our hardworking area restaurants’ typically slow season. Other than that, Maddie Jack, Marketing Communications Manager for the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, says people can count on the event being pleasantly similar to past years.
“Diners can expect the same great experience they had in 2021 to continue in 2023. Having an incredible local restaurant scene is part of the reason people choose to vacation and live in the Fox Cities. It’s important to showcase the wide variety of cuisines and experiences we offer here while also recognizing that these places don’t exist without the dedication and passion of everyone who works in our local restaurant industry.”
Participating restaurants create “prix fixe” menus—three-course meals for a “fixed price”—in three categories:
Breakfast: $12 (Three courses not required)
Dinner: $28 or $34
Jack offers tips to make Restaurant Week Fox Cities most enjoyable. Know before you go!
- Reservations are not required but always recommended.
- Plan your stops ahead of time by viewing restaurants and menus at restaurantweekfoxcities.com.
- Call the restaurants directly if you have questions on hours, carry out options or other logistical details.
- Follow the Restaurant Week Fox Cities Instagram and Facebook pages for event updates.
- Always show kindness to restaurant staff! Be mindful of the fact that they are working hard to keep up with increased traffic for 10 days.
“If you haven’t heard it enough, supporting local is one of the most important things you can do to help grow the Fox Cities economy,” Jack adds. “Dining at a Restaurant Week establishment is an easy way to support the expansion of our amazing restaurant community while also supporting your neighbors, friends and family that own these businesses. This is also a great opportunity to try a local restaurant you’ve never been to before.
“It’s incredible to see how supportive our community is of this event and our local restaurants. My favorite part is reviewing all the menus ahead of time and seeing the creative dishes restaurants are planning for the week.”
ACOCA, Appleton – Lunch
According to owner William J. Wetzel, Jr. (Bill), downtown Appleton ACOCA’s food is “freshly made with great local ingredients” with extreme flavor in each dish.
Participating in the Lunch category this year, diners can look forward to a great soup and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich, a “Boxed Water” or a can of soda, and a homemade chocolate chip cookie.
But Bill says it’s not just the meal Restaurant Week goers can look forward to at ACOCA.
“We hope that RW will expose us to more folks in the Fox Cities… (it) can help the Fox Cities see the broad range of excellent food that can be found right here. We have a really interesting space, filled with lots of positive people who make really good flavorful food and drinks. Come relax, recharge and leave rejuvenated!”
Fox River Brewing Co., Appleton – Lunch and Dinner
Opened 25 years ago and located within the Fox River Mall in Appleton, Fox River Brewing Co. is a veteran in Restaurant Week, having participated every year. Known for their fully operational brewery, and especially the original Blu Bobber Blueberry Ale, the restaurant will participate in the Lunch and Dinner category this year, focusing on a fun twist.
“We are doing a fun restaurant week theme featuring our incredible Chef Kelly’s pastry talents,” owner Jay Supple says. “Our menu will be called ‘Chef Kelly’s Sweet Shop.’ Although who wouldn’t want three courses of dessert… (it’s) a whimsical sweet-inspired three-course experience.”
Diners can look forward to appetizers like Wasabi Glazed Tuna Lollipops with an Asian slaw and Cheesy Bacon-wrapped Puff Pastry with a Maple Mustard Sauce. Lunch entree options include a French Toast Sandwich: sourdough, ham, turkey, spreadable brie with blackberries and rosemary; and a Peanut Butter & Jelly Burger: patty, lettuce, peanut butter, raspberry jalapeno jelly.
Dinner entree options include Bourbon and Brown Sugar glazed Salmon with Sweet Potato Mash and Broccolini and Brown Butter and Sage Squash Ravioli.
Desserts include Chocolate Panna Cotta Berry Mousse Cake And Carrot Cake.
Supple also urges diners to “make a point to visit as many restaurants as you can to try something new!”
Fratellos Waterfront Restaurant, Appleton – Lunch and Dinner
Overlooking the Fox River, Fratellos Waterfront Restaurant’s culinary team, led by Chef Jordan, features fresh seafood, steaks, unique pastas, salads, sandwiches and more. A craft cocktail list plus wine and their own handcrafted Fox River Beers add to the outdoor and indoor ambiance. The restaurant is offering a little bit of everything this Restaurant Week.
Lunch options include Tuna Tartare, Maui French Onion Soup, Braised Short Rib and Wagyu Sliders, while Dinner menu choices boast Seared Quail, Charred Octopus and Ribeye. (Desserts to be determined!)
“Fratellos Waterfront Restaurant offers some of the most spectacular views in the city,
plus we will be offering our Restaurant Week menus in our River Domes as well,” owner Jay Supple says. “We are locally owned and operated and opened this location up 18 years ago, and our building was originally an early 1900s hydroelectric plant.”
Melting Pot, Appleton – Dinner (+ Lunch Friday-Sunday)
Sporting an interior remodel, Melting Pot in Appleton is primarily a fondue-style restaurant with grill style cooking available at the table.
This year, the Restaurant Week menu is based on an Asian-themed fondue experience featuring Feng Shui Cheese Fondue: Butterkaase, Fontina, White Wine, Mirin, Sake,
Horseradish, Scallions, artisan breads and seasonal fruit and veggies for dipping.
Mandarin & Almond Salad: Romaine, red cabbage, carrots, honey-roasted almonds, wonton Strips, mandarin oranges and a homemade Asian dressing.
Asian Fusion Entrée: Coconut Cilantro Lime Shrimp, Garlic Chili Chicken Breast, Spicy Thai Teriyaki Steak, Chicken Potstickers with seasonal vegetables and signature dipping sauces.
Raspberry Yin & Yang: The buttery flavor of white chocolate is infused with raspberry and artfully swirled with the decadent flavor of dark chocolate. Served with fresh strawberries, blondies, bananas, pineapple, marshmallow treats, pound cake and brownies.
“This is a great way to try fondue for the first time or test out our grill experience, and if you are a regular customer this is a completely different menu offering then our regular menu,” owner Jay Supple says. “This is one of the best things for small businesses and independent restaurants.”
OB’s Brau Haus, Appleton – Dinner
A “contemporary take on traditional German cuisine… (with) hearty portions packed full of flavor” is how owner Chistopher Nelis describes OB’s Brau Haus’ food, and that doesn’t change during Restaurant Week.
Wild Pork Shanks in their haus mushroom peppercorn sauce, Feta Cheese Meatballs with a Garlic Cucumber Tzatziki or Reuben Soup round out the appetizer options, while schnitzels reign supreme in the Dinner entree category:
Jager Schnitzel and Schnitzel Art Des Hauses alongside our deliciously tender Wild Pork Shanks entree, Meatball Dinner in Rahm sauce, and our Czechoslovakian Goulash. To finish, diners choose between German Apple strudel or German Bread Pudding.
“This is a great week to come out and enjoy and learn about German cuisine!” Nelis says. “There is a healthy population of German ancestry in Wisconsin and surprisingly lots of people still think a schnitzel is a type of sausage! Once you have a good schnitzel it is almost impossible to get off your mind.
“This event helps bring the community together through the relaxing experience of dining out! It also shows the people of the community the amazing selection of diverse restaurants that are around as well!”
Osorio’s Latin Fusion, Appleton – Lunch and Dinner
“Fresh, flavorful, creative cuisine with a Latin flair,” Osorio’s Latin Fusion co-owner Kimberly Finnell appreciates Restaurant Week because of its ability to showcase some of the best in the Fox Cities.
“(It) encourages the chefs and restaurateurs to put their best foot forward for their loyal clientele and to attract new customers,” she explains. “We always try to come up with a menu that showcases our flavors and gives some creative options… all while providing a tremendous value to the guests. We are incredibly fortunate in the Fox Valley to have many talented chefs, cook teams, restaurateurs, and service staff. We, at Osorio’s, truly hope the community gets out and tries as many featured restaurants as possible!”
While Osorio’s hasn’t finalized their menu yet, Finnell assures guests will experience the same delicious gluten-free and vegetarian options as throughout the year—with a perk.
“Guests get the most ‘bang for their buck’ during Restaurant Week,” Finnell reminds. “We craft our menus very carefully to give creative cuisine while providing a significant value. It’s an event centered around food! How great is that?!”
Parker John’s, Menasha – Lunch and Dinner
Parker John’s loves being a part of Restaurant Week “because not only does it allow our cooks to get creative by coming up with new menu items, it allows our guests to have a unique dining experience by trying menu items that they have never tried before. It’s an important event for the community because it puts a spotlight on the great restaurants in the area and gets people excited about food!”
Their 2023 Restaurant Week menu is a work in progress, but diners can look forward to “fresh ingredients, made-from-scratch-menu items and above all else amazing BBQ and pizza… we have been experimenting with old school BBQ favorites such as Frito Pie and Burnt Ends for our appetizer selections… (and) are firing up our smokers with different proteins such as salmon and utilizing smoked chicken to create a unique salad/sandwich.
“As always, we will feature one exclusive restaurant week BBQ sauce and an exciting new pizza. Topped off with made-from-scratch desserts, you will definitely feel the Parker John’s touch when dining with us.”
SALT, Kaukauna – Dinner
Salt in Kaukauna uses unique Himalayan Salt Blocks to infuse tremendous flavors into each and every dish, including those offered up during Restaurant Week.
The Dinner menu is still a work in progress, but guests can expect a Himalayan Salt block grilled Wagyu steak and Blackened Ahi Tuna on Himalayan Salt Block.
SALT also boasts being “Home of the $8 Martini,” and are happy to offer an outdoor experience during the winter season.
“We have beautiful outside igloos that make for an extremely unique and enjoyable experience. Happy hour consists of half-priced appetizers and amazing drink specials.
“Join us on our journey as we strive to be known for not only the best steak and seafood around, but also for our stunning atmosphere, top notch service, sophisticated cocktails, variety of craft beers and elaborate wine collection.”
Sticky Fingers, Kaukauna – Breakfast and Lunch
Sticky Fingers Cafe & Catering owner Kim Mischler describes the Kaukauna cafe’s cuisine as “brunch with a modern twist and unique from-scratch bakery,” evidenced by the special offerings for Restaurant Week this year.
“Cozy comfort food” options include Breakfast: French Toast Sticks with two dipping sauces, Bourbon Caramel Sauce & Banana Jam plus fresh fruit and Lunch: Cheesy Bacon & Potato Soup with ½ sandwich and a sweet treat.
“I believe Restaurant Week is a great event to get the public out and experience what the Fox Valley’s food community has to offer,” Mischler says. “ I think this event is important for the community to see what small businesses have to offer and to support them… people should stop by to get a taste of a delicious and unique breakfast/lunch (and) see what Kaukauna has to offer.
Stone Arch Brewpub, Appleton – Lunch and Dinner
Stone Arch Brewpub offers “New American Pub Fare” under Executive Chef Ben Harper, who says “guests can expect some familiar items to the menu with some twists thrown in as well. All menu options will be created with suggested beer pairings in mind.
“It’s easy to say we offer an experience that no one else can in the area. For starters, we’re one of two brewpubs in downtown Appleton. That means, not only are our food items made in-house, but so are all of our award-winning handcrafted beers. Our menu items will be built to pair with the beers we brew. Our entire business honors brewing history in Appleton as Wisconsin’s oldest brewpub operating out of a building constructed in 1858 as a brewery. Add Wisconsin’s best cheese curds, an arcade (brand new) and live music on Tuesdays to the list. It’s a special place.
“Restaurant week has been a great opportunity for us to connect with diners in the area. Whether we’re serving a guest who frequents our brewpub or someone who’s never been, it’s a great way for us to show the range of our capabilities and treat everyone to the Stone Arch experience.”
Stone Arch Tied House, Little Chute – Lunch and Dinner
A Tied House is a British term for a restaurant/pub that is owned by a parent brewery and sells that company’s products. Stone Arch Tied House in Little Chute opened in mid-December 2021, continuing their parent brewery’s focus on high-quality, sustainable foods.
“This will be Stone Arch Tied House’s first year participating in Restaurant Week,” Taylor Greenwood says. “We’re looking forward to showcasing the differences in menu that we feature at the Tied House.
“Guests will have the opportunity to taste Stone Arch’s commitment to locally sourced cuisine with the influence of our Executive Chef, Bryan Maves. Still with the focus on our brewpub roots, we will be pairing Stone Arch beers with the menu items.
“(It) is an interesting opportunity for us to show fans of Stone Arch Brewpub that we’ve got another place nearby that offers nearly the same beer choices but showcases the talents of another highly experienced chef in the Fox Cities. Chef Bryan has created a menu that is unique to him and Stone Arch Tied House and should not be passed by.”
StoneYard Bar & Grill, Appleton – Lunch and Dinner
According to General Manager Bruce Williams, “The Stone Yard Appleton is the perfect destination for American cuisine featuring pizza, wings, and broasted chicken.”
During their first year participating in Restaurant Week, they plan to go outside of the box from their typical everyday menu.
“We think it is a fun event for the community and we want to be a part of that,” Williams says. “For lunch, we are leaning on homemade soups and half sandwiches and for dinner… we are thinking of doing a Cubano, Pork Belly, Brisket Flatbread and a few other things.
“Stone Yard is your place for quality, home-style cooking. Whether you’re coming in for a meeting, party or simply to watch the game, our goal is to make you feel right at home every time you visit.”
“Feedback from diners is extremely important in helping us improve the event each year. Please consider taking the dining experience survey on the Restaurant Week website. All survey respondents are entered to win a $25 gift card.” —Maddie Jack, Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau