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Baltimore County Restaurant Week kicks off Friday

starts Friday and runs through Jan. 27. Chefs and owners from some of the 44 participating restaurants were expected to join Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce President Keith Scott on Thursday morning at Patrick's of Cockeysville for a Restaurant Week kick-off event.

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The county's version, unlike the city's, allows restaurants to set the fixed-price for their menus anywhere from $10 to $35 for anywhere from one to four courses. That makes comparing menus rough.

The blue ribbon for the county's best restaurant week menu goes, hands-down, to Il Basilico (formerly Pasta Blitz), which is presenting an eight-course menu of slow-cooked Italian food. The courses are smaller, said Il Basilico owner and chef Anna Di Pierno, but diners will be able to taste more things. The plates include gnocchi with a pesto of pistachio and bacon, "sea-aroma" risotto with pears and Gulf shrimp, zucchini alla scapece, steamed tuna and a dessert trio of tiramisu, millefoglie and ciambella (Italian doughnuts).

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Here's the breakdown of which restaurants are operating on the high and low ends. Keep in mind you won't necessarily find better value on the low end or better food on the high. Some of the participating restaurants are also offering specially priced lunch menus. Ten or so restaurants hadn't posted their Restaurant Week menus on the

by Wednesday afternoon.

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$35.13

Artful Gourmet -

Cafe Troia -

Linwoods -

Manor Tavern -

Michael's Cafe -

Patrick's of Cockeysville -

Ruth's Chris Steak House -

The Milton Inn -

Oregon Grille -

Williamsburg Inn -

$33.13

Bluestone -

$30.13

Barrett's Grill -

Il Basilico Trattoria Italiana -

Basta Pasta -

Candlelight Inn -

Costas -

Havana Road Cuban Cafe -

Mari Luna Latin Grille -

plus a glass of house wine or sangria

The Melting Pot -

Pappas -

Towson Tavern -

-

$28.13

The Harp -

$25.13

7 West Bistro --

Della Rose's --

Fountainside --

$20.13

McAvoy's -

$15.13

Island View Riverfront Restaurant --

Yasou Greek Bistro --

Miscellany

Charles Village Pub --

priced at $12.13 or $15.13

Friendly Farms --

and children's meals between $2.13 and $5.13

The Peppermill --

, priced at $25.13 or $35.13 depending on choice of entree

S&J Crab Ranch --

, priced at $25.13 or $30.13 depending on choice of entree

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