A week of high dining

More than 70 Newport Beach restaurants will serve up popular dishes at a slashed price during the city's restaurant week, which kicks off Friday.

Some of the city's most elite eateries are participating in the eighth annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week, which runs for 10 days through Jan. 26, said Jenna Thompson, director of operations for McFarlane Promotions, the company organizing the event.

Participating restaurants offer three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for $20, $30 and $40 per person and lunch menus for $10, $15 or $20 per person.

The event is scheduled after the holidays because it's traditionally slower in the restaurant industry, Thompson said.

"It's a way to celebrate the culinary community," she said. "It's not only about getting a discounted price; it's about the chefs having the opportunity to show what they're best known for."

The Fashion Island restaurant Canaletto has participated in restaurant week since it opened four years ago, said Girogio Tegami, the restaurant's general manager.

"It attracts a lot of people because of the value and the menu we offer," he said.

Canaletto is a sister restaurant to Il Fornaio group. The Newport Beach restaurant focuses on the food and wine of the Veneto region of Italy and is offering a variety of dishes for its three-course $20 lunch and $40 dinner during restaurant week.

"We know what items people like the most, and we try to put a variety of items on the menu to please everyone," Tegami said. "We want to give people options to choose from."

Tegami estimates that the average savings for a diner at Canaletto's during restaurant week is about 20%.

The Alley Restaurant and Bar, located at 4501 West Coast Hwy. is offering a $15 lunch and $30 dinner.

For more than 25 years, the Alley has been a hot spot for Newport Beach dining.

Thompson suggests that diners call ahead to reserve a table at their restaurant of choice.

For a list of participating restaurants, visit newportbeachdining.com.

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