Feeding Frenzies Return To Downtown

Downtown Dining Weeks brings local eateries together.

Aster Pantry & Parlor. Michael Davis photo

Got cabin fever? An itch to get out? Here’s a reason to pull on your jacket: Downtown Dining Weeks.

The 12th annual event, during which participating restaurants offer special menus of three courses for $25 or less, runs Feb. 15 to 29. It’s sponsored by Renzi Food Service and the Downtown Committee of Syracuse.

Twenty-nine restaurants will participate this year and eight are new to the event, according to Alice Maggiore, communications coordinator for the Downtown Committee. The newbies — including Aster Pantry & Parlor; Peppino’s Neapolitan Express; Liehs & Steigerwald; Creole Soul; The York; Clinton Street Pub; and The Evergreen — highlight the boom in new restaurants in downtown Syracuse in the last year. Old favorites are also participating, such as Pastabilities, Kitty Hoynes and Lemon Grass.

One “restaurant” taking part isn’t actually a restaurant. Sky Armory, a chic, multi-floor space for private parties located in the former Wells and Coverly Building (351 S. Clinton St.), will turn its third floor into a “pop-up” restaurant serving elegant, upscale fare prepared by its culinary team, including executive chef Jason Jessmore and pastry chef Esther Houston (formerly of 83 & Co.). The venue is taking reservations at 473-0826 and will also accept walk-ins.

Amy Bleier Long, social media and marketing manager for Sky Armory, says offering the “pop-up” during Dining Weeks is a way to spotlight Sky’s focus on restaurant-quality food.

“Guests who have come to events at Sky often ask how they can get Sky food outside of being invited to an event,” she says. “Being part of Dining Weeks is a great way for us to have people experience our global flavors and fresh, from-scratch food without having to wait for a specific event.” View its Dining Weeks menu at

Aster Pantry & Parlor recently introduced its new winter menu and will offer an abbreviated menu for Dining Weeks that is reflective of the seasons, says Johnathan Gregory, vice president of operations for RainDog Hospitality Group, the company that owns and operates the restaurant (formerly Small Plates Detroit, P.J. Dorsey’s and others).

“We are very excited because we feel that Dining Week gives people a reason to get out and go to some of the newer restaurants that they have been meaning to try,” he adds.

For more information, visit Menus will be posted at the Downtown Committee website as they become available.

Participating restaurants include:

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