Restaurant Week: Annual event begins Monday in Old Town Winchester

Chris Buckler, executive chef at the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, holds a plate featuring George's crab cakes with whipped potatoes, sauteed asparagus, and kalamata tartar. Rich Cooley/Daily

WINCHESTER – Foodies unite! Winchester Restaurant Week is almost here.

The annual event sponsored by Winchester Main Street Foundation will be held Monday through Feb. 24 and will feature seven local chefs and their restaurants including: Brewbakers, Cork Street Tavern, George’s Food & Spirits, Joe’s Steakhouse, Village Market & Bistro, Village Square Restaurant and Violino’s.

Joel Richardson, secretary of the Winchester Main Street Foundation, said the purpose of Restaurant Week is to introduce diners to the mall’s many restaurants.

“Many cities have restaurant week to encourage tourism and locals to come out and try new things,” Richardson said. “So we decided to do the same thing.”

Winchester Main Street Foundation’s goal, Richardson said, is to encourage local businesses and organize events to promote the city in a positive way.

A dish at George's: fired calamari with yum yum sauce Rich Cooley/Daily

Participating restaurants will offer three or more courses for a prix fixe of $30.

Chef Chris Buckler, of George’s Food & Spirits at the George Washington Hotel, is experiencing his first Restaurant Week in Winchester.

“Every day is a new expedition,” Buckler said about bringing creativity into hise kitchen. “It’s part of the fun.”

As for Restaurant Week, Buckler said he’s most excited about serving the community.

“I enjoy being a chef,” he said. “Sharing what I love most with people is what I call a good day.”

Just in time for Restaurant Week, George’s menu has changed. Crab cakes are making a popular return and other items on the menu include Bavarian pretzel sticks, burgundy short ribs and tres leches cake.

“What I figure is that if you have good product, food can be simple,” he explained. “Let the product speak for itself. Don’t try to hide or mask them, which allows their greatness and individuality to shine.”

Suzi Smith, manager of the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, prides herself on serving good quality food to the community.

“We pick the best of the best,” she said. “That’s what our customers know and love about George’s.”

Buckler said he finds his inspiration from other restaurants and chefs, both locally and nationally, but enjoys putting his own creative spin on each entrée.

“I like to see what the trends are,” he said. “But I don’t copy or mimic what I see other chefs doing. I may learn from them but in the end, I do my own thing. That’s what creativity is about.”

He said he finds balance and harmony for each course by taste testing and from his many years of experience.

To see restaurant menus for Restaurant Week, visit: www.winchesterrestaurantweek.com