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Restaurants planning a week of deals

The week of March 22 will be "W.N.Y. Restaurant Week," where local places lure value-conscious customers with preset meals priced at a timely $20.09.

The effort to fill restaurant tables in the post-Valentine's Day lull has been a fixture in New York City and Toronto. Now Western New York diners can get a fresh set of opportunities, with restaurants listed on the Web site localrestaurantweek.com, according to Mike Andrzejewski of Sea Bar, one of the organizers of the event.

The Web site was to be launched today.

Some restaurants involved include: Bacchus, Cozumel, Creekview Tavern, Encore, Le Metro, Oliver's, Pano's, Prime 490, Roycroft Inn, Sea Bar, Siena, Sole, Tabree, Trattoria Aroma, Torches, Tempo, and The Wine Thief.

Another 20 restaurants are in the process of finalizing their participation, he said.

"It's going to be customized for each restaurant, so your favorite restaurant probably will be involved," said Andrzejewski. The $20.09 offer might be a complete meal at one place, or an entree and a glass of wine at another.

The chefs and staff at area restaurants want to show they understand that these are lean times, Andrzejewski said. "Even though these economic times are tough, you can get deals and stretch your money a little better," he said.

Every year, the first quarter of the year is a tough time for area restaurants, said Peter Longo, president of the New York State Restaurant Association's local chapter.

"It's a chance to remind people that there are excellent restaurants in the area serving some real values," said Longo. Hopefully people will take the opportunity to go to a new restaurant without a lot of money at stake, he said.

If it works, both will benefit, he said: "They'll find a new restaurant, and the restaurant will hopefully find a new regular customer."

e-mail: agalarneau@buffnews.com

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