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Sampling the menu
Local eateries participate in Restaurant Week

LAWRENCEVILLE - Reservations recommended.

The fourth annual Gwinnett Restaurant Week will begin Monday, with 17 restaurants offering a three-course dinner for guests, who can sample the selected fare for $21.21 plus tax and gratuity, each night through Thursday.

The various menu selections include appetizers, salads, wine selections and soups for first courses. A bevy of second-course entree selections from seafood to steaks and everything in between are available, including seared scallops at Aqua Terra Bistro in Buford, butternut squash ravioli at Sperata on the Square in Lawrenceville and blackened grouper served at The Thorn Tree in Norcross, all culminating in mouthwatering dessert delights, from warm, molten chocolate cake at Hi Life Kitchen and Cocktails in Norcross to caramel pecan cheesecake at Park Cafe in Duluth.

"(This is) our way of showcasing our restaurants and letting visitors and residents know what fantastic dining options can be found in our own backyard," said Lisa Anders, marketing communications director for the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Restaurant Week was an idea that came out of an analysis of traffic on the GCVB's Web site and visitor and convention inquiries.

"One of the overwhelming topics people wanted to know about was food," Anders said, "and they were really specifically looking for unique local destinations."

Gwinnett residents can dine at any - or all - of these participating restaurants:

· Aqua Terra Bistro - Reservations not accepted, promotional menu available from 5 to 10 p.m., 18 percent gratuity to be added to final bill, 55 E. Main St., Buford, 770-271-3000

· Carrabba's Sugarloaf, Duluth - Reservations not accepted, 2030 Sugarloaf Circle, Duluth, 770-497-4959

· Dominick's Lawrenceville - Reservations required, 197 W. Crogan St., Lawrenceville, 770-277-8477

· Dominick's Norcross - Reservations required, 95 S. Peachtree St., Norcross, 770-449-1611

· Hi Life Kitchen and Cocktails - Reservations required, 3380 Holcomb Bridge Road, Norcross, 770-409-0101

· Kurt's featuring Vreny's Biergarten - Reservations required, 4225 River Green Parkway, Duluth, 770-623-4128

· The Melting Pot - Reservations required, 3610 Satellite Blvd., Duluth, 770-623-1290

· Paizanos - Reservations recommended, 7 Jones St., Norcross, 770-300-0250

· Park Cafe - Reservations required, 3579 W. Lawrenceville St., Duluth, 770-476-2989

· Picasso Cafe and Wine Bar - Reservations required, 39 E. Main St., Buford, 678-482-8661

· Sean's American Bistro - Reservations required, 33 Buford Village Way, Buford, 678-714-2784

· Sperata - Reservations required, 9 E. Main St., Buford, 678-546-9111

· Sperata on the Square - Reservations required, 179 W. Crogan St., Lawrenceville, 770-910-7705

· Stoney River - Priority seating with call ahead seating offered, diners must advise hostess of requesting the $21.21 promotional menu, 20 percent gratuity added to all checks, 5800 State Bridge Road, Duluth, 770-476-0102

· Sugo Restaurant and Tapas - Reservations required, 10305 Medlock Bridge Road, Duluth, 770-817-8000

· The Thorn Tree, Norcross - Reservations required, 6025 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, 770-817-8733

· J Alexander's - Reservations accepted, 5245 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, 770-263-9755

Anders recommended guests make reservations early - reservations are required at most of the restaurants - by calling the restaurants directly. Menus can be viewed online at www.gcvb.org/restaurant week.

SideBar: If you dine

· What: Gwinnett Restaurant Week

· When: Monday through Thursday

· Where: 17 restaurants throughout Gwinnett

· Cost: $21.21 plus tax and gratuity for a three-course meal

· For more information: Visit www.gcvb.org/restaurantweek