Downtown Restaurant Week is in full swing in the city’s convention district


Just days after the mammoth Microsoft convention worked wonders for the finances of struggling restaurants, hotels and attractions downtown, comes a flood of foodies this week and next, eager to slurp up some savings during Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week.

On Wednesday night, the staff at French American Brasserie at 30 Ivan Allen Boulevard kept busy graciously greeting Downtown Restaurant Week samplers, along with regular diners all while guiding guests for a private rooftop party toward the elevator.

For the first time this year, the 27 participating restaurants (everyone from the tony Ritz-Carlton Atlanta Grill, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and the rotating Sun Dial Restaurant high atop the Westin to Max Lager’s Wood-Fired Grill & Brewery and Pascal’s) were given the option to offer a three-course meal at $25 and a $35 price point.

But FAB was sticking to the original $25 bargain.

“The original mission of Downtown Restaurant Week was to provide a economical way to introduce diners to all the wonderful things we have to offer here,” explained FAB’s Cindy Brown. “We wanted to be consistent this year.”

Added FAB owner Fabrice Vergez: “To be honest, the prices of meat and seafood drive the price of everything else on the menu. You’re not going to find a superior piece of meat or fish for a few bucks more. You’re not really doing much to change your bottom line. We’re very happy to offer to $25 deal if we have an opportunity to introduce diners to what we’re doing downtown. People always think we’re so far away until they visit the first time. Then they realize how close by we are.”

Of course, Vergez still has a lot of good will  and customer loyalty built from serving regulars for years at his former Brasserie Le Coze at Lenox Square, the successor to FAB.

So far this week, we’re hearing that foodies have been busy scouring the posted Downtown Restaurant Week menus online looking for the best deals.

And while some veteran Week regulars have groused in past years about being treated as if they were coupon clippers at some establishments, we’re pleased to report that FAB diners were being treated like royalty Wednesday night (Atlanta magazine dining critic Bill Addison wants to hear your feedback on your experiences ).

Whether you ordered off the $25 Downtown Restaurant Week table tent or not.

Downtown Restaurant Week runs through August 8.