Above: Las Vegas Restaurant Week features prix-fixe menus from numerous restaurants around the Las Vegas Valley, including SLS Las Vegas’ Katsuya and its innovative Japanese dishes like the creamy rock shrimp. (Courtesy: SLS Las Vegas)
Whether you’re hungry to help the community, hungry to experience some of the best restaurants and eateries across the Valley, or just simply hungry, the 2018 Las Vegas Restaurant Week, taking place June 18-29, provides the means to satiate your hunger while assisting in relieving an ongoing problem in Southern Nevada.
With more than 41 million Americans struggling with hunger, including nearly 13 million children, according to Feed America’s 2016 statistics, food insecurity is present in every county of America.
Sweeping its way across the country, the Restaurant Week concept began in New York City in July 1992. The event takes place annually, and sometimes even biannually, from January through November in 70 cities around the United States — albeit not all are for the purpose of raising money to fight hunger like Las Vegas.
“Las Vegas is the epicenter of the culinary arts, providing access to some of the world’s best restaurants and most talented chefs — that’s what makes Las Vegas Restaurant Week so unique,” said Brian Burton, president and chief executive officer of Three Square food bank, which benefits from the annual event.
“It’s the time of year when our city’s finest make themselves even more accessible with affordable menus that help feed our hungry neighbors at the same time.”
Presented by Three Square — Southern Nevada’s only food bank — LVRW helps support the local nonprofit, which is a member of the Feeding America food banks network, to continue its fight to end hunger in the region. Three Square serves four counties in Southern Nevada: Clark — by far the most populous county in the state — Nye, Lincoln and Esmeralda.
One in eight Southern Nevadans struggle with hunger. Three Square, along with its affiliate Feeding America, estimates that the number of individuals who are food insecure — meaning they aren’t able to secure enough food for a healthy diet and active lifestyle — in the nonprofit’s service area is greater than 271,000.
Three Square sources food, raises funds and, with the help of volunteers, supplies its program partners with food and services. The nonprofit currently provides more than 37 million meals — equal to more than 45 million pounds of food and grocery products — per year to more than 1,600 community partners. Its service network of community partners includes other nonprofits and faith-based organizations, meal programs, schools, shelters and more.
In excess of 160 Valley restaurants offering prix-fixe menus ranging from $20 to $80 are participating in this year’s 12th installment of LVRW. A fixed portion of each meal’s cost benefits Three Square, and 100 percent of all proceeds collected support the nonprofit’s mission of providing meals to food-insecure residents of Southern Nevada.
This year, LVRW kicks off with the second annual Summer Cookout event featuring celebrity chef Robert Irvine. The event will be held June 14, from 7-10 p.m., at Irvine’s Public House restaurant located inside Tropicana Las Vegas. It will feature chef-prepared summertime favorite dishes and cocktails.
Another special culinary event of LVRW is “CommunEATy,” touted as being “a new kind of social gathering.” This extraordinary late-night dining experience will be held June 24 at The Kitchen at Atomic on Fremont Street. It will begin with a social hour at 11 p.m. featuring games, music and libations, followed by an eclectic midnight dinner.
Since its inception in 2007, LVRW has raised $1.4 million thanks to the support of visitors, locals and the Las Vegas Valley’s restaurant community. This past year, the fund-raising event brought in more than $200,000, a record-breaking amount, which provided more than 600,000 meals to those in need.
Visit the Las Vegas Restaurant website for a full list of participating restaurants and more information. Diners also are encouraged to share their experiences and be a part of the conversation on Twitter and Instagram by following @threesquarelv and using the hashtags #LVRW and #HelpOutDineOutLV, as well as on Facebook by ‘Liking’ the Las Vegas Restaurant Week page.