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Houston Restaurant Weeks Will Reveal Its Initial List Today

Peli Peli  will introduce a new menu for Houston Restaurant Weeks.
Peli Peli will introduce a new menu for Houston Restaurant Weeks. Photo by Raul Casares and Sean Maxwell of WOND3R

Houston Restaurant Weeks 2020 goes live today, July 17, with its list of participating restaurants. This will be the first year without its founder Cleverley Stone, who passed away of cancer this past May. Stepping into her mighty shoes will be her daughter, Katie Stone, who is assuming the leadership role of producing Houston Food Bank's largest annual fundraiser. It was Stone's final wish that Houston Restaurant Weeks continue in her name. This year, it runs from August 1 through Labor Day, September 7.

Houston Restaurant Weeks was founded by Stone in 2003. She was a local journalist, radio and television personality who not only knew her way around food and restaurants but also endeared herself to the restaurateurs and local businesses owners, a trait that helped her recruit so many of Houston's best restaurants to her cause, from fine dining classics and high-priced steakhouses to barbecue joints and Tex-Mex favorites.

Cleverley Stone was the force behind Houston Restaurant Weeks. - PHOTO BY HOUSTON RESTAURANT WEEKS
Cleverley Stone was the force behind Houston Restaurant Weeks.
Photo by Houston Restaurant Weeks
Katie Stone said in a press release, " It has been a great comfort to me to hear from so many of my mother's friends and supporters as we gear up for this year's restaurant weeks. With COVID such an obvious factor in this year's preparation and planning, we are still very hopeful that Houston Restaurant Weeks will benefit both the restaurant industry and the Houston Food Bank."

This year, the set donation for the prix fixe, multicourse meals will be $1 per meal, less than the $3-5 of recent years. The change was made this year to allow more restaurant to participate despite financial challenges resulting from the pandemic. This year will also see a number of take-out and delivery options so that customers who wish to stay home can still participate in this much anticipated Houston foodie event.

The HRW list will go live July 17 but will be updated through August 1 as more restaurants come on board. Each restaurant can choose to do lunch ($20), brunch ($20) and two dinner options ($35 or $45). Restaurants will offer two to three courses for the set amount, which has always enticed Houston diners to try new restaurants for a reasonable price.

Etoile got into the spirit in 2019. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Etoile got into the spirit in 2019.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
Houston Restaurant Weeks has brought in 16.6 million dollars for Houston Food Bank which also partners with the Montgomery County Food Bank and Galveston County Food Bank. Because HRW has grown to include more than 250 restaurants all over town and beyond, including Sugar Land, The Woodlands and Galveston, the food banks in those counties will benefit 100 percent from the participating restaurants in their area.

Besides being the largest fundraiser for the nation's largest food bank, Houston Restaurant Weeks is fully operated by volunteers. In a time when the world seems to be short on heroes, it's comforting to know that there are still people putting in the hard work necessary to feed those among us who are food insecure. To all the volunteers, restaurants, employees and food banks, we thank you.

Houston Restaurant Weeks
August 1 through September 7
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.