Fairfield is planning its first town-organized "restaurant week," and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart said it will come with a new side dish.

Barnhart announced the plans to the Board of Selectmen this week and said that, in addition to more than 30 restaurants that have signed on to participate, "We've reached out to a number of other organizations in town to provide activities and events" that diners can participate in either before or after going out to eat.

Fairfield Restaurant Week, designated from Oct. 14 through 20, will feature participating restaurants from all over town offering special fixed-price menus or discounts on meals, Barnhart said.

"The other thing we're going is we've created a little passport," Barnhart said. Diners get their "passport" checked off after eating at a restaurant. "If you go to more than one restaurant, you'll be entered into a raffle," he said. The top raffle prize is a one-night stay at The Delamar Hotel in Southport.

The week also has its own Facebook page, "Fairfield Restaurant Week," as well as a website, www.fairfieldct.org/restaurantweek. Look for a Twitter account as well, Barnhart said, and a QR code on posters that can be scanned with smart phones.

"We talked about this late last year," First Selectman Michael Tetreau said. "Mark, you've done a great deal of work on this. Doing something for the first time is never easy."

Tetreau said the idea is to build on ideas like this to lead up to the 375th anniversary of Fairfield's founding next year. "We really want to show Fairfield off," he said. "We have the product."

Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey said an event like restaurant week "shows the amazing diversity in our town and food is a great way to do this."

Selectman Kevin Kiley suggested possibly having local "celebrities," such as the first selectman, participate as well, either bartending or waiting tables.

"That's not a bad idea," Barnhart said, adding he will talk to the restaurants to see if they are willing to do that.

Tetreau said as the "one single guy on the board, I eat out a lot. I'm looking forward to this."

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