Santa Monica Restaurant Week is set to make its return to the city Monday and it’s bringing a record number of participating eateries along with it.

Santa Monica’s Restaurant Week is held every year in conjunction with California Restaurant Month in an effort to highlight the many fine-dining options that are available in the area as well as the world-renowned Santa Monica Farmers Market, which is responsible for providing many of the tasteful and seasonal ingredients that are often used in local eateries.

Back for its eighth year, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s signature culinary program will run from Monday, Jan. 6 through Sunday, Jan. 12, and is expected bring nearly 40 restaurants together to offer diners an opportunity to begin the new decade on a healthy note while they enjoy the city’s vibrant food scene.

“We are blessed with an abundance of restaurant choices in Santa Monica and we like to use our restaurant week as a campaign to remind our residents of the wonderful dining opportunities that are available,” said SMTT’s Public Relations Manager Lauren Salisbury.

This year’s festivities will feature Santa Monica’s top restaurants, a new custom ingredient and a social media contest giveaway that encourages local residents to take indulge in healthy, kumquat-inspired culinary creations cultivated from Santa Monica Farmers Markets at restaurants throughout the city.

Salisbury said those participating in the contest will have the chance to win a $500 dining certificate by simply sharing photos on social media using the hashtag #SMRestaurantWeek, but the real treat is the countless dishes that will be served at the 37 participating restaurants.

“January is always a time when Santa Monicans want to shore up those healthy habits, so our restaurant week always tries to highlight produce that can be found in season at the local farmers market,” Salisbury said, mentioning this year’s signature ingredient is the golden-orange kumquat that’s always readily available at Santa Monica Farmers Markets during the winter months.

“We hope residents get inspired by the ingredients they enjoy during Restaurant Week,” Salisbury said, “so that way they can easily find some in the farmers market and use them in dishes they can craft at home.”

Misti Kerns, president and CEO of Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, added, “We are fortunate to have a city that boasts a proclivity of world-class restaurants, fueled by the fresh, local ingredients found at our four weekly Farmers Markets and bold practices of our beloved chefs. As a long-time resident of the beach city, Santa Monica Restaurant Week is one of my favorite times to enjoy our restaurant scene with friends and family, and I hope many of my neighbors do the same this year.”

To find a full list of participating restaurants or more information on Santa Monica Restaurant Week, visit www.santamonica.com/restaurantweek.

brennon@smdp.com

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