Irene: The Uninvited Dinner Guest

Did hurricane Irene make or break New Canaan's first-ever Restaurant Week?

Afternoon rain clouds cleared as if on cue last Thursday and downtown sidewalks filled for the kicking off New Canaan's first-ever . The night was festive and fun and deemed a success.

The party was in full swing at Kitchens By Deane with margaritas and Mexican food as Julia Deane adeptly presided over food preparation and socializing as though hosting a cocktail party in her own home.

was bustling in spite of a cancelled book signing by author John Barricelli whose flight fell victim to early storm preparations  and was positively gleaming in its new location on the corner of Elm St. and South Ave. Other event sponsors such as , , , and many more welcomed strollers with  open doors creating an inviting and lively atmosphere. It's a shame more of the downtown merchants didn't take advantage of the event and stay open that evening.

Then along came Irene, the uninvited guest, who lingered longer than expected and did enough damage to put 80 percent of New Canaan in the dark. Residents were looking for relief.

It is hard to judge the success of Restaurant Week because the widespread power outages brought people to the shops and restaurants in droves. Unfortunately,  and loss of revenue to shops and restaurants that were unable to open this week to participate in the feeding frenzy taking place in town.

Overall, the well-planned and executed stroll combined with the huge numbers of families in search of food and entertainment this week got many new patrons in the doors of the restaurants and made the town of New Canaan the place to be this week. Success.


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