PICTURED: Hummus Bistro in Newbury Park offers a variety of Mediterranean specialities and a number of discounts during Conejo Valley Restaurant Week. Photo submitted

by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

nshaffer@timespublications.com

Just last month Oxnard held its annual restaurant week. Well, Conejo Valley is getting into the swing, with its own restaurant week (and the second one ever) taking place Feb. 19-28. Restaurants throughout Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills will participate, with special menus and limited time offers.

Chain eateries from the humble (Domino’s and El Pollo Loco) to the high class (Paul Martin’s American Grill) are offering free desserts or appetizers with purchase, discounts, family meal deals and the like. More exciting, however, are the locally owned restaurants cooking up specials. Get $5 off any order of $20 or more at Hummus Bistro, or find special takeout options for two to four people at Hatch Cafe and Market. Social Monk Asian Kitchen also has a family meal option, with 18 different dishes to choose from for just $42, and Himalaya’s buy-one-get-one-half-off discount will really stretch those dollars. 

Find more restaurants and options at conejo.com/restaurant-week-2021/.

National Clam Chowder Day: Feb. 25

Find more than 10 varieties of clam chowder at Ventura Harbor. Photo submitted

Need more reason to get out there and support the local restaurant industry? Hit your favorite seafood spot for National Clam Chowder Day. Yes, there appears to be a day for everything, and for clam chowder, according to the National Day Calendar website (nationaldaycalendar.com), that day is Feb. 25. The authenticity of this culinary “holiday” may be up for debate, but what most of us can agree upon is that rich, creamy, savory clam chowder is delicious — and the perfect meal for chilly February. Lucky for Ventura County residents, it’s easy to come by a quality bowl.

Ventura Harbor Village boasts more than 10 varieties of clam chowder to warm the soul. Andria’s, Brophy Bros, Boatyard Pub, 805 Bar and Grilled Cheese and La Petit Cafe all ladle up some worthy options. Over at Channel Islands Harbor, The Lookout Bar and Grill is as famous for its chowder as its fantastic location overlooking the marina. Fresh fish is a specialty at Fisherman’s Catch, so it’s no surprise that this seafood market and grill also makes a mean chowder. Sea Fresh has locations in both Oxnard and Ojai; find Lure Fish House in Camarillo, Ventura and Westlake Village. Between the two of them, excellent chowder (and all kinds of seafood) is readily available from east to west county. At Beach House Fish on Ventura Pier, you can enjoy your soup with a spectacular ocean view.

Whether you’re in the mood for clam chowder or just a good cafe offering a special deal, Conejo Valley Restaurant Week and National Clam Chowder Day make this a great time to get out there and explore. Of course, we don’t need a special promotion or holiday to find good food in these parts — a fact well worth celebrating anytime.