Tag Archives: queens restaurant week

10th annual Queens Restaurant Week kicks off September 30


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

Tasty, free morsels displayed the borough’s diversity during the 10th annual Queens Restaurant Week kickoff at Borough Hall.

“Every neighborhood has its own unique specialty. That’s the beauty of Queens,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation. “We learn about each other through each other’s food.”

From September 30 to October 3 and October 7 through 10, diners can enjoy three-course dinners for $28 and three-course lunches for $14 at most of more than 50 participating Queens eateries.

“We love Queens Restaurant Week,” said Patty Medina, owner of Uncle Peter’s restaurant in Jackson Heights.

“It allows us a chance to show people what we have. We get a lot of people coming into the restaurant that never heard of us.”

Medina was one of seven vendors who served up free dishes during the September 23 kickoff event at Queens Borough Hall.

Scores of foodies and nearly 500 passersby lined up to sample scoops of seafood salad, chicken malai kabab and, for the first time, even beer.

Dozens, including the occasional craft beer connoisseur, waited for their chance to sip the borough’s namesake beer from Queens Brewery. The local beermaker is based in Long Island City and sells draft beer in 42 borough establishments.

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Founder Nelson Rockefeller, who turned into a temporary bartender for the event, was behind the tap, handing out cup after cup of free Queens Lager.

“I just want people to enjoy it and have fun,” Rockefeller said.

The Family Restaurant, Christos Steak House, Dazies and Tequila Sunrise of Bayside were also there to serve up their specialties.

Millie Molina of Jamaica said she chased down some savory Indian chicken from Haveli restaurant in Forest Hills with a cup of Queens Lager.

“Queens has a lot of different ethnic groups that cook differently,” she said. “You get to try a lot of different things.”

Lisa Assam of Kew Gardens said the kickoff samples gave her the opportunity to taste the food before she patronized the restaurant.

“The variety is very good,” she said. “I love it.”

The long list of participating restaurants this year features all sorts of Mexican, Cajun, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.

“You can find your hometown cooking right in Queens,” said Borough President Helen Marshall. “Queens Restaurant Week allows diners to enjoy some of the tastiest dishes from around the world without having to spend a lot or travel very far.”

Bornstein said he expects close to 100 restaurants to join by the end of the week.

The positive response from past Queens Restaurant Weeks has resulted in this year’s additional four days from October 7 to October 10.

Restaurant Week is presented by the Queens Tourism Council and is sponsored by Melrose Credit Union, jetBlue, Resorts World Casino New York City, Restaurant Depot, Tequila Sunrise of Bayside, The Queens Courier and The Best of the Boro.

For a full list of participating restaurants, visit www.itsinqueens.com and click “Restaurant Week.”

“Maybe next year, we’ll be celebrating Queens Restaurant Month,” Marshall said.

 

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Queens Restaurant Week a boon for local biz


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Bourbon Street

The ninth annual Queens Restaurant Week, where local eateries offer special menu deals, just wrapped up.

Running this year from October 8 to 11 and 15 to 18, the event is not just a celebration of the borough’s food; it is also a way for restaurants to bring in new customers.

It’s because of those new faces that many restaurants continue to take part in Queens Restaurant Week and new ones join the list, which grew to over 100 participants this year.

“They think it’s a good opportunity to reach out to the surrounding community and beyond, and connect to their customers, especially a customer that might not have considered them,” said Laura Altimari of Components of Fine Taste.

Her company does marketing and advertising for two Queens Restaurant Week participants: Bourbon Street in Bayside and Austin’s Steak and Ale House in Kew Gardens.

Both restaurants have been taking part in the promotion since it started.

Each year, said Altimari, the potential for repeat customers grows as Queens Restaurant Week gains popularity.

“They’ve definitely seen an increase from when it first began to now,” she said.

“It’s a good deal and we’re trying to attract a lot of new customers, said Bruno Dauti, manager of Mexican restaurant Mojave.

This year was the first time the Astoria dining establishment took part in Queens Restaurant Week.

The event’s suggested three-course prix-fixe menu price was $25, not including tax and tip, but restaurants were free to create their own specials.

Mojave offered an appetizer, entrée and a Sangrita cocktail for $25. Normally a customer would pay $35 for that meal, said Dauti.

He saw several new customers during Queens Restaurant Week and is hopeful that they’ll return.

“They also checked the regular menu. I was very surprised actually,” he said.

At Tony Roma’s in Bayside, staff saw about a 10 percent increase in customers, some of which were new faces.

“[Queens Restaurant Week] gives us a chance to give back to the community, to the local guests who come in and dine with us,” said general manager James Connaughton.

In this economy, he said, the customers “still manage to support us and keep doors open.”

More restaurants sign up for final days of Queens Restaurant Week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Alexa Altman

Queens Restaurant Week kicks off its second week and will through October 18.  Many of the restaurant involved offer a special prix-fixe menus at $25 for a three-course meal.  The week allowed residents to chance to try the wide array of cuisines the borough has to offer; from Italian to Indian, Croatian to Cajun and many more.

Check out the map and list of participating restaurants below. You can search by restaurant name, neighborhood, cuisine or special.

 

OpEd: Help grow the economy, eat out for Restaurant Week


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

BY SETH BORNSTEIN

“Let’s go out to eat!”

These words make us very happy. Sharing great food, drink and ambiance with friends and family puts us in a good mood.

Famous restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton once wrote that after years of dining at fancy restaurants she couldn’t wait to prepare and consume meals in the comforts of her home. So as her career was winding down, she renovated her kitchen, installing state-of-the-art appliances, cabinets and all sorts of cooking equipment. She even bought new cutlery and chinaware. Upon retirement, she made a delicious meal to share with her husband. Right afterward, she conceded that they enjoyed themselves, but they missed the excitement of eating out. In restaurants there were more choices, their conversations were richer, they liked being around people and of course someone else did the dishes!

Queens is in the center of the foodie map these days with Restaurant Week running October 8-11 and 15-18. More than 100 eateries – from Astoria to the Rockaways – are offering bargains, most commonly an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert for $25.

For Woodside resident Rita Manton, this is the time to get together with some beloved girlfriends at one of her all-time favorites, Dazies in Sunnyside. For Erika Campoverde, a college student from Richmond Hill, it’s the occasion to try some new places that she would never consider patronizing the rest of the year.

“I want to explore new neighborhoods and their food options,” she says.

Sounds like a great plan. As one would expect in the world’s most diverse county, the Restaurant Week options are endless: Thai, Greek, Chinese, kosher, French, Mexican, vegetarian, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Argentinean, Cajun, Portuguese, Brazilian, Cuban, Indian, pub grub and of course, Italian.

The diners definitely win. But this promotion is also important for restaurant owners and employees, who work endless hours in an industry that always struggles during recessions, despite the fact that they provide wonderful service and products. Surveys that the Queens Economic Development Corporation conducted after last year’s Restaurant Week showed an average general increase in business of 20 percent at participating establishments.

“[Restaurant Week] gives the mainstay restaurants the opportunity to introduce perhaps a new menu, a renovation or introduce a new chef or concept,” said Laura Altimari, who works for Austin’s Steak and Ale House in Kew Gardens and Bayside’s Bourbon Street. “It is an opportunity for the restaurant to place their best culinary foot forward to impress the customer and gain steady, repeat business.”

Plus, the oft-derided borough across the river from internationally acclaimed Manhattan is finally getting the attention it deserves. The 2013 Zagat NYC Restaurant Survey, which was released last week, reviews 117 Queens restaurants, the highest number ever in this über-popular annual guidebook’s history. We’ve got Mojo!

So it looks like a win-win-win-win-win situation. Have fun, enjoy bargains, spend time with friends and family, help our beloved borough build its reputation as a “foodie paradise” and stimulate the local economy.

It’s Queens Restaurant Week 2012 and the living is easy.

Seth Bornstein is executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 59. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the East in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20%. Monday night: Overcast with rain. Low of 54. Winds from the SE at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the NNE after midnight. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible.

EVENT of the DAY:  Queens Restaurant Week 

The ninth annual Queens Restaurant Week starts today with many eateries offering prix-fixe menus at $25 for a three-course meal or other specials. More than 100 restaurants are participating in the event, which takes place October 8-11 and October 15-18. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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Ninth annual Queens Restaurant Week offers good food, great deals


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Billy Rennison

Queens residents will be able to sample a slew of borough restaurants — and it won’t take a bite out of their budget.

The ninth annual Queens Restaurant Week kicks off next week with many eateries offering prix-fixe menus at $25 for a three-course meal. The focus is on restaurants in the borough that are widely ignored during NYC Restaurant Week.

“Sure, you can get great meals all over the city, but if you want the real thing, the real flavors, the real country you come out to Roosevelt Avenue, or Astoria Boulevard or Jamaica, there’s great places all over,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation.

That diversity was highlighted at the kickoff event outside Queens Borough Hall on Tuesday, October 2. Rain could not keep scores of foodies from sampling fare from restaurants offering Mexican, Cajun, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.

“The first thing I did was get some clam chowder from London Lennie’s,” Borough President Helen Marshall said.

As people lined up to get a taste of what was to come, many raved about the wide array of eats.

“The pulled pork mac and cheese was amazing,” said Jamaica resident Betty Bishop about Bourbon Street’s offering.

Queens Restaurant Week had humble beginnings, Marshall said, having only about 10 eateries the first year. That list has now grown to nearly 100 and the positive response has resulted in it being extended to two weeks — October 8-11 and October 15-18.

“Last year was our first year [participating], and we did really well. We got a lot of new customers who kept coming back,” said Patty Medina, owner of Uncle Peter’s in Jackson Heights.

Restaurants from every corner of the borough are involved in the event. For a full list of participating restaurants click here.

Restaurant Week is presented by the Queens Tourism Council and is sponsored by Melrose Credit Union, JetBlue, Resorts World Casino New York City, Restaurant Depot, Tequila Sunrise of Bayside, The Queens Courier and The Best of the Boro.