BY JOE MARVILLI
It is time to chow down, eat up and enjoy the diverse flavors found in Queens as part of its very own Restaurant Week.
The Borough’s version of New York’s popular Restaurant Week held its kick-off in front of Queens Borough Hall on Sept. 23, with nine restaurants giving out samples to the 500 individuals that stopped by once the announcement was made. The 10th iteration of the popular food festival will run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 and from Oct. 7 to Oct. 10.
During those eight days, $14 three-course lunches and $28 three-course dinners with prix fixe menus will be available to patrons of select establishments.
More than 60 eateries will participate in the event, with Queens Economic Development Corporation executive director Seth Bornstein hoping to get that number up to 100 restaurants by the weekend. He said the restaurants that were selected either approached him about Restaurant Week or vice versa.
“In other boroughs, you get expensive food. Here’s the real thing with great prices,” he said. “We urge everyone to enjoy the great food in Queens.”
For those who wanted a preview of what Restaurant Week will hold, Uncle Peter’s Restaurant from Jackson Heights, Forest Hills’ Haveli and The Family Restaurant, Christos Steak House in Astoria and Bayside’s Tequila Sunrise all offered some delicious delights that had lines stretching down the steps of Borough Hall. Queens Brewery was on hand as well, letting patrons wash down the food with a cup of Queens Lager.
Participating restaurants can be found in neighborhoods from Long Island City to Jamaica, from Howard Beach to Whitestone. According to Bornstein, the food is just as diverse as the communities where they are found.
“I think it represents Queens, with everything. Indian, Chinese, Kosher, Italian, Mexican; it’s the Borough,” Bornstein added. “It’s really everything that makes the Borough so unique.”
Among those enjoying samples was Borough President Helen Marshall, who said a few words about the event.
“I’m proud to share with you in sponsoring this wonderful, wonderful program,” she said. “One of my sayings is ‘Visit Queens, see the world.’ Not only will you see the world, but you can taste the wonderful foods that are found here. No matter where your hometown is, you can find your hometown cooking here in Queens.”
A representative from Melrose Credit Union, one of the event’s sponsors, also praised the culinary program at the kickoff.
“It is the foods of the many different cultures and ethnicities that create the common bonds between all New Yorkers,” Director of Marketing and Public Affairs Robert Nemeroff said in a statement. “Food is one of the things that makes Queens the unique and wonderful a place that it is and Restaurant Week exemplifies that thought.”
Queens Restaurant Week is a program of the Queens Tourism Council and is sponsored by Melrose Credit Union, JetBlue Airways, Queens Brewery, Resorts World Casino, Restaurant Depot and Tequila Sunrise.
For a complete list of all participating restaurants, visit www.itsinqueens.com/restaurantweek/Queens.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.