By Bill Parry
More than a hundred people braved Wednesday night’s nor’easter to attend the first annual “The Taste of Woodside” at St. Sebastian’s Parish Center.
The event was held to showcase the quality of many of the local restaurants and to help raise funds for Woodside on the Move, a non-profit group that provides after-school programs and help for seniors.
Adrian Bordoni, the executive director of Woodside on the Move, was happy with the turnout and the participation of the dozen restaurants that took part.
Despite having nearly 20 restaurants signed up about a week ago, many had to cancel. Some lacked supplies following Hurricane Sandy, while others struggled to get personnel as a result of the weather and transportation issues.
Initially, organizers planned on having two separate “tasting” sessions. However, Bordoni combined them into one given the circumstances.
La Adelita, De Mole, Ottomanelli’s, Donovan’s Pub, Bursztynek Deli and Sean Ogs were the notable Woodside restaurants—while Claret Wine Bar, The Dog and Duck, The Turkish Cultural Center and Takesushi also took part.
Ottomanelli’s was the most popular restaurant. The chef used an indoor grill to prepare beef sliders that were a big hit. Meanwhile, the other burger heavyweight, Donavan’s Pub, was at a neighboring table, but stuck with Irish specialties such as shepherd’s pie.
Many impressive spreads were prepared by the neighborhood’s newest restaurants.
The owner of Bursztynek Deli (64-08 Woodside Ave.), which opened in April, used the event to showcase his Polish delicacies, like kielbasa and pierogi.
La Bella Vita (50-12 Skillman Ave.) impressed many attendees, with a spread that took up three tables. Owners Vinny Lombardo and Timmy Walls worked for several days making specialties like Italian Egg Rolls and spicy chicken. “We opened in May,” said Walls, “and we wanted to make a great first impression our first time out.”
The manager of La Adelita (52-22 Roosevelt Ave.), which has been open for 8 months, brought along the chef to season the food. “This [event] is good practice for our second open house coming up on Wednesday,” Socorro Robelo, the manager, said. “The whole community is invited.”