Sept. 9, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
Sunnyside residents should get ready to fire up their taste buds, because the Sunnyside Restaurant Week is coming back for the fourth year running.
The week will kick off on Monday Sept. 19, and will allow diners to pick from 30 different restaurants throughout the neighborhood that will each be offering a $25, three-course dinner menu.
“Sunnyside is such a diverse place and that’s reflected in our neighborhood restaurants,” said Sunnyside Shines Executive Director Rachel Thieme.
“In a week you could eat Paraguayan food, Moldovan food, diner fare, and an Italian dinner, so it’s good for people who live here to discover a favorite new restaurant and it encourages people from other neighborhoods to see what Sunnyside has to offer.”
For the first time, Sunnyside Restaurant Week will run for a full week, whereas in the past it has only run from Monday through Friday.
Thieme said that restaurant owners have told her that they see a tremendous increase in customers and sales throughout restaurant week, and wanted to try adding weekend hours as well.
“Doing the full seven days also gives people more time to check it out,” Thieme added, because no matter how much advertising and promoting of the week Sunnyside Shines does, “There will always be someone who only finds out about it on Friday night, and this way they can participate too.”
Also new this year, Sunnyside Shines is offering a contest to encourage people to dine out multiple times throughout the week.
Each time a customer orders the restaurant week deal, that diner will receive a sticker on a card. Once a customer has three stickers, the participant can submit the card to any of the 30 restaurants to enter a raffle for a $250 gift certificate to the restaurant-week eatery of their choice.
There will be no artistic component this year as there has been in previous years, Thieme said, and restaurant week this year will “focus on the food.”
Participating restaurants exhibit a wide range of cuisines, including Japanese, Peruvian, Thai, Italian and Colombian.
Sunnyside Restaurant Week is popular with many business owners, Thieme said.
“As a local business owner I believe Sunnyside Restaurant Week has helped put our business on the map, not only in Sunnyside but throughout New York,” said owner of Colombian restaurant Los Verdes, Javier Quezada, who has participated in it for the past three years. “It is a great event which allows us to showcase our best dishes to customers who are excited to taste something new at a reasonable price.”
Several restaurants that are new to the neighborhood will participate this year, including The Lowery Bar and Kitchen, Thai Diva Cuisine, and Boon by Moldova Restaurant. The neighborhood’s two Michelin “bib gourmand” rated restaurants, Venturo and Salt and Fat, are also part of the week-long event.
A full list of participating restaurants and menus can be found here: http://www.sunnysideshines.org/sunnyside-restaurant-week.