Oct. 19, 2012 By Christian Murray
The owners of 19 neighborhood restaurants converged inside the Sunnyside Community Center on Monday night to provide samples of their food to hundreds of attendees—in what was dubbed the “Taste of Sunnyside 3.”
Attendees were given the option to attend one of two tastings. There was the early session that went from 5:00 to 6:30pm, which was lightly attended, and an evening session that went from 7:00pm to 8:30 pm that was sold out.
Lines formed outside the Sunnyside Community Center prior to the second event. Crowds then poured in and went straight to the restaurant tables and were offered Japanese, Thai, French, Irish, Greek, Italian, organic vegetarian, fast-food, American and pastries.
The aim of the event, put on by Sunnyside Shines and the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce for the third straight year, was to introduce people to many of the neighborhood’s restaurants that they may not ordinarily go to — as well as showcase Sunnyside as a restaurant destination.
The event appeared to meet its goal, with most of the attendees claiming that they would try new places. “I discovered five restaurants that I didn’t even think about going to before,” said Paula Hostetter, a Sunnyside resident. “There’s Bucharest [Restaurant], Bliss Street [Station], Murphy’s [Bar], and The Dog and Duck—places I didn’t have the courage to go into.”
Many of the restaurants were first time participants. These included Bliss Street Station, The Dog & Duck, and Murphy’s Bar, Takesushi, Oasis Pizza and Bucharest Restaurant.
Liz Taylor, who manages Bliss Street Station, said it was definitely worth participating in the event. She said that she met several new people and was pleased that many attendees liked the pub/restaurant’s chicken curry and shepherd’s pie.
The organizers lined the food serving tables along the walls and put up signs denoting each restaurant. Attendees then went from table to table.
John Vogt, the chairman of Sunnyside Shines, thanked the restaurants that participated and urged attendees to dine at the local restaurants. He also thanked the Chamber as joint partners for helping bring the evening together, and Sunnyside Community Services for hosting it.
People’s favorite foods ran the gamut.
Richie O’Connor, a Celtic Park resident, liked the chicken curry from the Aubergine Cafe, as well as the curry offered by the Copper Kettle and Bliss Street Station. “I think the whole event is fantastic,” he said
Meanwhile, Kyle Kovacevich, who moved to the neighborhood 2 ½ months ago, said he particularly the Dog and Duck.
Dazies, DeMole and Oasis appeared to be other favorites that attendees spoke highly of.
Many people who came to the first session were pleased that there were fewer people this year than in the past. “It provides us with more space, yet the restaurants are just as good,” said one woman from Long Island City, who said she would definitely attend Taste of Sunnyside IV.