Restaurant Week is served

Borough President Helen Marshall addressed some very hungry people in front of Queens Borough Hall on Tuesday, September 14 at the launch of Discover Queens Restaurant Week where participating restaurants were ready to dazzle patrons with dishes from around the world during a mini-tasting.

“No matter what your home town is, you can find your hometown cooking right here in Queens,” said Marshall. “Maybe in the near future we will be celebrating Discover Queens Restaurant Month.”

Marshall was quick to thank the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) and the sponsors of Discover Queens Restaurant Week, which include TD Bank, JetBlue Airlines, Whole Foods, Restaurant Depot, the New York Mets, The Daily News and The Queens Courier, before allowing the representatives from participating restaurants to unveil their goods upon the patrons.

“It’s good to see Restaurant Week get out of the confines of Manhattan and get to the boroughs,” said executive chef and owner of Floresta, Alejandro Cantagallo, who served a marinated herb chicken and a garlic mashed potato dish. “From a business perspective, it’s always good to give people an added incentive to come to your restaurant. From the perspective of a chef, it gives me the opportunity to offer a different menu.”

Restaurants all over Queens will be offering a special three course menu for only $25 dollars from September 20-30. Some restaurants will be offering a “two for” special as well.

“Restaurant week brings all the locals out . . . the QEDC does a great job advertising and I’m always grateful to be a part of it,” said Dominick Bruccoleri, owner of Papazzio Restaurant and Caterers in Bayside, who received Bell Boulevard’s first “A” rating from the Board of Health.

Bourbon Street in Bayside featured crab cakes and pulled pork; Tako Sushi made specialty rolls on the spot, Whole Foods served a chocolaty, fruit-filled crepe delight and London Lenny’s produced their famous New England clam chowder, which was a favorite among patrons.

“I’m really impressed [with the chowder]. I would definitely go there,” said Assistant District Attorney Fredrica Jeffries, who enjoyed her free lunch break.

According to Seth Bornstein of the QEDC, restaurants in Queens employ approximately 30,000 people and are an integral part of local economies. With the special deals the 109 participating restaurants are offering, there are high hopes that this will be the most successful restaurant week to date.

“This is your opportunity to try different restaurants not only in your neighborhood but in other communities as well,” said Michelle Stoddart, director of marketing and tourism at the QEDC.

A full list of participating restaurants is available at Discoverqueens.info.