The 4th annual Taste of Woodside gave residents a chance to sample the offerings of 15 restaurants that call Woodside home.
Hosted by Woodside on the Move at Gulshan Terrace, the event highlighted the diversity of food choices in western Queens. From Mexican restaurants to Irish pubs and burger joints, participants went home with a full stomach.
Adriana Beltran, executive assistant for Woodside on the Move, said the organization strives to make the event bigger every year.
“We started small, actually doing it in St. Sebastian but we try every year to bring new restaurants and incorporate Sunnyside,” Beltran said. “We’re hoping the residents from Woodside, Sunnyside and Jackson Heights visit the local restaurants because they’re famous.”
Beltran cited F. Ottomanelli Burgers and Belgian Fries, a burger joint operated by the 115-year-old Ottomanelli Butcher Shop, as one of the more established restaurants in the neighborhood.
The event included staples in the western Queens community like Donovan’s Pub, which is located on Roosevelt Avenue and has been around since 1966, and Sidetracks, a restaurant and lounge that has been serving Sunnyside residents for 25 years.
Newer additions to the neighborhood included Empanada Monumental, which opened on Roosevelt Avenue only six weeks ago. The restaurant first opened in the Dominican Republic and offers empanadas and traditional Dominican eats like capricho and yaroas. When owner Cesar Rabas visited the chain at one of its Manhattan locations, he decided to open his own.
“I had to be the one to open the first Queens location,” Rabas said.
Casa del Chef, a French bistro that uses the Jackson Heights Greenmarket for many of its ingredients, opened last year with Chef Alfonso Zhicay at the helm. Zhicay was born in Ecuador and worked at a number of restaurants when he moved here in 1994, including Lazigale Restaurant and Washington Market Tribeca NYC.
Patrons were also treated to an open bar and a performance by Mariachi Flor de Toloache, the first established all-female mariachi band founded in New York in 2008.