Long Island Restaurant Week kicked off on Sunday, with local restaurants Bliss, Domo Sushi, and Mirabelle taking part once again.
But in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, issues like power loss and replacing spoiled inventory may have affected some restaurants' ability to do business as usual, and so one local restaurant expert has said the customer traffic is highly important to restaurants that may have suffered. Steve Haweeli, president of WordHampton Public Relations, which manages Long Island Restaurant Week, said the event will bring much-needed cash flow.
Not only that, but at the end of the event, WordHampton will make donations to the Interfaith Nutrition Network in Nassau County and the Family Service League in Suffolk County, just as it has done in years past.
"Both of these agencies are local 'on-the-ground' agencies that are built to serve people affected by Sandy," Haweeli said in an email to Patch. "We know the administrators and know that a very, very high percentage of money received goes directly to programs and services."
Outside of that, he said Long Island Restaurant Week is a way to get out of the house and enjoy a meal at a great restaurant. Restaurant Week offers diners a three-course meal for a $24.95 prix-fixe.
"Customers do not feel like cooking after Sandy, everyone loves a deal and a lot of people are enjoying walking to a local restaurant if they don't want to spend on gas, or they don't mind taking a short drive to be around people," Haweeli said. "We are also encouraging people to carpool and make it a group experience."
Maria Reuge, manager of Mirabelle Tavern and Restaurant, said the restaurant suffered little damage – mostly loss of power and product – and got power back on Saturday afternoon. Mirabelle will extend the Restaurant Week deal until Nov. 14.
"We should have most of the Restaurant Week menu ready to go tomorrow, though there may be a few substitutions," she said. "We are very thankful to be back in business with so little damage. Our hearts go out to other restaurants, especially those on the South Shore, who suffered more."