Local restaurants are hoping to get a boost in business from Long Island Restaurant Week, during which eateries across Long Island will offer special prix fixe menus for eight days beginning Nov. 7.
"We see a tremendous uptick in our business during this week, which is traditionally a very slow time for us. ... This event is very important for the Long Island restaurant business," said Chef Guy Reuge of in Stony Brook, which he said has been participating in Restaurant Week since its inception in 2003.
During Long Island Restaurant Week, diners can pay $24.95 for a three-course meal at one of over 220 Long Island restaurants participating in the promotion.
Restaurant Week brings in diners who might otherwise be hesitant to try new places, according to Lisa Cusumano, manager at , another participating restaurant.
"It's a really good way to showcase who we are for people who are afraid to try us," Cusumano said. "A lot of people think we're only for fine dining or special occasions, but we're really a lot more user-friendly than that."
At Mirabelle, diners can choose from among butternut squash ravioli, a roasted shell steak with red wine sauce, a pan-seared salmon with green papaya-cilantro salad, and more. At Pentimento, the menu includes a braised lamb shank, an herb-crusted loin of pork with a port wine sauce, and a pan-roasted chicken breast with a blood orange demi-glace.
During last year's Restaurant Week, 233 Long Island restaurants served about 182,400 meals, according to Steve Haweeli, president of WordHampton Public Relations, which founded the event. He said restaurants took in over $7 million in revenue and New York State received about $386,825 in taxes from the event. It was so successful, he said, that some places even extended the special through the rest of the month of November last year.
"The core reason it's successful is this: any restauranteur will tell you that if they can just get people in the door to try their food, experience their good service and be surrounded by the right atmosphere or decor, that those people will be back," Haweeli said. "Long Island Restaurant Week gets them in the door."