January is typically a slow month for restaurants and often when people’s pockets are light due to holiday spending.
In order to fill stomachs and help eateries stay afloat, the Bronx Tourism Council is hosting its ninth annual Savor the Bronx Restaurant Week January 6 to January 17.
On Monday, January 6, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. held a media preview of the event at Seis Vecinos, 640 Prospect Avenue, Longwood. There were samples from several places and food producers, including Ceetay, Bronx Brewery, Empanology, Bricks & Hops and the Bronx Night Market.
In total, 45 restaurants are participating, more than doubling the amount from when it began nearly a decade ago. For more information, go to www.ilove
“Our borough’s culinary institutions are second to none,” Diaz Jr. said. “ Not only do we have world famous epicurean destination on City Island and Arthur Avenue, but we have hidden gems like Seis Vecinos in neighborhoods across the borough. I encourage foodies from all over the region to check out the flavors of the Bronx during our annual restaurant week event.”
Diaz told the attendees that the Restaurant Week isn’t just for Bronxites, but the whole city. People can get a taste of the delicious Italian, West Indian, Caribbean and Central American foods that the borough offers.
“Savor the Bronx is about celebrating our flavor,” he said. “Savor the Bronx is about letting the world know we are the Boogie Down Bronx and we are just as good, if not better than everyone else.”
Olga Luz Tirado, executive director of The Bronx Tourism Council, told the Bronx Times, Restaurant Week benefits the entire borough. Whether people are trying a place for the first time or getting a good deal at one of their favorite spots, it is a win-win for everyone.
“I’m excited that among those who have played an active role in this initiative throughout the years, we also have some new eateries added to our list,” Tirado said.
Among the restaurateurs at the event was Amir Chayon, owner of Ceetay, an Asian fusion eatery at 129 Alexander Avenue. Ceetay, who has been participating in Restaurant Week since he opened eight years ago.
Chayon grew up in Israel, with dreams of being an actor. Like many aspiring stars, he eventually joined the restaurant industry.
“Like a good actor I was serving tables,” he said.
He managed restaurants in Israel and 11 years ago immigrated to America. Shortly after moving to the borough, he saw the need for sushi in the south Bronx and launched Ceetay.
“It’s an up and coming neighborhood and I’m still waiting for it to really boom,” he said.
Chayon told the Bronx Times Restaurant Week has definitely brought him more business.
“It does introduce new people to the restaurant,” he said. “I still meet people that haven’t heard of Ceetay and every year we get more and more new faces.”