The Throggs Neck Merchant Association’s Summer Restaurant Week kicked off Thursday, August 18 at Rosy’s Manor Hall on East Tremont Avenue.
Merchant association president Stephen Kaufman said the event, which runs from August 19 to September 14, is aimed at boosting business in what is often seen as a quiet time for neighborhood eateries, and as a way to draw attention to what he considered a burgeoning dining destination.
“I think we’re becoming a real restaurant row,” Kaufman said. “The restaurants are great and we want them to develop a relationship where customers can dine on great food and not have it cost a fortune.”
The association held a restaurant week in January, which Kaufman said was very successful
“It was brutal outside, but a lot of the restaurants did great, they made money,” he said.
Yamada Japanese restaurant manager Kelly Chen was one of the merchants serving samples of dishes to guests.
She said the event was a good way to bring neighborhood merchants together and help build community.
“I hope this gets even better as more and more restaurants join,” she said.
Yamada was the first in the area to offer sushi in Throggs Neck before it caught on in the outer boroughs.
“Before us, a lot of our customers would go to Manhattan to eat sushi,” she said. “When we opened they were so happy.”
Yamada is offering a special prix fixe deal through September 4: an appetizer, main course and dessert for $25.
In addition to sushi, Yamada also offers a wide variety of Japanese dishes like hibachi and teriyaki.
They recently renovated the restaurant to accommodate more customers and a full bar, offering a large selection of sake.
“Sushi and sake go perfect together,” she said.
Cabo Mexican restaurant general manager Rubin Ramos has operated the eatery for eight months
He said publicity from merchant’s association events like restaurant week go a long way in boosting awareness of neighborhood eateries like his.
“We have good food there, but people walk by the restaurant and they have no knowledge of our food,” Ramos said.
Cabo executive chef Fernando Avelino will offer up a new three-course prix fixe menu special every night for restaurant week, in addition to the regular menu, Ramos added.
“We have pork chops, we have churrasco skirt steaks, we have salmon a la plancha, a lot of stuff – not just tacos and burritos.”
Association technology director Hussein Nouri said the official poster featuring participants would soon be all over the neighborhood.
“We’re going to start putting them out in all the neighborhoods and putting them in windows,” he said. “We advertise on Facebook and so far we have over 2,000 people who have signed up for our updates.”
For a complete list of participating restaurants, go to www.throg