Just like Long Island restaurants, Long Island Restaurant Week has been powering through the pandemic. Here's what you need to know about the next event, which runs from Jan. 23 to 30 with prix fixe deals to dine out:
101 restaurants are participating
"The last Restaurant Week before the pandemic, winter 2020, we had 179 restaurants," said Steve Haweeli, whose firm, WordHampton Public Relations, runs the promotion. "But last year we had only 70 — so we are coming back." Haweeli well understands the forces that dampen participation. "These places are facing labor shortages, rising costs and frightened customers. We’ve added a number of options to try to bring as many restaurants as we can into the fold."
Restaurants pay a fee to participate
Recognizing the challenges restaurants are facing in 2022, WordHampton lowered the registration fee from $495 to $449.95. That money buys ads in local media, on social media and on LIRR platforms as well as email blasts and the searchable website, longislandrestaurantweek.com, where all participating restaurants are listed and many post their menus.
Restaurants have choices when it comes to the deals they offer
Restaurants can choose to offer fixed-price menus at either lunch or dinner or both. Lunch is two courses for $20 but, at dinner there are three pricing options, all of them for three courses: $25, $35 or $42. Supplemental charges are permitted, but there must be at least three options for appetizers, entrees and desserts that bear no supplements. Except for Saturday, Jan. 29 after 7 p.m., the fixed-price menus must be offered whenever the restaurant is open for business. "Most restaurants seem to be doing the $35 dinner menu," Haweeli said.
Winter Restaurant Week is Long Island's newest
Winter is the youngest of the Long Island Restaurant Weeks, joining its older siblings, Fall and Spring, in 2016. The program got its start in 2003 when Jerry Della Femina, the owner of East Hampton’s Della Femina Restaurant (which closed in 2011), suggested to Haweeli that Hamptons restaurants could use the same kind of boost that New York City restaurants had been getting since Restaurant Week debuted there in 1992. "Hamptons Restaurant Week" expanded to the rest of Long Island in 2006.
Several new restaurants are participating this year
Among the restaurants participating for the first time in Long Island Restaurant Week are Los Cebollines Grill in Lindenhurst, La Buena Vida in Moriches and Manna at Lobster Inn in Southampton. Newsday Top 100 Restaurants are represented by Anchor Down Dockside in Seaford, The Lake House in Bay Shore, Small Batch in Garden City, Mirabelle in Stony Brook and Elaia Estiatorio in Bridgehampton.