Restaurant Week kicks off with deals and Instagram contest
Summer Restaurant Week kicks off Monday and the city's tourism wing has added new restaurants outside of Manhattan while preparing to reward Big Apple foodies who take to social media to share their experiences.
Fred Dixon, the president and CEO of NYC & Company, said the event, which actually lasts three weeks, has grown tremendously from its beginnings in 1992.
"The way the program is engaging with people it's so much more seamless and easier," Dixon said.
Diners can enjoy three-course prix-fixe lunches for $25 and three-course prix-fixe dinners for $38 at 300 selected restaurants, Mondays through Fridays from now until Aug. 15. Some restaurants will offer Sunday deals.
Eateries usually get a big financial boost during the winter restaurant week, especially when this year's polar vortexes forced a lot of foodies to order in, but Dixon said the summer edition stands out.
"The city is really at its best in the summer. The sun is out longer, the days are longer, people enjoy dining later at night," he said.
Aside from the extra visitors, the event also helps bring New Yorkers to different parts of the city that aren't huge tourist destinations, and ideally generates enough interest to bring them back to those neighborhoods, the president said.
"Dining is a good hook to get people to explore," Dixon said.
Red Rooster Harlem, Benchmark Restaurant in Park Slope and Water's Edge in Long Island City are some of the participating restaurants in communities that NYC & Company spotlights in its Neighborhood x Neighborhood program.
NYC & Company will also award prizes to diners who best capture their experiences and dishes on Instagram.
Four celebrity judges will judge Instagram users who put the hashtag #nycrestaurantweek on various themes such as appetizer, entree, dessert and group shot/selfie.
Winners will receive gift cards worth up to $250.