By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“Dine In Brooklyn” is back and participating restaurants could not be happier, as the event invites one of the busiest times of the year for the eateries involved.
“We were involved last year and we couldn’t wait to do it again because our business literally exploded,” said Mark Simmons, owner and chef at Kiwiana on Union Street. “It not only helps to bring in lots of new customers, but we also try out different things on our menu so our regulars really enjoy it, too.”
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz kicked off the event with a tasting at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Tuesday. Twenty-three of the approximately 200 participating restaurateurs were on hand to give out samples to promote the event, which will run from March 11 - March 21.
“I’m not ‘buttering you up,’ but thanks to all of our restaurants over the last decade, Brooklyn’s all ‘souped up’ and is without a doubt the hottest, nastiest and most delicious place anywhere,” said the pun-happy Markowitz.
This is the 10th year in a row that ‘Dine In Brooklyn’ is being held. It comes at no cost to the taxpayers as the organization and promotion of the event is entirely funded by sponsors.
“This year is especially exciting because it’s the 10th anniversary of ‘Dine in Brooklyn,’ and it’s amazing to see how far it’s come -- with nearly twice as many restaurants as the first year,” Markowitz said. “When it comes to food, here in Brooklyn we have it all. You could say that Brooklyn is setting the table for the world.”
The event has become so popular with restaurateurs and foodies alike that even though Markowitz will be out of office next year, he said there is little doubt that it will carry on without him.
One Brooklyn restaurant has even seen this event as a way to announce to Brooklyn that they are open for business. 66 Water St. in DUMBO was briefly shut down after Superstorm Sandy, and owner Jonathan Lemon said that even though his restaurant has reopened, his business has not yet picked up.
“It seems that a lot of people in the neighborhood think that we are still closed,” Lemon said. “This is our way to tell people that we’re still open and ready to rock ‘n’ roll. Even though this [event] hasn’t even started yet, it has already helped our business to pick up.”
Participating restaurants are offering three-course dinner menus for $28 and three-course lunches for $20.13. Quite a few are doing two-for-one brunches, lunches, and dinners. Drinks and gratuity are not included in the cost. Go to www.visitbrooklyn.org for the complete list.