With upwards of 150 restaurants in 30 Brooklyn neighborhoods participating, the wildly popular Dine in Brooklyn, the borough’s Restaurant Week, is returning, opening the door to culinary nirvana for the many eager diners from Brooklyn and beyond who look forward to the event each year.
This year, diners can enjoy $25 prix-fixe dinners and two-for-$15 lunches (not including tax and gratuity) offered by most participating restaurants, from Monday, October 20 through Thursday, October 23, and from Monday, October 27 through Thursday, October 30.
The kick-off took place at a press conference in Brooklyn Borough Hall on Friday, October 10, with some of the eateries dishing up a sample of their specialties to whet the collective appetites of members of the press and food industry professionals on hand for the launch.
“It’s a great list of restaurants,” noted Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who is presenting Dine in Brooklyn, and who stressed that the panoply of the borough’s dining establishments reflect the diversity of Brooklyn, and help drive its economy.
“Restaurants fuel the economic engine of the borough,” he said. “When people come and taste Brooklyn’s food and energy, they want to come back over and over again.”
The selection of food that filled the rotunda at Borough Hall was indicative of the range of culinary styles that Brooklyn displays.
From Carroll Gardens’ Marco Polo came a savory cauliflower soup, enriched with Hollandaise sauce and truffle oil that was oh, so rich, and oh, so good.
Red Hook’s Brooklyn Crab ladled out sweet and creamy New England Clam Chowder, studded with chunks of clam and potatoes and flecked with parsley.
Miranda Restaurant, which hails from Williamsburg, offered up light and crispy Whole Wheat Empanadas, elegant little half-moons of dough stuffed with sweet-tart Eggplant Caponata and Ricotta and drizzled with rich and spicy Mole Poblano.
A plate piled high with Haitian specialties was dished out by Kombit, located in Prospect Heights. Among the savory bites the eatery featured were two kinds of rice (one, Rice and Beans, is a classic Caribbean selection; the other, Djon Djon rice, is a Haitian dish) as well as Fried Plantain, a long-cooked Vegetable Stew, and Akra, fried taro root (yautia), as well as conch and salmon, all topped with a tart hot sauce.
Also from Prospect Heights, Elberta – which specializes in fusion food – came prepared with one of its featured dishes, Jerk Pork Belly Steam Buns, in which the Caribbean and Asian influences were delightfully apparent – to the eye as well as the tongue.
Bay Ridge-based Greenhouse Café provided two of its popular classic comfort foods – sliced marinated steak that was tender and flavorful, accompanied by creamy-on-the-inside potato croquettes.
And, from Park Slope’s Wangs came Korean-style chicken wings with Vietnamese –style slaw, the combination packing in a bevy of contrasts, with the crispy-sweet chicken playing perfectly off the savory, crunchy veggies, including not only red cabbage but also Daikon radish.
No sampling of food would be complete without dessert. Fortunately, Park Slope’s Brooklyn Crepe & Juice was on hand, preparing crepes stuffed with either chocolate or Nutella, and either banana or strawberry slices, that were intensely sweet and equally satisfying.
This year, part of the fun for diners will be tweeting about the meals they enjoy (on Twitter @dineinbk), and posting to Facebook (Facebook.com/DineinBk) or on Instagram (@DineinBk), said Adams, who said that using social media is a way that diners can “let people know about their dining experiences.”
Sponsors of this year’s Dine in Brooklyn event are Broadway Stages, JetBlue Airways, Resorts World Casino New York City, Restaurant Depot, Vassilaros & Sons, Yelp, The Home Reporter, The Brooklyn Spectatorand El Correo.
A full list of restaurants can be found at DineinBk.com, a website that was designed to be mobile-friendly, to enable diners-on-the-go to scroll through their options, said Joshua Schneps, co-publisher of The Home Reporter, The Brooklyn Spectator and El Correo.
All that’s left to do is the dining. “So, go out there and eat, eat, eat,” urged Victoria Schneps, the papers’ co-publisher.