Bloomfield’s vibrant restaurant scene is one of the “best-kept secrets in New Jersey” according to Essex County Freeholder Brendan Gill – but at Thursday’s kick-off, he predicted it won’t be a secret for much longer.
The press conference formally launched Bloomfield’s first-ever Restaurant Week, with township officials, sponsors and local business owners on hand to introduce the idea to the public.
“It’s a great idea,” said McCarthy, who called the event “a great day for Bloomfield.”
In addition to McCarthy and Gill, Councilman Michael Venezia and Restaurant Committee member Linda Barucky spoke briefly to the attendees who filled the upstairs banquet room at on Glenwood Avenue.
“This will bring people back to the community,” said McCarthy. “This will make people understand what we’ve been trying to do for years now, which is make Bloomfield the jewel of Essex County.”
In all, 24 local dining establishments will participate in Restaurant Week March 4-10. All will be offering special fixed price menus with an eye toward serving high quality, delicious meals at discounted rates.
“I’m really excited,” said , owner of the popular . “I’ve been to Restaurant Weeks in New York and other places. When I know a good restaurant is offering something more economical, I jump at that.”
Palmieri said he will be serving lunch and dinner specials at $10 per course, for two- or three-course meals. For example, during Restaurant Week a 3-course dinner at the Orange Squirrel would cost $30 for a "9-ounce dry-aged ribeye steak, seared and served alongside potato-cheese puffs with truffle essence," followed by coffee and a dessert.
“We’ve seen great success all over Essex County with Restaurant Weeks,” said Gill, “in the city of Newark and my hometown, Montclair, and there’s no reason we can’t do it here in Bloomfield. . . I hope [we can do it even] better. We have 24 participating restaurants, which I think is just a testament to the economic development that’s happening here in the city of Bloomfield. There’s no question in my mind – no question -- that Bloomfield is on the rise and coming back in a big way.”
The 5-member Bloomfield Restaurant Week Committee has been hard at work organizing the event since they were appointed several months ago by the mayor. Restaurant Week Committee includes Palmieri, Andreas Quesada (owner of Seniorita’s), Linda Barucky, Kathy DeMarino and Nancy Zimmerman. Marie Palladino has also assisted in the preparations.
The 24 participating restaurants are:
Bloomfield Steak and Seafood House
Boonsong Thai Cuisine
Stamna Greek Taverna
Taste it Again Jamaican Restaurant
Barucky noted at the press conference, “We have a lot of great restaurants and support, but without our sponsors it wouldn’t be possible.”
Venezia, who originally introduced the idea to the town council, acknowledged each sponsor by name in his speech. The list of sponsors includes:
Excel Credit Union
Investors Savings Bank
Chalet Real Estate
Councilman Michael Venezia
Freeholder Brendan Gill
Dee’s Shell Auto Body
Check Patch often in the coming weeks for complete coverage of Restaurant Week, including information on participating establishments, sample menus and prices.