Restaurant Week heads to Elm City

Be prepared to step out of the dining hall next week.

From April 21–26, 29 restaurants across New Haven will offer three-course meals at a price of $18 for lunch and $32 for dinner, as well as extended and half-price happy hours for the city’s annual Restaurant Week. The event, which is now held twice a year, provides a more affordable way for students, visitors and New Haven residents to explore some of the city’s higher-priced culinary experiences.

“It brings a lot of tourists and makes New Haven like a second New York City,” said Bruice Bennett, the manager of Restaurant Week participant Oaxaca Kitchen. “It becomes a more happening place. It is improving business for everyone and becoming very famous as a more prominent part of New Haven culture each year.”

Many of the participating restaurants are creating special menus featuring their best appetizers, entrees and deserts. Rafat Zoreiqi, the manager of participant Pacifico, said that the event aimed to give customers a “good way” to try out some of the restaurant’s best options.

Restaurant managers like Zoreiqi and Bennett are pleased with how successful the event has been in the past. They said it gives them a boost to business that lasts the rest of the year.

“New Haven does a lot of commercial advertising [for Restaurant Week] on the highway, radio and TV,” said Nuh Demirel, manager of participant Istanbul Cafe. “It is not easy for a small restaurant like us to get big advertising in any other way, but New Haven helps us out with business all year-round through that.”

Zoreiqi added that other towns are starting to follow New Haven’s lead — even the East Rock neighborhood of the city will host its own week with similar deals.

Those on campus are also getting excited about the week’s events.

“I’ve never been to so many of these [restaurants],” said Isabel Sperry ’16 as she perused the online list of participating restaurants. “I’m definitely going to check them out, and I think it’ll be a good opportunity for Yale students to try out new places and get to know New Haven.”

Sophie Kaye ’15, who has participated in past Restaurant Weeks, said she could not wait to check out this year’s offerings of New Haven’s “most delicious bites.” She said she hopes Restaurant Week can expand to even more restaurants as it encourages Yale students to explore the city’s dining scene. Echoing this sentiment, Kateline Hullar ’16 and Matthew Segal ’16 both said they think that Restaurant Week will facilitate learning about New Haven culture and exploring neighborhoods they would not otherwise experience.

New Haven Restaurant Week is sponsored by Bank of America.

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