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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Uptown’s version of Restaurant Week kicks off on Monday for the third year in a row, with 28 eateries offering price-fixed meals across Washington Heights and Inwood.
Organizers of #WHIN and Dine, which runs April 6 to 24, are hoping to whet residents’ appetites with deals on three-course dinners at some of the neighborhood’s tastiest spots.
The list of participating restaurants includes repeat participants such asMamajuana and Corcho Wine Room, as well as neighborhood newcomers like Made in Mexico and Tryon Public House.
There is something for every taste, explained Ariel Ferreira, CEO of UpStep Inc., the marketing company that organizes the event.
“Being in WaHi, one of the neighborhoods that’s still very diverse, we’re able to attract people with all types of palates,” Ferreira said. “We have sushi, Italian, Spanish, tapas. We have a wide range of food.”
The Washington Heights Business Improvement District, Columbia University Medical Center, and United Restaurant Lounge and Convenience Store Association partnered with UpStep to support #WHIN and Dine, which is named for the popular hashtag for Washington Heights and Inwood.
The event started three years ago under the name Explora, with 15 participating restaurants offering a variety of discounts and freebies. Last year, the organizers made the decision to switch to the more traditional, prix fixe model.
Ferreira said that both restaurant owners and diners preferred this format.
“For marketing purposes, it’s easier for us to market one price across the board for all restaurants rather than all of these different deals,” he said. “And this way people get to try a little bit of everything from the restaurants — an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert — so it’s more attractive for people.”
This year, all the restaurants will offer a three-course dinner for $26.95 Monday through Friday nights. Diners do not need to purchase tickets or passes to participate in #WHIN and Dine.
The event’s website or mobile app list the participating restaurants, their locations and their prix-fixe menus.
#WHIN and Dine is taking place a month earlier this year in order to make room for a second restaurant week later this year.
“We’re working on it per the request of restaurant patrons and owners to see restaurant week twice a year,” Ferreira said. “We’re in the works to schedule one for November or October, so you should be seeing that in the near future.”
The event kicks off on Monday with a celebration at VIVA Kitchen and Bar that is open to the public.