Winter Restaurant Week on Grand Street

Grand Street L- Station. Courtesy of Grand Street BID.

WILLIAMSBURG — Grand Street Business Improvement District (BID) thinks you need to get out more and trying new restaurants is the perfect excuse.

For the past seven years, the Grand Street BID, which consists of six blocks between Bushwick and Union Avenues, has organized a winter counterpart to its Summer Restaurant Week. This event gives North Brooklyn residents incentive to leave their homes during the dismal last leg of winter (we hope) and partake in the local thriving restaurant scene.

From February 18th to March 1st this year – right at the tail-end of the larger New York Restaurant Week – over 15 restaurants will offer discounted prix fixe menus, ranging from $12-35.

While not every restaurant in that area participates, everybody is welcome to sign up. Restaurants have been around for as long as 30 years, like the Latin American spot Los Primos, or just a few months, like Carneval. Participants can take their pick of Thai, like at Thip Osha or newcomer Chongkho, or tacos, available at Los Tacos McOndo and Taco Edition.

Los Primos Restaurant. Courtesy of Grand Street BID.

The event gives established residents of the neighborhood a push to try something new, and gives non-residents a reason to visit. It is, according to the BID’s executive director Erin Piscopink, a prime opportunity to celebrate the district’s dynamic restaurant scene.

“I think the restaurants that participate are as diverse as the offerings here, as diverse as the community here,” Piscopink told Bklyner. “It’s a fun way for us to get to showcase that.”

The concept started as a one-week event seven years ago, and it’s been so successful that they started the summer version, and have extended the period of time to two weeks for both.

Restaurants get a boost as well: Piscopink said that restaurants saw a median 16% increase in business during the 2019 Summer Restaurant Week. The increased exposure is a boon, as well.

“Being here for a while, it was like, let’s ride along with you guys and join the holiday – join the Grand Street BID in this journey,” said Christian Duran who works at Los Primos alongside his father who owns it.

Pasta at participating restaurant Ammazzacafe. Courtesy of Grand Street BID.

This will be the restaurant’s second time participating in the Grand Street Restaurant Week, and the first go-round brought plenty of new faces, according to Duran. While Los Primos is known mostly to the Hispanic community, he said, the event brought in new people of all nationalities.

Duran’s dad is an “old-school” man from the Dominican Republic who, according to his son, didn’t understand the benefits of getting involved with something like Restaurant Week. Duran first signed up without him knowing.

“Now he’s more open-minded to it,” after seeing how much it helped the restaurant, Duran said.

In the coming weeks, Grand Street BID will post a guide showing off the highlights of each restaurant along with recommended prix-fixe options. Last year’s Summer Restaurant Week guide included insider tips, from splitting an $18 bottle of rose at Thompson Brooke’s happy hour to beseeching diners to order the ramen with whole lobster from Ryujin. Those interested can currently scope out the list of participating restaurants, with pricing, here.

Participants can enter to win $50 to a Grand Street BID restaurant of their choice by uploading a snapshot of their prix fixe meal, the restaurant, or their table mates to Instagram with the hashtag #DineonGrand.

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Rachel Lindy Baron

Rachel is a freelance writer and recent Brooklyn transplant who is a bit obsessed with food.

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