WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Washington Heights and Inwood are taking a second crack at restaurant week, and this time they're doing things differently.
Rather than focusing on freebies, the organizers of May's "#WHIN and Dine" week are falling back to the traditional prix fixe dinner package and offering three-course meals for 26.95 during the two week celebration of uptown food, which runs from May 12-23.
#WHIN and Dine, a play on the popular Twitter and Instagram hashtag for Washington Heights and Inwood, is a collaboration between Up Step Inc. and the Washington Heights Business Improvement District, which put on last year's Explora Restaurant Week. Ariel Ferreira, the CEO of UpStep and the BID's Director of Strategic Planning, said that this year's extravaganza was influenced by the lessons learned the first time around last May.
"People were very excited about restaurant week last year," Ferreira said, "But they said they were expecting a stronger marketing push. A lot of them didn't know that it was happening until it was over."
"Some of them expected a larger selection of restaurants, too," he added. "Last year we had 15-16 restaurants participating. This year we're being aggressive and trying to double that number."
The full list of participating restaurants has not been revealed yet, but Ferreira mentioned Manolo Tapas, Papasito Mexican Grill and Agave Bar and Corcho Wine Room as three restaurants that were interesting in participating.
Diners can expect a bigger promotional push this year, as the groups will be releasing a #WHIN and Dine mobile app along with increased use of the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
And while details are still being finalized, Ferreira said that restaurant week will begin with a kick-off event on May 12.
If all goes well, Ferreira added, foodies can expect to see more restaurant week events in the future.
"We’re possibly looking at doing it twice a year," he said. "From some conversations we might do it a little earlier in spring and possibly in the fall."
For more information on WHIN and Dine, visit www.facebook.com/whindine.