Schenectady Restaurant Week will return next week for the first time since the pandemic began.
Traditionally, the Downtown Schenectady event is reserved for late winter, but in light of the pandemic, organizers will hold a summer edition from Aug. 16-22.
Nine participating restaurants will offer up meals, including an appetizer, entree and dessert, for $30. Restaurant Week is organized by the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation and the Chamber of Schenectady County.
“It is impossible to understate the impact the pandemic has had on our region’s business community, and restaurants have been hit especially hard,” said Mark Eagan, the president and CEO of the Capital Region Chamber. “With that in mind, we are raising the fixed price for Restaurant Week this time from $25 to $30 to generate extra revenue for operations and to offset increased food prices. We are confident that guests will welcome the opportunity to do a little more to support their favorite local businesses during this crucial time.”
Participating restaurants include Dukes Chophouse at Rivers Casino, Johnny’s Restaurant, Katie O’Byrne’s Irish Pub, Mexican Radio, More Perreca’s Italian Kitchen, Pho Queen, Tops American Grill, Bakery & Bar, Turf Tavern and Zen Asian Bistro.
Schenectady Restaurant Week has been running since 2006 and has grown in the ensuing years. In 2019 alone, 15,341 meals were served and had an economic impact of $516,000, according to a previous Gazette story. There are fewer restaurants involved in this summer edition of the event and according to Salengo, it’s partly because many restaurants had previously planned events and staff vacations.
“Everybody I think appreciated the fact that we wanted to get it in in 2021. Everybody had to decide if it was the right time for them. But for the folks that have signed up, there’s a nice selection of different types of cuisine and different experiences that people can enjoy,” Salengo said.
For Maria Papa, owner of More Perreca’s Italian Kitchen, it’s a chance to show off what hospitality providers in Schenectady can do.
More Perreca’s will be serving up wild mushroom risotto, prime rib au jus, eggplant rollatini and more. The full menu for Perreca’s and other participating restaurants can be found at downtownschenectady.org. Reservations are highly recommended and, in many cases, may be required.
Organizers hope to bring the traditional Schenectady Restaurant Week back in late winter.
“Last year we squeaked it in. I think in 2020, it was maybe a week and a half before things shut down. Clearly, we couldn’t do it in February or March of this year. We absolutely would love to do it [next year]. We’ll just keep an eye on what’s going on with the current situation and certainly work with the restaurants on following any recommendations,” Salengo said.