Restaurant Week is here!

Chef Peter X. Kelly, Janet Crawshaw, publisher of The Valley Table, and Rockland County Executive Ed Day at the kickoff event at Kelly’s Restaurant X & Bully Boy Bar in Congers. Photograph by Bob Rozycki.

Diners will have the opportunity to sample cuisine from hundreds of area eateries this month thanks to Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.

Presented by The Valley Table, a print magazine celebrating its 20th year, Restaurant Week runs through March 25. Restaurants will offer three-course, prix-fixe menus at $22.95 for lunch and $32.95 for dinner.

More than 200 restaurants across the region will participate in Restaurant Week this year.

“It keeps growing. I remember when it was just three of us doing this,” said Peter Xavier Kelly, owner of Restaurant X & Bully Boy Bar, the restaurant that hosted the event’s kickoff celebration on March 6. “I am particularly happy that so many different venues are participating. We have every different cuisine, every style of restaurant, so it’s really very exciting to be part of this.”

Participating restaurants are located across the Hudson Valley region, with eateries in Columbia, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Ulster counties. More than half of the restaurants are in Westchester County.

Janet Crawshaw, publisher of The Valley Table, said the event gives diners a chance to experience “the food revolution” happening in the Hudson Valley region, along with a boost to the local economy.

“This is a really difficult time of year, March, and this time of year you don’t know what’s going to come,” she said, referencing the recent nor’easter that dampened business at some local restaurants. “Business is tough even when there isn’t a storm in winter and this really is a boost to the rest.”

Crawshaw said participating restaurants typically see a 25- to 50-percent increase in business during the two-week event.

“So many restaurants have literally called me afterwards and said, ‘Thank you so much. This is just the shot in the arm I needed to get to the next season,’” she said.

Recently opened eateries on the restaurant week lineup include the European-influenced restaurant at the boutique Beacon Hotel in Dutchess, Fin and Brew in Peekskill and Ossining’s 3 Westerly Bar & Grille.

“Even when there are 200-plus restaurants participating, everyone looks for who’s new, so it’s a great way to introduce new restaurants,” Crawshaw said.

Participating restaurants and The Valley Table are also placing a focus this year on encouraging diners to enjoy restaurants outside of their own county. To help with this, a number of restaurants surprised eight diners with $20 gift certificates to a restaurant in a different county on the first night of Restaurant Week.

For more, visit valleytable.com/hvrw.

-Aleesia Forni

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