September 23rd kicks off Fort Lee Restaurant Week. With each passing year, the ever-growing city continues to prove itself with its remarkable restaurant scene. A town not once thought of for its food is finally getting a chance to shine light on the cuisine they are proud to say is from within the Fort Lee city limits.
The week is organized by the Business District Alliance of Fort Lee (BDA). “Fort Lee Restaurant Week is all about the community coming together. We are proud to host an exciting event with celebrity chefs that will benefit our community directly,” BDA President Romina Starace said.
Over 40 restaurants and eateries are participating this year including spots such as Daegu Chicken, Aquarius Seafood Restaurant, Dumpling Den, and Bistro Du Saigon. You can find the full list of participating restaurants here.
This past Tuesday, an event at David Burke’s stunning, new VENTANAS aimed to kick off Fort Lee Restaurant Week the right way. Five big name chefs gathered to each show off their skills and celebrate the city during one lively night. In addition to Burke, Josh Capon of Lure Fishbar, B&B Winepub and El Toro Blanco, Dale Talde of the brand new Goosefeather, Antonio Dinis of Porto, and Ben Pollinger of The Hill were in attendance.
In a social media dominated food world, our view of what popular cuisine has evolved into can often become skewed. We can be led to believe that the gimmicky dishes presented on Instagram and Facebook are most of what the industry has to offer nowadays. Obviously, this is not the case at all, and to have five chefs as talented as these in one space showing a hundred guests what exceptional food truly is was sobering.
Each chef prepared a dish representative of them and their craft. To no one’s surprise, each dish presented was remarkable in its own way. I particularly found Dale Talde’s roasted Maitake mushroom astonishing; a dish that’s simplicity immediately turns to complexity upon touching your taste buds. This is the food that I love to eat. After each Chef presented their dish, we were treated to a Q&A with the chefs themselves. This was the final portion of the event before the night came to a close.
Fort Lee Restaurant Week comes to a close this Sunday the 29th, but be sure to get out there and hit up some of your favorite spots, or a new one you have been meaning to try.