Downtown Wilkes-Barre will celebrate Restaurant Week with all kinds of food
WILKES-BARRE — No sooner had her father set the omelet on the counter at the Alpine Downtown Eatery than 4-year-old Giuliana Mantione jumped up and snagged a leaf of baby-spinach garnish for herself.
Oh, no, her parents said. Wait until the photographer takes a picture of it.
So Giuliana waited a few moments, which may have been difficult since the omelet, fresh from the kitchen and plump with broccoli flowrets, green peppers and mushrooms, looked so inviting.
As Downtown Wilkes-Barre Restaurant Week opens Sept. 18 Giuliana’s dad, Sal Mantione and mom, Ann Marie Kochuba-Mantione, join fellow entrepreneurs at more than 20 other establishments in hoping customers will find their food similarly irresistible.
“It’s a way to attract potential new customers, a way to bring back customers from the past and a way to reward the loyal customers who never left,” said John Maday from the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association, describing Restaurant Week.
Actually, Maday said, because it lasts until Sept. 27, Restaurant Week can also be considered “Restaurant 10 Days.”
During that time frame, which includes two weekends, organizers encouraged restaurants to offer whatever kind of specials they choose. “They know their businesses best,” Maday said.
At El Zocalo, a Mexican restaurant on Public Square where the fajitas, burritos and rib-eye steak are popular, co-owner Paola Mendez said patrons who order one entree at dinner time can purchase a second entree for half price.
Letts Eat, an Indian restaurant at the corner of South Main and East Northampton streets, will offer special prices on Navratankorma, a vegetarian dish whose name signifies it contains nine vegetables.
“For the non-vegetarians, we have chicken tikka masala,” co-owner Kavita Syed said, adding that instead of the typical rice side dish, the restaurant will offer naan, a special Indian flatbread.
And, if you thought the Anthracite, Not Just a Newsstand was simply a place to buy a newspaper or lottery tickets, this may be the week to check out its “fresh off the grill” breakfasts, club sandwiches, chicken wings or chicken tenders. Customers who order any of those specials will receive for free one of “Ann Marie’s Famous Peanut Butter Brownies,” home-baked by co-owner Ann Marie Bossard.
Meanwhile, back at the Alpine Downtown Eatery, which opened in July but has its official ribbon cutting on Thursday, they’re getting ready to offer meatball hoagies and grilled chicken as Restaurant Week specials. The meatball hoagies, featuring homemade meatballs, were a favorite when Mantione and Kochuba-Mantione had an Alpine Deli in Plymouth, and the grilled chicken is something new.
They’re excited to be in Downtown Wilkes-Barre, the couple said. “There are so many downtown workers and college students,” Mantione said. “It’s a good opportunity.”
“I’ve always loved the downtown,” Kochuba-Mantione said. “Boscov’s is the anchor and all the other stores complement each other.”
“We just took our daughter and a friend of hers to Movies 14 on a Friday night and the atmosphere was very family-friendly,” Kochuba-Mantione said. “It has a nice town feel.”
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT
Restaurant Week participants
• Alpine Downtown Eatery, West Northampton St.
• Anthracite, Not Just a Newsstand
• Barnes & Noble Wilkes King’s Cafe
• Bart & Urby’s
• Boscov’s Restaurant
• Bottleneck’s Saloon & Eatery
• Cafe Toscana
• Cheesesteak Factory
• El Zocalo
• Frank’s Pizzeria & Ristorante
• King of Kings Gyro
• Le Manhattan Bistro
• Letts Eat
• Mimmo’s Pizza
• Oz’s Eatery
• Pete’s Place Middle Eastern Restaurant
• Pronto Via Pizzeria
• Senunas’ Bar & Grill