Restaurants in Huntington are doing their part to help out victims of Hurricane Sandy by providing food to some of the hardest-hit areas.
Mark Zecher, managing partner at Honu Kitchen & Cocktail Restaurant, thought it was a great idea when he was approached by one of his waiters, suggesting that the restaurant help deliver food to areas of Long Island hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.
"I was approached by one of my waiters, Michael Kondratiev and a friend of his, Dana Finkelstein, who were involved in an effort to get food to some of the hardest hit communities," Zecher said. "I got the ball rolling and had one of our chefs cook all of the food."
Zecher said he originally targeted the Long Beach area because he knew that it was one of the communities that sustained the most damage from the storm. But Long Beach was overcrowded with organizations trying to help out and it was hard to get a foot in the door.
"Dana suggested we try going down to the Rockaways because that was another area in desperate need of help. We noticed that there were not too many organizations so we got a very good reception from people in the community."
The team headed down to the Rockaways the day after the big nor'easter hit with catering equipment and 10 trays of food and set up shop. On the trays were dishes like eggplant parmigiana, sausage and peppers and baked ziti. Over 200 people were fed that day.
Dana Finkelstein, who is a Roslyn resident and restaurant veteran, can be credited with organizing the food delivery from Honu and many other Long Island restaurants to the hard hit Rockaways. She has worked tirelessly to help get the community back on its feet.
"I knew that the Rockaway's was an area that was struggling," said Finkelstein. "I've worked in lots of restaurants and thought it would be a good idea to try to get some of them to help out."
Finkelstein has helped with the logistics in terms of setting up the food in certain areas of the neighborhood and even making deliveries in her family suv. She and other organizers have set up outdoor tents at 113th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.
"Every time I come down people recognize me as the girl who brings the food on the block."
She added that there were plans to set up two big feasts for Thanksgiving Day, one at St. Camillus Church in Rockaway Park and the other at St. Gertrude's Parish in Far Rockaway.
Participating in the effort are:
Pearl East, Manhasset
Vincent's Restaurant & Pizzeria, Albertson
Da-Angelo PIzzeria & Ristorante, Albertson
Angelina's Pizzeria & Restaurant, Williston Park
Mim's, Roslyn Heights
Pirandello Ristorante & Pizzeria, Roslyn Heights
Da Vinci Gourmet Market, Albertson
Chicken Kebob, Roslyn Heights
Meehan's Restaurant, Huntington
388 Restaurant and Lounge, Roslyn
Grasso's, Cold Spring Harbor
Smokin' Al's Famous BBQ Joint, Massapequa Park
Chadwick's at the Station, Rockville Centre
MP Taverna, Roslyn
Amarelle, Wading River
Ivarone Café, New Hyde Park
Porto Vivo, Huntington
American Bar and Grill, Oyster Bay
Tate's Restaurant, Nesconset
Public House 49, Patchogue
Yummy Gyro, Williston Park
Hurricane Grill and Wings, Syosset
Mitch and Toni's Bistro, Albertson
Southampton Social Club, Southampton
Phillipines' Best Inc., Hicksville
Crossroads Bar and Grill, Hicksville
Central Ave. Gourmet Bagels, Bethpage
Bagel & Co, Fresh Meadows
Stop and Shop, Syosset
Hicksville Beer and Soda