Getting ready for food and wine


The Rockville Centre Chamber of Commerce will be holding its second annual Food and Wine Festival on Sept. 12, and will be making everything bigger and better than it was last year.

The event is held outside on Front Street, across from the Rockville Centre train station, from 2 to 6 p.m. Guests will be able to sample quality food from more than two dozen Rockville Centre restaurants, as well as sip wine and beer from local wineries and vineyards, and beyond.

“The food and wine festival is a Chamber of Commerce-promoted event, the aim of which is to bring a wide range of people into the village to experience the food of the many eateries we have,” said Jeff Blasko, the special events coordinator for the Chamber. Blasko said he expects more than 1,000 people to purchase tickets for the event.

Restaurants, breweries and wineries will all have booths outside, with chefs from many of Rockville Centre’s most popular eateries cooking up some of their staple dishes for guests to sample. “We do it in the middle of the afternoon [before the dinner rush],” said Blasko, “so you’re going to see the chefs and owners at their tables, talking passionately about their food and talking to people.”

The afternoon event serves a few purposes: the first is to expose people to the many different dishes that local restaurants offer. The second purpose is to act as a kick-off for Rockville Centre Restaurant Week, which starts on Sept. 13. During the two-week Restaurant Week, many local eateries will have prix fixe menus with offerings for $15, $25, $35 or all three, giving customers a variety of dishes to sample.

“The problem with [Long Island] Restaurant Week is there are restaurants all over Long Island,” Blasko said. “This is specific to just Rockville Centre, so people can come here and experience our eateries.”

Finally, the Food and Wine Festival is also a fundraiser. The Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Rockville Centre Lions Club, and a portion of the proceeds raised from the event will go towards the funds being collected to build a special-needs playground at Hickey Field.

Tickets for the Food and Wine Festival are $55 per person, and are available at Tickets will also be sold at the entrance on the day of the festival.