MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Maplewood will host its annual Restaurant Week starting Monday.

Restaurant Week, which has been a village mainstay for years according to Diana Vitrano, district manager for the Springfield Avenue Partnership, will run from March 19-25.

Vitrano said this was the second year the event was town-wide. In previous years, it was restricted to the village.

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For Alton Henry, the owner of the newly opened Da Kitchen, the event was a good way to introduce the Caribbean and southern influenced restaurant to the community.

“We want to get our name out there and we have quality food we can showcase,” Henry said.

The eatery’s owner said, chuckling, that he only wished the restaurant’s overhang sign could have arrived before the event began. 

So far, Maplewood seemed to be a good fit for Da Kitchen, Henry said.

“I like the area, (it’s) very nice: The atmosphere, the people, the whole environment is very welcoming,” he said.

Da Kitchen is offering a family-style dinner special that serves 4-6 people for $19.99.

The plethora of small, eclectic restaurants such as Da Kitchen is part of what makes the community unique, according to the town’s blog, and the number of restaurants participating would seem to echo that sentiment.

Some of the other eateries participating in the event include Arturo’s Osteria and Pizzeria, which is offering a $35 three course tasting menu Monday-Thursday for lunch and dinner, while Edo’s Cakes is offering a dessert special - $6 for any three cupcakes.

To include local merchants in the event, participants can download a merchant coupon card on the blog, where participants can also see the full list of participating restaurants and businesses.

As for Henry, he’s just hoping you’ll drop by.

“You have to stop by and taste our food,” Henry said. “Most people who walk in the door, they come in to see the food. Then they taste it, and 99.9 percent of the time, they purchase.”