About 130 people turned out for the opening of a new Long Island City restaurant on Wednesday.
Blend on the Water, located on the ground floor of 45-40 Center Blvd, opened its doors to the public for the first time and will now be open for dinner seven days per week.
The big draw is its 10 foot windows, which provide sweeping views of the East River and Manhattan. At night, according to workers, the lights will be kept dim as a means to showcase the glistening New York skyline.
The restaurant has hired Kelvin Fernandez, 28, to be the executive chef. He started working at Blend’s 47-04 Vernon Blvd location in September, as he got ready for the launch of Blend on the Water this week.
Fernandez, who is of Dominican heritage, was the executive chef at the Strand Hotel in Manhattan before taking this role. He also worked at Water’s Edge under chef George Masraff and was the runner-up in the Food Network’s Chopped.
Fernandez said the restaurant is opening in phases. “We are going to start by offering dinner first and with time open for brunch,” he said. The restaurant is likely to begin offering brunch in spring/summer and will also open its outdoor patio that can seat 50 people around the same time.
The restaurant is currently open seven days (Sun-Wed. 5 pm-10:30pm; Thursday-Sat. 5 pm-11:30 pm).
Over the course of the next few weeks, Fernandez said the restaurant will be limiting the number of people it serves each night. “We will limit it to a little over 100,” he said. “We want to make sure that people get the proper service when we start.”
Fernandez recommends that people make reservations at opentable.com. The menu is soon going to be posted there too.
The food will not be the same as Blend on Vernon Blvd.
“My style of food is very different,” Fernandez said. “It’s a mix of French, Italian and American with Latin American ingredients.”
The appetizers at the new restaurant range from $5 to $11, Fernandez said, with entrees going for between $16 and $25.
Meanwhile, the owners of Blend are going to close down the Vernon Blvd. restaurant and open a different type of Latin-American restaurant in the same space. Fernandez did not know when that will take place.