Living a bicoastal lifestyle is a lot trickier in 2020.
With the coronavirus pandemic still a reality of American life, jetting from New York City to Los Angeles isn’t as easy as it used to be. And that’s made it harder for New Yorkers to enjoy their favorite West Coast cuisine—ditto for Angelenos missing their go-to NYC haunts.
That’s why S.Pellegrino is bringing a taste of each city to the other with its new “Destination Dining” series, which will see famed New York and L.A. restaurants swap signature dishes with one another.
The idea, according to the company, is for “the dishes [to] travel while the diners stay safely in their home city.”
“Experiencing new cuisines is such an integral part of why we travel,” said Filippo Mazzaia, senior market development manager for S.Pellegrino. “But with trips still on hold, people are craving those unique dining and cultural experiences. With ‘Destination Dining,’ we’re able to give food lovers a culinary escape while also lending support to independent restaurants during these challenging times.”
Starting Oct. 15, special dishes will be available at notable New York and Los Angeles eateries for a week at a time. The first swap makes sense from a culinary perspective: New York’s Frankies Spuntino and Los Angeles eatery Jon & Vinny’s, an Italian restaurant swapping with an Italian restaurant, both serving the each other’s version of spaghetti and meatballs. The next swap will be between New York’s breezy Israeli spot Balaboosta and vegan L.A. restaurant Crossroads.
There’s a charitable element to the program as well, supporting the organization Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants, which provides restaurant workers in New York with assistance.
Though the program is limited to New York and Los Angeles for now, S.Pellegrino said it will expand to other U.S. cities in the future. Consumers can chime in where they’d like S.Pellegrino to go next on social media using the hashtags #SupportRestaurants and #SPDestinationDining.
With bars and restaurants around the country struggling due to the pandemic, several brands have teed up campaigns or other marketing activations to help, such as Crown Royal providing donations to bars tied to the number of times a certain song was streamed. Brands are also doing what they can to reinvent the restaurant experience—Miller High Life, for one, created a pop-up “dive bar” that could be set up in a backyard.