As businesses along the Jersey Shore continue to recover from Superstorm Sandy, many of them are looking forward to Jersey Shore Restaurant Week, which kicks off Friday and runs through April 13.

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This year, 72 restaurants are participating from Keyport to Seaside Park, the largest number of participants since the event began in 2009.

"Many businesses at the Jersey Shore have been pounded twice, first from Sandy and then this past winter has just been miserable for them," said Jim Flynn, chairman of Jersey Shore Restaurant Week. "On top of that, when you go from Point Pleasant south down through Bay Head and all the way down to Seaside, the roads are all torn up with construction. So, not only has it been a tough winter, but it's tough to get to any of the restaurants that are south of Point Pleasant. They are all looking forward to Restaurant Week."

Participating restaurants will offer a three-course dinner with choice of an appetizer, entree and dessert for either $20.14 or $30.14.

There will also be special events taking place throughout the week, including the Great Jersey Shore Burger contest -- where local restaurants compete for the best burger -- on Saturday at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. On Monday, there will be a wine blending event at Squan Tavern in Manasquan.

"I think there is all kinds of pent up desire to get out and have some fun, and restaurant owners are really looking forward to the extra business the week will bring," Flynn said.

To view a list of participating restaurants, visit jerseyshorerestaurantweek.com.