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Dining for (Fewer) Dollars in San Francisco

January 06, 2002

Picking up on an idea pioneered by New York City tourism boosters, San Francisco is holding a "Dine About Town 2002" program in which upscale restaurants will offer three-course fixed-priced menus for $19.95 at lunch and $29.95 for dinner. (Taxes, tip and beverage are extra.) The program runs Jan. 13 to 27. Reservations are recommended.

As of last week, about 100 restaurants were participating. Some were offering the deal only at lunch, others at dinner. Savings can be substantial, depending on the restaurant. Several, such as Azie, Campton Place, Farallon, Hawthorne Lane and Postrio, typically charge more than $50 a person for meals, according to Zagat Survey. For a list of the participating restaurants, call (415) 283-0177 or visit www.sfdineabouttown.com or www.sfvisitor.org.

"People aren't dining out as much as last year," said Laurie Armstrong, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, a co-sponsor of Dine About Town. With business travel down, the city hopes to encourage leisure travelers to try "upper-end" restaurants frequented by business diners, she explained.

The New York Convention & Visitors Bureau for years has organized a similar event in the summer called Restaurant Week, involving more than 100 establishments. Early last year it also held one in the winter, offering fixed-price lunches for $20.

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