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San Francisco deal: 'Dine About Town' lets you sample top restaurants at low prices

December 23, 2010|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
(San Francisco Convention…)

January can be a slow time for restaurants, which is why "restaurant weeks" were invented. The idea is to woo customers with inexpensive fixed-price menus during the winter doldrums -- and it works. Dine About Town San Francisco starts Jan. 15, with some newcomers added to the lineup.

The deal: Eat at one of more than 100 selected restaurants in San Francisco and pay $17.95 for a two-course lunch or $34.95 for a three-course dinner; prices don't include tax, beverages or tip. New restaurants added this year include Ducca, Georges Restaurant, Skool and the Velvet Room of the Clift Hotel. To ensure that you get a seat at the table, make a free reservation for lunch or dinner online at Dates and times vary by restaurant.

When: Dine About Town runs from Jan. 15 to 31.

Tested: I went online and made reservations for lunch at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion in the SOMA area for 12:15 p.m. Jan. 18. Lunch choices included mahi mahi, salmon, short ribs or chicken breast with caramel macadamia tart for dessert. (Fixed-lunch prices at this Roy's usually cost $19.95 to $32.95, plus tax and tip.)

I also booked dinner at Ducca, also in the SOMA area, at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16. The three-course spread featured a spicy eggplant salad, winter squash sformato (souffle-like dish) and swordfish. (Dinner usually runs $31 to $50 plus tax per person, according to Open Table.)

Early birds: The Dine About Town Launch Party will start at 6 p.m. Jan. 12 at Metreon, 101 4th St. It requires advance tickets ($25), with sales benefiting the Meals on Wheels program. The ticket entitles you to samples of food and drink from more than 25 restaurants and vineyards. But reserve early; space is limited.

Contact: Dine About Town San Francisco or call the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, (415) 391-2000

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