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 OpenTable.com. 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.)