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Dine About Town Season In San Francisco

Yes, the new year brings with it many things. I've always been a contrarian by nature, so while most are making their resolutions to lose weight and get in better shape, I usually make a resolution to indulge myself at 5 new restaurants in San Francisco in January. Why in January? Well, because it's Dine About Town season. Following (or perhaps forging? I'm not sure which was the original) the lead of other major metropolitan areas, San Francisco has a special dining season that is marked by significantly discounted meals at some of the top restaurants.

Specifically, starting today (1/1/05) through the end of the month, most restaurants on the list are offering a 3 course prix fixe lunch for $21.95 and a 3 course prix fixe dinner for $31.95. This is a great way to try that high-end restaurant you've been interested in without breaking the bank.

Here's the way it works. Make a reservation and show up. When the waiter hands you the menu, be sure to ask about the dine about town menu (not all restaurants are good about volunteering it). Usually they will have a separate menu to choose from, although occasionally they will offer their current menu. Order as you would with any prix fixe menu. Since you're saving boatloads of bucks, why not spring for a great wine to go with that meal?

Here are some lists to help you along.

Best Bets
These folks will offer the best food and you should just go because they do.

Kyo-ya Restaurant at the Palace Hotel
Fringale Restaurant
Cafe Bastille

Best Values
These folks normally charge you an arm and a leg, so now's a great time to go.

RNM Restaurant
One Market Restaurant
Pacific at the Pan Pacific Hotel
Ana Mandara
Ozumo (lunch only)

Best Wine
These folks have fantastic wine lists, so with all the money you're saving, you can spring for a great bottle.

A16 (lunch only)
EOS Restaurant & Wine Bar

So there you go. And you thought 2005 was gonna be a tough year. January is a great time to be living in San Francisco. See you at dinner!

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud