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Cheap(er) Good Eats in San Francisco: Dine About Town

January is one of my favorite months in San Francisco. No, not because I'm some sort of hydrophilic masochist who loves to frolic in the freezing rain and watch towns in Sonoma County and Napa County washed away by rising floodwaters. I love January because it's Dine About Town month in San Francisco, where scores of restaurants, some of them quite good, offer three dineabout.jpgcourse fixed-price dinners for $31.95. Some of them also do $21.95 dinners. This is a great way to go out and sample some of the best of what San Francisco has to offer.

Some restaurants do a better job of this than others, and some are more likely to mention this promotion than others, but even if it takes a little hunting on your part, or a little persistence in requesting the special menu, there's a lot of good meals to be had this month without breaking the bank.

They are also doing a promotion for those coming in from out of town that involves hotel rooms and prizes, etc. I can't be bothered to figure it all out, and I care most about the food, but if you're traveling here in the next 30 days you might want to check out their web site for the details.

Since I received a good response to this last year, I'm going to go ahead and share the restaurants that I think are really worth checking out, usually because the food is really good AND they tend to be more expensive so this promotion gets you a better deal. It's all about value, see? Make your reservations soon. I know I will.

VINOGRAPHY'S TOP CHOICES FOR A DINE ABOUT TOWN DINNER* RESERVATION (* some restaurants only have this deal going during lunch)

Ana Mandara
Big 4 Restaurant
Bacar Restaurant & Wine Salon
Crustacean Restaurant
EOS Restaurant & Wine Bar
1550 Hyde Wine Bar and Cafe
Le Colonial
One Market Restaurant
RNM Restaurant
Seasons at Four Seasons Hotel
The Waterfront Restaurant & Cafe

Campton Place is unfortunately only serving lunch, but apparently is worth making a trip to visit nonetheless.

THE FULL LIST OF PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS (check out the Dine About Town site for overviews and sample menus for each restaurant)

Asia de Cuba
Azie Aziza
bacar restaurant and wine salon
Big 4 Restaurant
Bistro Boudin
BIX Restaurant
Blowfish Sushi To Die For
Blupointe Raw Bar. Bistro. Lounge
Bob's Chop & Steak House
C & L Steak
Cafe Maritime
Campton Place Restaurant
Catch Restaurant
Chenery Park Restaurant
Chez Papa
Circolo Restaurant & Ultra Lounge
Citizen Cake
Cliff House
Mexican Bistro
Cortez Restaurant & Bar
The Cosmopolitan Restaurant.Bar.Piano Lounge
Côté Sud
Cozmo's Corner
Crustacean Daily Grill
Emporio Rulli
1550 Hyde Cafe & Wine Bar
Fior d'Italia Restaurant
First Crush Restaurant, Wine Bar & Lounge
Forbes Island
Foreign Cinema
Fournou's Ovens
Frisson Restaurant
Grand Cafe
Hornblower Cruise & Events
Hyde Street Bistro
Il Fornaio
Cucina Italiana
Jack Falstaff
Julius' Castle Restaurant
La Suite
Le Charm French Bistro
Le Colonial
Le Zinc French Bistro
The Mandarin
Mangarosa Restaurant and Bar
Market Street Grill
Maya Restaurant
McCormick & Kuleto's Seafood Restaurant
Medjool Restaurant & Lounge
MoMo's San Francisco Grill
Moose's Nectar Wine Lounge
The Oak Room and Piano Bar
One Market Restaurant
O'Reilly's Holy Grail
Ozumo Restaurant
Palio d'Asti
Paragon Restaurant and Bar
Park Grill
PlumpJack Cafe
The Public Resto and Lounge
Restaurant Jeanne D'Arc
Restaurant LuLu
RNM Restaurant
Rose Pistola
Roy's Hawaiian Fusion
Rue Saint Jacques
Ruth's Chris Steak House
Scoma's Restaurant
Seasons Restaurant
Sinbad's Restaurant
Soluna Cafe & Lounge
The Terrace at the Ritz
Tommy Toy's Cuisine Chinoise
Universal Café
Vintner's Grill Washington Square Bar & Grill
The Waterfront Restaurant & Cafe
Zingari Ristorante

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud 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 World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.