In the summer, it's easy to cajole people to get out of the house, wander around a city and eat al fresco on a sidewalk patio. But in the wintertime? In cold cities? That's another story. Once again we're offering a selection of winter restaurant promotions. Most of the places offer a minimum of three, prix-fixe courses for a fixed price, exclusive of taxes, tips, and beverages and many of them want you to reserve using Open Table (www.opentable.com) to simplify matters.
What: Boston Winter Restaurant Week
Where: Participating restaurants throughout Boston, Cambridge, and the suburbs
When: March 9-14; March 16-21
Cost: Three-course lunches $20.08; three-course dinners $33.08
More Information: www.bostonusa.com/rw08/index.html
Just as it's about time to start thinking about baseball, Boston bids adieu to winter with a mid-March restaurant week. At press time more than 96 restaurants had signed up for the promotion; last winter 137 participated. For the last two summers, Boston's restaurant week has been so successful it's been extended to two weeks and this winter's incarnation will also run for two weeks. The list of restaurants will go live on February 11 when reservations open to the general public; it is kept mum during the American Express cardholders pre-registration. In the meantime, while you wait, the city will hold its 13th annual Celebrity Chefs culinary program, which consists of two-hour classes every Sunday afternoon January 12 through February 16. The six-week program costs $300 per person and proceeds benefit Boston Center for Adult Education; more information can be found on the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau's site, listed below.
What: Winter Restaurant Weeks
Where: New York City
When: January 21-25; January 28-February 1
Cost: three-course prix-fixe lunches, $24.07; three course, prix-fixe dinners, $35
Although it's not being called Paint the Town anymore, this twice-yearly promotion in New York has not disappeared. Currently, NYC & Company, which organizes the event in conjunction with sponsoring partners, is in the process of repackaging the promotion but the dining component has not disappeared; Winter Restaurant Week is actually two weeks, but it only runs Monday-Friday and although the list of participating restaurants has yet to be formally announced, it's holding at 224, a record number. There are links to Open Table right from the NYC Visit website which makes booking easy. Another current promotion worth considering in tandem with restaurant week is Sunday Stays, which entitles you to 20-30 percent off regular rates on Sundays at 44 hotels (and counting), including both Ritz-Carltons, and the Signature Collection promotion gives you a third night free from January 8-February 29, based on availability.
What: Center City District Restaurant Week
When: January 27-February 1
Cost: $35 for a minimum of three dinner courses
In Philadelphia, the Center City District offers a weeklong promotion for the fifth winter straight, and more than a hundred participants have already signed on. A select number of them are already accepting reservations via OpenTable, including Alma de Cuba, Estia, Patou, and Susanna Foo, among others. What's even better? The Central Philadelphia Development Corporation is working with partnered parking garages to offer discounted parking rates, which will be a big help in keeping your car off the streets, where legal parking is much trickier to come by.
What: Dine About Town
Where: San Francisco
When: January 15-31
Cost: Three-course prix-fixe lunch $21.95; three-course prix-fixe dinner $31.95
San Francisco is another serious foodie town, and it's twice-yearly dining promotions attest to that as well as its wealth of new and innovative restaurants. The official list of 100 participating restaurants -- a mere fraction of the city's approximately 5,000 -- will be unveiled on December 14. In the meantime, new additions to the promotion include Sauce, Café Claude, and A16, and a handful of restaurants, including Anzu, Asia de Cuba, Tommy Toy's Cuisine and Scoma's are all returning for the seventh year in a row. Hotel packages have also been created, and the website for the city's Convention and Visitors bureau will have links. The site will also be searchable by cuisine, and reservations can be made through a partnership with Open Table.
What: Dine Out Vancouver
Where: Greater Vancouver area
When: January 16-February 3
Cost: Three-course dinners with menus for $15, $25 and $35
The sixth annual Dine Out Vancouver takes place over the course of 19 days and is the longest and biggest incarnation yet, with more than 180 restaurants signed on, showcasing the city's diverse cuisine, from Asian, African, Spanish, Pacific Northwest seafood and more. The promotion also heavily features food pairings with British Columbia wines. For an overnight stay packages are available from C$129 and include a one-night hotel stay and a three-course dinner and can be booked right from Tourism Vancouver's website. Some other packages include incentives such as breakfast and free parking. The complete list of participating restaurants, along with menus, will be posted on January 2 on Tourism Vancouver's site, through which you can book many of the restaurants.
Where do you love to eat? Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our Message Boards today.