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SF Restaurant Deals Due to Financial Meltdown?

I keep hearing that there are good deals for luch or dinner at some places in town. Anybody hear any good deals? I am looking for higher end but will galdly and gratefully accept any ideas! Many thanks Chowhounds!

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  1. Restaurant.com is selling $25 gift certificates for $2 (use promo code SANTA), and among the numerous uninspiring choices there are a few gems. Be sure to check the usage restrictions (minimum food purchase not including alcohol, etc.).

    1. Dine About Town starts again next month. Walking around SF, I've noticed alot of empty tables lately.


      1. I know this is in Berkeley, but I've been dying to post it somewhere.

        Bistro Liaison did a deal in October and November which will restart in January where they offer a full 3-course dinner Monday through Thursday for $25. The menu changes weekly - one week being coq au vin, another being a veal something or other - and starts with a small bowl of olives, then your choice of a soup or salad, the entree of the week, dessert, and a glass of wine.

        2 Replies
        1. re: adrienne156

          Thanks for posting. Their website still lists the menu at $32 -- and says nothing about it changing weekly.

        2. Here's the DAT article from the SF Chron. I also noticed that Campton Place is participating for dinner this time.

          Deals: Dine About Town returns Jan. 15-31
          Deb Wandell

          Wednesday, December 31, 2008

          Eat out and help take a bite out of the recession during the 2009 installment of Dine About Town, taking place from Jan. 15-31 throughout San Francisco.

          More than 100 restaurants will offer three-course fixed-price lunches ($21.95) and dinners ($34.95), tax and tip excluded.

          New restaurants on the 2009 roster include Ducca Restaurant and Lounge, Catch, Medjool, Luce and Jeanty at Jack's. They join veterans Absinthe Brasserie and Bar, Ana Mandara, Asia de Cuba, Fringale, One Market and Tommy Toy's Cuisine Chinoise, among many others.

          The dates and times of participation may vary by restaurant; a la carte menus also will be available.

          This year's fundraiser kicks off with a launch party at 6 p.m. Jan 14 at the Cellar at Macy's Union Square. The $20 admission includes 10 tasting tickets for hors d'oeuvres from Campton Place Restaurant, Chez Papa Resto, Colibri Mexican Bistro, Fish & Farm and several other restaurants, and a cooking demonstration by Jake des Voignes, executive chef at Fish & Farm. Proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels. For reservations to the launch party (by Jan. 11), and a list of participating restaurants, go to www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/taste/dine.... For restaurant reservations, go to opentable.com or call participating restaurants.

          5 Replies
          1. re: baron45

            Campton Place definitely looks like one of the most attractive options.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I hate to admit it but I'm considering the Cliff House for DAT now that George Marrone is in the kitchen. It seems like a painless way to give the joint another chance.

              Seems like the response is not so much dropping prices but closing doors such as JoJo, Cafe de la Paz and Cetrella shuttering up for the winter until May 1st.

                1. re: pseudokiwi

                  Have you been since Marrone took over? What did you try?

                  I've been to Sutro's with other chefs in the kitchen and wasn't impressed.

                  1. re: rworange

                    Yes. It was one of the better meals I've had in SF (recent NYC transplant making the foodie rounds). LOVED the lobster ravioli. Bone in rib eye and the pork were also fabulous.

          2. Not a response to the meltdown, but an expansion of service: Jai Yun is now doing prix fixe lunches starting at $18 pp

            1. Luna Park or someone near there has a Blue Tray Special I think on Thursday nights for like $12 for 3 courses.

              1. I've read elsewhere that Laiola has a $25 prix fixe dinner on Mondays and Americano has a $20 dinner, also on Mondays. Haven't tried either one yet, though, so can't say first hand.

                1. I heard about a couple of "recession specials" in Alameda today. Speisekammer has a "recession" menu with smaller portions at lower prices. Ching Hua has also added smaller portions of their regular offerings -- particularly of appetizers -- for lower prices during happy hours.

                  2424 Lincoln Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

                  Ching Hua
                  1650 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

                  1. Ruth's Chris had a filet mignon and lobster tail combo for $39 last night, which separately was something like $32 and $17, still a lot but not bad if your celebrating something special.

                    1. B-B-B special at Epic Roasthouse: their half-pound burger, brownie dessert and a beer, $20 in the bar area from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


                      1. Palio d' Asti is offering all kinds of specials:

                        Happy hour: complimentary pizza with purchase of two "adult beverages"

                        Prix fixe dinner menus, with wide variety of interesting choices:
                        $29 for two courses
                        $37 for three courses
                        $45 for four courses

                        $1 first martini with three-course dinner; No corkage with three-course dinner. It's also on restaurant.com. My impression is that the location deep in the Financial District has been hard-hit by the recession, as two well-known, well-regarded restaurants nearby have already closed (Jeanty at Jack's, Rubicon).

                        Any recent reports on Palio?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          Rubicon's location is fine, it did well for most of its 14-year run. Tyler Florence has leased the space:


                          Among the reasons Nieporent closed Rubicon was that San Franciscans wouldn't accept the steep wine markups he gets away with in New York:


                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            The location *has been* fine, but the restaurants in that area all depend on office workers and business lunches and dinners for a significant part of their business. Unlike, for example, the dot-com bust, this time around the financial services sector which makes up a large percentage of the businesses in that part of town has been particularly hard hit.

                          2. re: Ruth Lafler

                            I've never eaten at Palio d'Asti, but their specials aren't new except the prix fixe dinners. The pizza's always on offer, and they run the $1 martinis regularly, usually in April around tax time.

                            I don't think many companies are paying for business meals to woo clients any more, especially $$ lunches.

                          3. The Fifth Floor is offering bottles and half-bottles from it's Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning list for half price through the month of August. This does not apply to its wines by the glass. All entrees under $30. This is the cellar that brought Raj Parr (RN74, Mina Group) his reputation.

                            4 Replies
                              1. re: plainfood

                                Is that ALL bottles & halfs? Or just a selected group?

                                I could imagine a very epic dinner if every bottle on the wine list is 50% off.

                                1. re: Eugene Park

                                  All, according to their facebook page: "What's more fun than drinking your way through the Fifth Floor Wine List? How about drinking through it at half the price? For the month of August everything on our list is half off. No limits, no restrictions, no joke! Well, maybe some joking. . ."

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    Thanks Ruth!! I hopefully will have reason to celebrate with some clients this month. I'll suggest Fifth Floor if we do.