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Dine About Town June 2011

pengrin May 24, 2011 12:38 PM

Hello Folks,

I was wondering if you think Dine About Town is worth it. I tried it in Jan 2011 just for lunches and I didn't find it impressive and there is only 2-course menu. I think back in the days it was 3 -course menu but I could be wrong.

Do you think it's worth it? Or do you think the dinner menu is better?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. v
    vulber RE: pengrin May 24, 2011 02:31 PM

    i think it really just depends restaurant to restaurant, you have to look at what their normal offerings are; at somewhere like ruth's chris where they'r serving their regular prix-fixed menu for $5 less, then yes, certainly it is, if you go to a place that normally has $15 entrees, not so much

    1. l
      lrealml RE: pengrin May 25, 2011 09:17 PM

      This came up on another thread, but I think I should move the discussion here since it answers your question. Here is most of what I said:
      We've done a lot of DAT dinners and weekend lunches in the past and often were disappointed by very limited or boring DAT menus and/or mediocre food
      I found that most of the time DAT does not save us much if any money. In some cases ordering the DAT menu was actually more expensive than the regular prices. In the cases where we were saving money, it was normally no more than a few dollars.
      I haven't done the analysis this year, but we decided that most of the time we would rather not do DAT and instead order what we want. Exceptions in the past have been Campton Place for lunch and Foreign Cinema for dinner.

      On another note, I think I remember that DAT used to be a bit better when they were doing it only once a year. As it is, DAT is one whole month out of the year and restaurants can't afford to give a great deal that often. If SF had a "restaurant week", maybe some of the restaurants would decide to take a brief hit on profits week and try to attract new customers by actually giving a deal. The way it is now, it is mostly just a gimmick.

      3 Replies
      1. re: lrealml
        Robert Lauriston RE: lrealml May 26, 2011 09:31 AM

        I don't understand why they're doing DAT in June. The original January one is during the slowest time of year for most places. June, the tourist season has already started.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          vulber RE: Robert Lauriston May 26, 2011 03:04 PM

          they started doing it in june when the recession was causing it to be slow for a lot of restaurants and i guess it was popular enough to continue

        2. re: lrealml
          mariacarmen RE: lrealml May 27, 2011 12:27 PM

          I agree on Campton Place for lunch - not so much the value but the quality of the food. My FC dinner during DAT was just ok, food-wise. I love FC normally. I've just found that the DAT food is never a good indication of the food a restaurant puts usually. (again, Campton was the exception.)

          I also usually find that once I'm in a restaurant, I want to try their regular menu items more than the DAT special, so I end up spending way more than I intended. Sure the restaurant intended that too!

          Campton Place
          340 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

        3. Windy RE: pengrin May 25, 2011 09:46 PM

          If you do decide to try it, register your American Express card. Three DAT meals (on three different occasions) gets you $15 back.

          And agreed, it pays to be selective and check out the menus beforehand. The best DAT meals I've had were at places like Seasons, Fifth Floor, and Aziza--high end dinners.

          Fifth Floor Restaurant
          12 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94103

          3 Replies
          1. re: Windy
            Ruth Lafler RE: Windy May 26, 2011 11:31 AM

            In that vein, over the years there have been positive reports of DAT at One Market. My take is that with DAT it's not the food that's so much of a bargain as the atmosphere: it's an opportunity to eat at a more upscale place for the same price you'd pay at a more casual place and enjoy the accoutrements (polished service, more luxurious setting, etc.). For about 80 percent of the places on the list, I don't see the point of DAT.

            You might want to look at some of the threads containing previous DAT reports to get an idea of what places are usually good and which aren't.

            One Market Restaurant
            1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              Windy RE: Ruth Lafler May 26, 2011 01:39 PM

              I had DAT lunch at One Market a few years ago, and the service was wonderful but the food only so so. But it's true: it's a temptation to live beyond our usual means.

              I remember doing DAT lunch at Campton Place during the worst of 2002 or 2003, and promptly giving up whatever we saved by getting the dessert wine pairing. The service was much more memorable than whatever we ate.

              One Market Restaurant
              1 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

              Campton Place
              340 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                lrealml RE: Ruth Lafler May 27, 2011 12:12 PM

                One of the problems is that there are very few good high end places on the list... at least not anymore.

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