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Dine About Town Cheat Sheets

rworange | Jan 5, 200610:26 AM

Thought I’d share the notes I have about this year’s DAT menus

They seem better this year, for the most part in terms of selection, although there still are quite a few restaurants with the standard DAT menu:
First course – soup or salad
Second course – fish (usually salmon), chicken, pasta
Third Course – crème brulee, ice cream, bread pudding

For most restaurants the DAT menu is a selection of items off the regular menu rather than scaled down special DAT dishes. There are fewer restaurants serving dishes that are off-menu … which is good.

Best values (in terms of price, if not quality)

Aziza (dinner) – The 3-course DAT menu is $12 less expensive than the regular 4 course prix-fixe. Dropping a course might average out price-wise. However, the DAT menu allows selection any item on the menu for each course.
Big 4 Restaurant (dinner) – save about $14
Blowfish Sushi (lunch) – depending on selection, a $16 saving is possible
Campton Place Restaurant (lunch) – almost half price
Hornblower Cruises – with dinner cruises running from $50 - $99, this is a major bargain
Rose Pistola (lunch) – cured fish / sand dab selection is half the price of ordering a la carte. The DAT menu has some other interesting items..
Rubicon (dinner) – almost half price
Scoma’s (dinner) – the higher end options are a real value
Sutro's at Cliff House (lunch) – Almost half the a la carte price

In the DAT Hall of Shame … where ordering the DAT menu is more expensive than ordering the same items a la carte

Colibri Mexican Bistro – The DAT menu costs $6 more than ordering a la carte
EOS Restaurant & Wine Bar – The DAT menu costs $7 more than a la carte
Nectar Wine Lounge – The DAT menu costs $8 more than a la carte

It was interesting to look at restaurants that I’m always reading about, but never looked at the menus. There were some interesting non-DAT discoveries:

Café Maritime has a late night special on oysters – one dozen $13
EOS has $1 oysters and $5 wine and sake cocktails (Sun-Tues .5:30 – 7)
Paragon makes their own Cracker Jack.
Rubicon has a regular Wednesday $25 prix-fixe lunch
Circolo serves arepas and has an eclectic menu
Tablespoon has soft serve ice cream in interesting flavors

Also there are many restaurants that have year-round prix-fixe menus that are a bargain, many times less than DAT.

Many restaurants did not list their DAT menus so if interested in those places, it’s probably best to call and ask what is available.

Of course, the menus listed on opentable are sometimes different in reality. A few are better than what is listed. A few are bait and switch. They list a yummy DAT menu, but when you get there it is cream of turnip soup, spaghetti and sorbet. Some restaurants change menu items daily or weekly and will update the opentable site.

Last year Forbes Island had one of the best DAT offers. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be offered this year.

Say what you will (and I did) about the food at Forbes Island, it had one of the best ideas. Each course was a selection of some of the regular items off the menu. The savings were substantial, nearly half the regular prices … AND … most brilliant of all, if you wanted ANY other item on the menu, there was a five dollar supplement. So to add lobster to the DAT menu, there was only an extra $5 charge.

There are three more detailed posts:

DAT Cheat Sheet – Lunch and dinner
DAT Cheat Sheet – Lunch
DAT Cheat Sheet – Dinner

The value of the DAT meals will have the a la cart costs with the most expensive choices first followed by the least expensive choices. For the most part, the DAT savings equal a free dessert. Some restaurants offer matching wine flights.

All of this is offered as is. They were just quick notes I jotted down. There was no error checking on the numbers. However, it should give a feel for this year's program.

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