Food prices are rising, but you don't need to stop eating out. The Spring Downtown Dine O'Round, May 2-17, offers you a chance to try a new restaurant or get reacquainted with an old favorite without breaking your budget.
During the two weeks, patrons can enjoy a three-course dinner priced at either $15 or $30 per person at participating downtown restaurants.
Half of the dining spots are also offering a two-course lunch menu priced at $10 per person. You don't have to fumble through your wallet for a coupon or punch cards. You just come in and order the Dine O'Round special.
Downtown Dine O'Round has attracted thousands of diners to Salt Lake restaurants since it began five years ago. There's a wide variety of cuisines to choose from: continental, Mexican, Lebanese, French, seafood, Japanese, Thai, bistro, Chinese and Italian. Three new restaurants joining the Downtown Dine O'Round for the first time are Baxter's American Restaurant, I Love Sushi and Lazy Dog Pizzeria.
A few caveats to keep in mind:
• Drinks, tips and tax aren't included in the price.
• The price is only good for the restaurant's Dine O'Round "special," although many restaurants offer two or more entree choices. Check www.dineoround.com or call the individual restaurant ahead of time and ask what the special is. Otherwise, you may end up ordering from the restaurant's regular menu at the usual price. No loss, but no big savings, either.
• You'll also want to ask if you'll need reservations, especially if you're going with a large group. Some restaurants don't take reservations, but they also tend to fill up quickly during the Dine O'Round. You might want go a little earlier or later to avoid the usual lunch or dinner rush.
• Some of the restaurants may not be running their Dine O'Round specials on Mother's Day (May 11), so you'll want to ask about that, too.
• Some of the participants (such as New Yorker and Oyster Bar) are private clubs for members.
• For phone numbers, addresses, menus and other particulars, log on to www.dineoround.com.
Those serving $30 fixed-price three-course dinners: Acme Burger Company, Al Forno's Ristorante, Bambara, Baxters American Restaurant, Benihana of Tokyo, Caffe Molise, Cannella's, Christopher's Seafood & Steakhouse, Faustina, Garden Restaurant at Temple Square, Market Street Grill, Market Street Oyster Bar, Martine, Melting Pot, Metropolitan, New Yorker, Oasis Cafe, Spencers, Takashi, Thaifoon Taste of Asia, Tin Angel, Trofi and Vienna Bistro.
Those serving the $15 three-course dinners: Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, Buca di Beppo, Cedars of Lebanon, I Love Sushi, Lamb's Grill Cafe, Lazy Dog Pizzeria, McGrath's Fish House, Sage's Cafe, Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana and Squatters Pub Brewery.
Those serving a two-course, $10 lunch: Acme Burger Company, Al Forno's Ristorante, Caffe Molise, Cannella's, Christopher's Seafood and Steakhouse, Faustina, Market Street Grill, Market Street Oyster Bar, New Yorker, Spencers, Tin Angel, Trofi, Vienna Bistro, Cedars of Lebanon, Lamb's Grill Cafe, McGrath's Fish House, Sage's Cafe, Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana, and Squatters Pub Brewery.