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This Weekend – Last chance to taste San Francisco’s ‘Dine About Town’ menus

By Kelsey Williams | 29 Jan 2011

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Dine About Town ends Jan. 31. Don't miss the chance to tastes these best menu picks. (Photo courtesy of onlyinsanfrancisco.com)

So much good food, so little time. Peninsula foodies will be heading into San Francisco for the final weekend of the annual “Dine About Town” restaurant event, where many of the city’s top chefs offer fixed-priced menus to showcase their talents.

There will be two-course lunches for $17.95 and three-course dinners for $34.95. The problem: which to choose? Some menus offer much more than others.

While some chefs will be offering a groaning board of truly creative dishes to show off to the public, others throw together a perfunctory menu that will leave customers groaning or bored, consisting of a soup or salad to start, a choice between the two cheaper entrees on the menu and a simple dessert.

In a close examination of the posted menus on TasteSF,  I have found the Dine About Town menus with the best deals and selection.

Largest selections:

1. Asia SF: The menu includes a choice between seven appetizers, six entrees and five desserts. Of the apps, not one is a simple mixed salad; the entrees include miso glazed king salmon and sansho spiced filet mignon. The choice between the fresh pineapple cheesecake and the banana beignet split would be difficult for me to make. Not to mention, the “ladies” that serve at AsiaSF will make it a night to remember.

*AsiaSF will only be participating in Dine About Town for dinner Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday  www.asiasf.com

E’ Tutto Qua: This northern Italian menu offers the choice between five appetizers, nine entrees and four desserts. Out of the many options open to Dine About Town diners, the meal I would choose would start with the capesante: seared scallops with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil followed by the paperdelle al ragu: wide pasta with lamb and tomato, and lastly, tiramisu alla banana.

*E’ Tutto Qua is serving its Dine About Town menu for dinner Monday-Sunday. www.etuttoqua.com

Four Course Offerings

Some restaurants are going above and beyond with four-course menus.

Picture courtesy of Dosa on Valencia

1. Dosa on Valencia: This South Indian restaurant is offering a four course dinner menu including both classic and creative South Indian flavors as well as an added course to show off the restaurants particular specialty: the dosa, a South Indian crepe-like dish filled with a variety of ingredients.

*Dosa on Valencia is serving it’s Dine About Town dinner menu Sunday-Thursday. www.dosasf.com

2. Ristorante Specchio: Following the classic Italian style Ristorante Specchio has put together a four course menu. Diners get a choice of two salads, two housemade pastas, three entrees including an organic pork chop with gorgonzola and spinach, and three desserts including a coconut cream panna cotta with chocolate.

*Ristorante Specchio will be serving it’s Dine About Town dinner menu Tuesday-Sunday. www.ristorantespecchio.com

Most Notable: Large Lunch Selection, Five Course Dinner and Best Dessert

1. Luna Park: Last but definitely not least, is my choice for top menu selection of the mix. The lunch menu allows you to choose any appetizer, entree and dessert from the normal menu, and the dinner menu is a five-course feast. Start with a chef chosen “amuse bouche” (small taste appetizer meaning “amuse the mouth”); then choose from three appetizers, five comfort food entrees and three dessert options. End the meal with a petit four fruit tart. I must interject, however, who needs a choice of desserts when option number one is “Make your own S’mores?”

*Luna Park is will serve its Dine About Town menus Monday-Sunday. www.lunaparksf.com

A full listing of Dine About Town participating restaurants is available here.

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