It’s easy to fall into a dining out rut. It starts ever so innocently as you visit a new restaurant with a hot date, and right as the dessert is served, it hits you – love at first sight, smell and taste. When you least expect it, you fall head-over-heels with the food, wine list and atmosphere. Friday rolls around, and you are drawn back to the same table at the same restaurant, eating the same dish. Next Wednesday, it’s more of the same. Love is a beautiful thing, but when it comes to dining out, monotony is just bland and boring.
Twice a year, a food-fueled event storms into town to challenge our culinary commitments and introduce us to a whole new world of flavor possibilities. San Diego Restaurant Week is back January 15-20, 2012, featuring discounted prix fixe menus at 180 restaurants across the county. Restaurant Week is a great time to eat outside your comfort zone and dare to try something entirely new. You can take advantage of Restaurant Week by day or night, with two-course lunch menus and three-course dinner menus available for your tasting pleasure. There are no tickets or hidden fees, but you are encouraged to make reservations.
Discover our 2012 San Diego Restaurant Week dining guide.
Ladies Who Lunch
Jake’s Del Mar: The two-course $15 lunch menu channels the coast with artichoke heart fritters, Dungeness crab cake, macadamia crusted salmon, layered seafood cocktail, turkey sandwich and more.
Westgate Room in Downtown: Served within The Westgate Hotel, the two-course $20 contemporary French lunch menu boasts cream of broccoli soup, black angus flat iron steak, ricotta ravioli and more.
The Prado at Balboa Park: The two-course $15 lunch menu offers your choice of vegetarian black bean soup, slow cooked short rib pot pie, balsamic marinated portobello mushroom sandwich and more.
Romantic Date Night
Cucina Urbana in Banker’s Hill: Served within a warm dining room, the Italian-inspired three-course $30 dinner menu highlights beet and homemade ricotta salad, miestra maritata soup, short rib pappadelle, veal picatta, bittersweet chocolate budino and more. (above)
Bleu Bohemein Kensington: This three-course $40 dinner menu embraces the eclectic spirit of France with your choice of la charcuterie, escargots à la Portugais, filet de “roi” saumon, tournedos Rossini, crêpe au crème brulée and more. (left)
BO-beau in Point Loma: Treat your special someone to her choice of three unique courses on the $30 dinner menu, including almond crusted portobello, moules au curry rogue, chipotle rigatoni with braised pork, coconut rice pudding and more.
Dinner with a View
Flavor Del Mar: Dine during sunset and enjoy a three-course menu for $40, featuring pear salad, spicy shrimp, tuna tataki, prime flat iron steak, rock shrimp cavatelli, vanilla bean panna cotta and more.
JRDN in Pacific Beach: Steps from the sand, enjoy a three-course dinner menu for $40, with baked oysters, braised pork belly, farm raised striped bass, stuffed eggplant, lemon raspberry crème brulee and more.
Island Prime on Harbor Island: On San Diego Bay, this three-course dinner menu is $40, and includes butternut squash soup, 8oz. filet mignon, 10oz. prime rib, apple crumb cheese cake and more.
Casual Fun with Friends
Analog in Downtown: This playful three-course dinner menu is priced at $20 and includes your choice of lobster corn dogs, chili totchos, grilled salmon filet, tequila penne pasta, twinkie tiramisu, "pot brownies" and more, with a side of karaoke and retro video games. (left)
Café Coyote in Old Town: Spice things up with this $20 three-course dinner menu which features your pick of quesadilla Mexicana, “famous” Old Town carnitas, polla a la crema, chipotle camarones, Mexican flan and more.
Gaslamp Strip Club in Downtown: Do Restaurant Week with a “grill your own” twist at the Strip Club - A Steak Place. This $30 three-course dinner menu offers 12oz. New York strip, 10oz. top sirloin, 12oz. chicken breast, chocolate chip cookie sandwich and more.
2012 San Diego Restaurant Week arrives January 15-20, and chances are it will be extended for one more full week. For more information and to view all prix fixe menus, visit sandiegorestaurantweek.com