January is traditionally the promotion season from restaurants looking to woo diners from their collective shopping and eating hangovers. If you're like us, you may need a bit of a gentle nudge to part with that hard-earned coin -- tax time looms soon. There are deals to be had of the prix fixe variety, and we've found that with planning, the Dine About Town promotion in San Francisco is usually a neat way to explore tony and varied hot spots in one quick burst. But that doesn't help your resolution to check out more East Bay restaurants this year.
Luckily, Oakland has been in on the promotion for four years running by rocking its own version of restaurant week. This year, it's happening January 17 to 26 with both lunch and dinner offerings. Insider tip: here's your chance to nab a table at new hotspots from Tribune Tavern, Lungomare, Venga Paella and Preeti Mistry's Juhu Beach Club. Check out the full list of participating restaurants at the Visit Oakland website. More than 50 restaurants are participating; only a few have actual details on the courses that will be offered. The restaurant week has grown in size and sales, according to organizers. Other participating restaurants include: A Cote, Camino, Chop Bar, B-Side BBQ, Bellanico, Bocanova, Brotzeit Lokal, Dopo, The Fat Lady, Flora, Haven, Mua, Paragon, Pican, Ozumo, and Yoshi's.
Organizers cheekily note you can "keep your holiday stretchy pants out" (fine with us). We would add that you may want to check the regular menu out in person before choosing to prix fixe or not. The value is in getting more than one course often and light eaters may not reap the full rewards. Pick your price point; there are prix fixe meals for $20, $30, and $40 and reservations are strongly recommended. Some restaurants may augment the meal with a special tasting, dessert, or drink pairing in addition to the prix fixe meal, so save room.