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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What, Already? It's Dine About Town Time Again

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Spruce: Get a taste of swanky on the cheap - TOR TOR TOR VIA FLICKR
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  • Spruce: Get a taste of swanky on the cheap
It feels like the last Dine About Town just ended (it happened back in January), but it's upon us again. Here's a refresher: The San Francisco Convention and Visitors' Bureau organizes this biannual, citywide restaurant promotion now in its eighth year. It kicked off last night, and runs through Monday, June 15. More than 125 local spots are taking part this time, offering special showcase prix-fixe menus (lunches for $21.95 and dinners for $34.95, not counting tax and tip). The upside: It can be a great way to check out the city's pricier eateries without having to part with a benjamin or two. The downside: Since menu items tend to come from the lower end of the price scale, you can feel like you're sitting at the kids' table. Still, it may give you an idea of the places you'd consider revisiting at regular menu prices.

Our tips for the choicest spots to check out? The New American splendors of Spruce (3640 Sacramento at Spruce), which is making its Dine About Town debut; Jamie Lauren's French-Cali cuisine at Absinthe Brasserie and Bar (398 Hayes at Gough); neo-fish-house classics at Anchor & Hope (83 Minna at Second St.); and modern Indian at Dosa on Fillmore (1700 Fillmore at Post). Check out the full list of participating restaurants and make reservations at Open Table. Skim Absinthe's sample lunch menu after the jump.

Absinthe's sample lunch menu (items subject to change):

First course: French onion soup gratinée; or salad of butter lettuces, shaved radish,cucumber, cider vinaigrette

Second course: Croque Monsieur: Zoe's maple-glazed ham, Gruyère, and dijon mustard on toasted levain; or pork confit sandwich with wilted braising greens, salsa verde, grilled onions, and potato chips; or pan-roasted Penn Cove mussels with white wine-garlic sauce, fries, and aïoli

Third course: Seasonal sorbet

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Brian Bernbaum

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