Dine For Less – Restaurant Week

I love Restaurant Week.  Practically every large city has one (or two or three) to encourage diners to break diets but not banks and support the local restaurant industry.  Restaurant Week is a great way to explore a new restaurant (or an old favorite) without feeling like your entire paycheck is going toward one meal!

Here in Chicago (and, again, in many other cities) we have multiple Restaurant Weeks and the first starts this week!  The Local Tourist (featured in an earlier Bright-Yellow) hosts its first Restaurant Week this week (January 8-15).  Each of the participating restaurants is offering three course meals for only $25 for lunch and $35 for dinner – PLUS 10% of each meal goes to Endure To Cure, which raises money for pediatric cancer research, treatment and care.  For a list of Local Tourist Restaurant Week restaurants, please click here.

Not every city has The Local Tourist but every city does have a chamber of commerce and/or tourism bureau and many of them, like Chicago, put together a restaurant week.  Chicago’s big Restaurant Week is just around the corner – February 19-28 – yippeee!  These tables book quickly so reserve yours now – lunch is only $22 and dinner $32.  You can see the complete list of participating restaurants here and, if you’re on Open Table (and if you’re not on Open Table, get on it!), make your reservation here.  Don’t worry, I’ll remind you of Chicago Restaurant Week again when it starts.

Looking ahead, Yelp! also hosts a Restaurant Week in June.  Last year’s event was June 1-7 so look for that to happen again this summer.

In these tough times, I know going out is not easy on the old pocketbook.  However, we have to all help each other out and Restaurant Week makes it a bit easier to support local business.

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!  Please leave a comment or two (including ideas for future posts!).


Lunch and Dinner Inspirations

Normally I like to keep these posts to one topic but today I have two. First. thank you to everyone who sends me links and ideas – keep ’em coming! Kerry posted in the comments about the site Laptop Lunches. The site is built to sell bento box lunch boxes (which look super cute and are much better for the environment than a zillion baggies!) but they also do a weekly suggestion for what to put in those bento boxes. You can sign up to receive a weekly email (click here) or just check the site for this week’s (and past weeks’) recipes. Lunch can get super boring and Laptop Lunches helps out just a bit!

Next, I think I have made my love of dining out perfectly clear. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon these but I love a la card Chicago! Remember the 52 fabulous whatever decks (fun things to do in insert city, wedding ideas, valentines, etc.)? Well, a la card Chicago takes that concept and makes it better! For $30 (oh now I remember where I heard of this! Twitter! They had a promo that if you used promo code Twitter you could buy these for $20. It may still work!), you purchase a deck of 52 cards. Each card describes a restaurant in Chicago – and gives you a $10 off coupon to use at that restaurant! Just visit three (or maybe two?) restaurants, and the deck has paid for itself! Now, the cards do expire 12/31/09 so I suggest hopping on and purchasing a deck soon. The deck has restaurants ranging from Hot Doug’s (for non-Chicagoans – this is a fantastic hot dog joint) to David Burke’s Primehouse. Oh, and you know I love charity – $1 from every deck goes to Common Threads, a charity that educates children about nutrition.

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow – keep reading and keep the suggestions coming!