The Skinny on Restaurant Week

As people scramble to secure reservations for Restaurant Week, please humor me while I give my personal take on how to get the most out of the promotion.

1. Choose really expensive places with good reputations. For example, going to Garrett's in Georgetown, which is participating, and blowing $30.05 on dinner would be a really bad idea (unless most of that $30 is on alcohol). Going to Palette or Corduroy, on the other hand, where entrées alone can cost nearly $ that's good thinking.

2. Call ahead to make sure the selection is good. There are plenty of places that offer practically their entire menus...and then there are places that offer two choices in each course. Would you like chicken or pasta? That's no fun. If you're too lazy to call or check the restaurant's Web site, Jason of has kindly done some of the work and listed what some places are offering.

3. Listen out for places that extend the deal beyond the official week. You can then take advantage of the bargain prices without the crowds and perturbed waitstaff. 1789 for example is offering a $35 three-course menu through Sept. 14. (Be sure to download the coupon from the Web site.) Likewise, Charlie Palmer Steak is participating in Restaurant Week only for lunch, but the thing is, the restaurant offers a $20.05 three-course lunch all year long.

Finally, Metrocurean's recommendations from this year's list include Palette, Ceiba, TenPenh, DC Coast, 1789, Corduroy, Kaz Sushi Bistro and Tosca.

Happy Restaurant Weeking!