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Todd Kliman’s Guide to Restaurant Week

Want to score the best reservations for Restaurant Week? Check out restaurant critic Todd Kliman’s guide to getting the best bang for your buck.

Restaurant Week comes around twice a year, and each time, it seems, your questions about where to make a reservation show up earlier and earlier in my inbox.

“Tables fill up fast, I need your advice as soon as possible!!” a reader e-mailed me early last week.

The promotion doesn’t start until August 16 (it runs through August 22), but my beseeching reader got me to thinking: Why not put together my biannual guide now and give everyone reading this a full three weeks to beat the competition to the best tables in town?

Nearly 200 restaurants are participating this year—the most ever. That’s good news, although it makes the process of winnowing down the list harder than ever.

The other good news is that the prices haven’t gone up. Restaurants will be offering prix-fixe, three-course meals for $20.10 at lunch and $35.10 at dinner (tax and tip not included).

My list is again divided into tiers.

Tier 1: High priority. These are restaurants that either have a distinguished RW track record or have demonstrated their excellence during the year, or both. I’d target these places first.

Tier 2: Don’t expect gastronomic fireworks from these places, but you ought to dine well.

Tier 3: If I wouldn’t include these places in my first round of calls, I wouldn’t turn away a lunch or dinner there during RW, either. And I’d expect a good, solid performance.

* You’ll notice there are no tapas or mezze spots on the list, among them Jaleo and Zaytinya; that’s because I consider those sorts of restaurants to be good values all the rest of the year—without a RW promotion.

Adour at the St. Regis Hotel
Bistro Bis
Bourbon Steak
Café du Parc
Charlie Palmer Steak
J&G Steakhouse
Johnny’s Half Shell
Oval Room
Poste Brasserie

Againn DC
Liberty Tavern
New Heights
The Prime Rib
Trummer’s on Main
Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert

Capital Grille
Indique Heights
La Chaumière
3 Bar & Grill

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