Sunday marked the start of 'Dine Out Boston,' an opportunity for people to sample area restaurants at special prices -- but for the first time in nearly a decade, the prices are going up.
Formerly known as Restaurant Week Boston, Dine Out Boston is two weeks of delicious deals at a number of participating restaurants across the city, including the North End, Back Bay, Seaport District, and Financial District.
According to its website, Dine Out Boston diners can choose from old favorites to the latest culinary hot spots, from nationally known chain restaurants to local chef-owned bistros, from Asian or Latin fare to French, Italian, seafood, tapas and sushi, from the award-winning restaurants of Boston and Cambridge to the gourmet gems in the suburbs north, west and south of the city.
It started as a way to get people to dine out during the colder months. But since the coronavirus pandemic, it's also become a way to help the restaurant industry recover.
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From March 13 through March 26, you'll find pre-fixe menus at more than 100 places ready to cook you a great meal at a deep discount. The number of courses depends on where you go. But lunch will cost between $22-$32 a person, and dinner will cost between $36-$46 a person -- that's a couple dollars more than it has been in the past.
The price increase is to cover the cost of everything going up and also to help restaurants bounce back after what has been a grueling two years.
The owner of Mida says the fact that this is happening right after Boston lifted its mask mandate is perfect timing.
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"Everyone wants that to happen. Everyone wants that sort of deep breath and refresh, too, and I think Dine Out Boston is allowing that to come out again, to feel safe, to know that everyone is in it together, that solidarity, that’s bringing as a dining peace, too," said chef Douglass Williams.
In addition to dine-in deals, a lot of restaurants are also offering carry out and delivery options so people can have date night wherever they feel most comfortable.