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A re-invented March event roars like a lion

Restaurant Week undergoes transformation
Boston Convetion & Visitors Bureau

March with all its upredictable weather variations brings a month with promises of

Spring, with all its struggles to make its return.What for many years was known as Restaurant Week re-invents itself this year as Dine Out Boston, a "tweaked" approach to an event that began in 2001 and paved the way for imitators in other cities.

This year, the Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, repackages the program to meet changing times with a more flexible format for participating restaurants. Instead of a mandatory three-course prix fixe meal, restaurants now have greater flexibility. Each participant can choose its price points - tag ($28, $33 or $38 for dinner; $15, $20 or $25 for lunch) and set its own number of courses.

The idea, of course, remains the same - a way to introduce restaurants to the dining public in a way that lets them afford to explore. At a time when the city's restaurants continue to grow in numbers with new and creative concepts joining the fray each year, the changes refresh the concept.

While there have been those who view the changes as a response to a "failed" effort, the Convention & Visitors Bureau is responding to participants who chafed at dwindling participation in a trying economic environment in recent years..The estimated 188 participating restaurants can abide by the same fixed price ($38) for a three-course dinner menu,while enjoying more flexibility.

For diners, this allows more options at various price points, diffusing reservations over typically low-, mid- and high-priced restaurants, rather than encourage all diners to simply rush for the best deal. So mark your calendar for the Dine Out Boston dates: March 16-21 and March 23-28, head out and explore some of the nunerous new opportunites of the past and this year, or simply return to your favorites from the past!