Reserve Your Table for Downtown Restaurant Week

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Picture that upscale restaurant you've been meaning to try but haven't been able to scrounge up the cash. You know you wouldn't be able to restrict yourself to one course, and then, there's that delectable dessert menu. And now that you're thinking about it, the fish you ordered would pair wonderfully with a nice glass of Chardonnay...

You see where this is going. But luckily, for all of us who want to try some of St. Louis' finer dining establishments without feeling the pain of overindulgence, there's the Annual Downtown Restaurant Week. This year marks the seventh anniversary of more than 25 restaurants offering a three-course menu, all for a fixed price of $25. You don't even have to print out passes or carry coupons with you; all you have to do is show up hungry. As the event's marketing director Shuntaé Ryan said, "It's not a deal to pass up."

"For only $25 you receive multiple samplings at a reasonable price," Ryan says. "You can't beat the prices, and we always have lots of people interested in participating."

Apparently, the idea has been catching like wildfire, as Ryan told Gut Check that other St. Louis municipalities have borrowed the idea.

"Clayton, Maplewood and even the South Grand neighborhood all have their own restaurant weeks now. We've inspired a frenzy of different restaurant weeks in St. Louis, and we network with our peers all over the world."

Plus, you can write off your gluttony -- it's for a good cause. When you get the bill, you can make a donation to Operation Food Search, a St. Louis food bank that provides food and necessities to local shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries.

With 26 of St. Louis' gourmet restaurants to choose from, and menu items ranging from Creole crab cakes to local Missouri peach cobbler, Downtown Restaurant Week will satisfy your craving for finer fare, without leaving that little negative sign on your checking account. Just remember to mention Restaurant Week when you make your reservation, and snag a place at the table while there's still time.

St. Louis Restaurant Week begins Monday, August 22, and ends on Sunday, August 28. For more information or to make an online reservation, visit www.downtownrestaurantweek.net.

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