dining-outThis Thursday, March 5th, you can do more than just stimulate the economy by going out to eat lunch or dinner (technically you can help at breakfast, too – but only if you’re willing to hit up the Chick-fil-A in Silver Spring or Dos Gringos Cafe).  During the annual Dining Out for Life event, participating restaurants will donate anywhere from 25% to 100% of their proceeds to Food & Friends, a local nonprofit that provides nutrition counseling and prepares and delivers specialized meals and groceries to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses.

How does it work?  Simple.  Visit the Dining Out for Life website and check out the list of participating restaurants.  Pick one.  Make a reservation (many of the participants are on OpenTable, making this step even easier).  Then just show up and enjoy your dinner.

dining-out-bowlSeriously.  That’s all there is to it.  The restaurant will automatically donate their pre-arranged portion of your meal.  At many participating restaurants, a Dining Out for Life Ambassador will be on hand to talk up Food & Friends and to thank you for your support of the event.  And of course, if you’re inclined to make an additional contribution once your meal is done, you’ll certainly be able to do so (you’ll also be able to enter to win a pair of roundtrip tickets on American Airlines – no additional contribution necessary – in the process).  This really is a no-brainer of a way to help out just by going out to dinner.

Although 150 restaurants are participating throughout the DC metro area, there are thirty participants who are going above and beyond the basic 25% contribution by offering 35%, 50% or even 100% of their proceeds for the evening.  To maximize your support for Food & Friends, you may want to think about booking a reservation with one of these first and foremost:

100% participants:
Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant (dinner only)
Posto (dinner only)
Ristorante Tosca (dinner only)

50% participants:
Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse (lunch and dinner)
Bistrot du Coin (dinner only)
Cafe Luna (dinner only)
Little Fountain Cafe (dinner only)
Mehak Indian Restaurant (dinner only)
Santa Fe Cafe (dinner only)
Skewers (dinner only)
Hank’s Tavern & Eats (dinner only)
Jack’s Restaurant and Bar (dinner only)
Stars Bistro & Bar (dinner only)
Zed’s Bistro / Wine Bar, Gainesville (dinner only)
Zed’s Ethiopian Cuisine, Georgetown (dinner only)

35% participants:
American Grill (dinner only)
Argia’s (dinner only)
Arucola Osteria (lunch and dinner)
Black Market Bistro (dinner only)
Bombay Curry Company (lunch and dinner)
Busboys & Poets – U Street and Shirlington locations (dinner only)
Cubano’s (dinner only)
Darlington House (lunch and dinner)
Delhi Club (lunch and dinner)
Il Pizzico (dinner only)
Le Chat Noir (dinner only)
Luna Grill (dinner only)
Mr. Henry’s (lunch and dinner)