It’s that time of year again.  Without a Presidential Inauguration to delay this year’s Winter Restaurant Week, it’s definitely snuck up on us.

If you were counting on us to give you advance warning like we have in the past…our bad.  The list of participating restaurants was posted this morning, and Hungry Hungry Hipsters are already out there booking reservations.

Because this is the first Restaurant Week of 2010, prices creep up by another penny.  Three-course lunches will run you $20.10 this time around, and dinners will set you back $35.10 for three courses.

The good news is that all of our previous advice still holds true:

  • Do your homework. Don’t book a reservation at a place that regularly offers a similar deal.  Do some scouting work and find a place that sounds appealing, then check to make sure the deal really is.  (NOTE: Once menus start coming out, look out for upcharges that significantly alter the deal).
  • Be flexible. EVERYONE wants a Restaurant Week reservation for Saturday night around 7 PM.  Try to snag one ASAP using OpenTable, or set your sights on a mid-week dinner.  Either way, be prepared with two or three choices to hedge your bets.
  • Be adventurous. Try a place you’ve never been but always wanted to.  Or check out a place you’ve never even HEARD of.  Either way, it’s a better use of the Restaurant Week experience than a trip to your favorite steak place.
  • Think new. We’re always excited to see new restaurants jumping on the Restaurant Week bandwagon the first time around.  Kellari Taverna and Bibiana both jumped out as first-timers, and I’m sure we’ll find a few more as we dig deeper into the list.

As always, we’ll be posting our signature Restaurant Week map for your reference so you can plot out your plan of attack.

We’ll also have some recommendations – just as soon as we’ve got our own reservations locked in!

In the meantime, let us know where you’ll be going when you book your Restaurant Week conquests…we’re always looking for a few good recommendations.