Some distinctions to watch for:
* Some places offer a bonus course, glass of wine or discounted bottles or glasses of wine accompanying the deal. Typically, those are places with lower regular sticker prices on the food, but not always.
* If you’re a bargain hunter, you’ll want to pull up the place’s menu; links to restaurants’ websites are conveniently located on each restaurant’s page within the Restaurant Week site. Some places include signature dishes and regular menu items in the three-for-$30 lineup; some do more off-menu dishes. Some do smaller versions of what’s on the regular menu (check steak weights, in particular).
* Some places let you mix and match from their entire regular menus, which is the most efficient way to see if you’d want to become a regular customer. (Lots of diners do the three-for-$30 as a novelty, a reason to go somewhere they haven’t been before. Others do it for the bargain angle. But some really are auditioning a new regular destination.)
Expect places to be busy, and remember that drinks (for the most part) and tips are not included in the $30.
Places new on the CRW landscape include Amor de Brazil, Dean & DeLuca Wine Room, Heist Brewery, Napa on Providence (formerly Providence Cafe) and Peculiar Rabbit.
Excited about a particular one, or have thoughts or questions on the lineup? Let me know in the comments.