It's that time of year again, and I'll be here for part of it. Yay! In the seasonal lull that is January-February, restaurants can participate in a fixed-price menu program that is promoted by Tourism Vancouver: 3 courses for either $15, $25, or $35. It's the third year Vancouver has put it on (I think in Manhattan they called it 25-for-25 or something like that), and its popularity encourages more restaurants to participate each year. Currently there are 125 on the roster, which is a great deal more than the original number back in 2003. Nevertheless, even back then I had to strategise to get into the restaurants I wanted to try (I also vaguely recall it ran for only one week). Most of them don't take reservations during this time, and are extremely busy. I remember having to phone around to nearly every participating restaurant in the city centre to get eight of us a table, and we lucked out at Brix in Yaletown. I also tried out the Renaissance Hotel Harbourside's revolving restaurant, Vistas, and Wild Rice for $15. Back then $35 wasn't an option -- even the high-end restaurants offered their dinners for $25 -- but it appears people less stingy than yours truly consider $35 for a three-course dinner a bargain. (Actually so do I, grudgingly. Most entrees alone average $25 at the poshier spots. At Il Giardino I paid nearly $20 for a small salad.) For Dine Out Vancouver, I like to try hotel restaurants. These are the ones I frequent the least, and would most like to try.