ZAGAT'S SMARTBOX: TABLE FOR TWO: I've been a Zagat member for years. Though some bemoan their lists not being the most up-to-date, paid memberships weed out some of the yahoos you get posting "reviews" on free-for-all sites (plus I like to feverishly mark up their books with my own notes). Recently landed on my desk? Zagat Smartbox, which operates as choose-your-own-dining experience or a $99 gift card in a box. A booklet details 39 eligible Bay Area restaurants and what each offers with the card: all include at least three courses for two people, some offer four or add on drinks. For one who dines out as much as I do, I'd prefer more restaurants and no menu limitations (some have them, some do not). But for the indecisive, or to give your recipient a range of options, Smartbox narrows down and even highlights under-the-radar gems locals would do well to visit, like Saha, Albona Ristorante, Matterhorn, or Lolo. There's also Bay Area restaurants such as the winning Central Market in Petaluma, or Camino and Mezze in Oakland. P.S. There's a Smartbox for NY, LA, Chicago and DC.
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