IF IT IS TRUE WHAT THEY SAY, that foodies, when they get together, will proceed to immediately discuss the next meal they're having, before the current meal is done, then the holidays must be a bit of a bonanza for grub-lovin' Golden Staters. Consider that several big dinners are scheduled around the yuletide and New Year's Eve, and each presents an opportunity for pals to both sup in one another's company and to start discussing the next dinner. That isn't too hard to do, though, around the holidays, since immediately after the holidays finish California Restaurant Month begins. And we weren't playing around when we said "immediately" there; the deal- and discount-laden stretch actually kicks off on New Year's Day around the state. And, yes, California Restaurant Month then lasts all January long, which makes for 31 days of delish finds. For sure, some places around the state'll only set out the prix fixe specials over the second week, or the fourth week, so just be sure to eyeball the county or city where you live, or where you'll be, to make sure the deals are afoot when you're ready to dine.
SIXTH ANNIVERSARY: The savory 'n sweet celebration has passed its half-decade anniversary, and a whole slew of spots have come on board over the years. Highlights include Sacramento's Dine Downtown, which launches its run on Jan. 7, and Napa Valley Restaurant Week, which rounds out the final days of the month. Santa Ynez Valley fills out that same time period, though its start date is Jan. 25, not the 24th like Napa Valley. And several other regions, some with wine-y cred, some with big city chops, are part of the California Restaurant Month participant group. It's a good group to be a part of, because you get to put out some of your best bites to both longtime customers and newbies who've meant to check out your kitchen forever. Forever starts, in some ways, in January, or at least a fresh twelve months. Wouldn't it be fab if you found your new favorite hang, and your gotta-have-it hamburger/pasta/cake, during the first or second week of the year? Now that's taking charge and getting stuff done when the new year begins. California Restaurant Month, you're kind of the very stuff that resolutions are made of.