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An Affordable Fancy Dinner to Forget It's Still Winter

Plus, Rep. Capuano is on Facebook and the Mayor hosts an event at the Frog Pond.

Today is Monday, March 7 and I am back from a week in paradise. Here are five things you need to know today.

1. It’s officially Restaurant Week ...or weeks, to be precise. What’s that? A really excellent way to get out in March (which is actually the cruelest month, no matter what Chaucer or T.S. Eliot say), have a fancy meal and spend significantly less money than you would any other time of the year. Participating restaurants design a prix fixe menu for the occasion. You pay $33.11 for a three-course dinner; $20.11 for a three-course lunch and, in some cases, there is a two-course lunch option for $15.11. Two neighborhood restaurants are on the Restaurant Week roster: and the , but you can see a full listing of restaurants all over the city and slightly beyond at www.bostonusa.com/restaurant-week. You can make reservations online, too. Restaurant Week runs March 6-11 and March 13-18.

2. This is Charlestown. There are quite a few kids around here who love to skate. They might be interested in the Mayor’s Cup Skating Competition this coming Saturday on the Frog Pond from 10 to noon. There’s actually quite a lot scheduled for this event. Frog Pond instructors will put on a bit of a show, including Fred Palascak, winner of “Skating with the Stars.” College students and competitors from the Boston Skating Club will perform, too. It will culminate with a team competition – and a trophy, to mark the closing of the pond for the season (on March 17). For more details, call the Frog Pond at (617) 635-2120 or visit www.bostonfrogpond.org

3. Yesterday I became Facebook friends with Rep. Mike Capuano. Actually, I “liked” him on Facebook. Regardless of how you feel about him, you might want to do the same. This is the congressman’s official page and he’ll be posting updates about his work there. Plus, you can post stuff on his wall, like your favorite kitty videos, and tag him in fun party photos: www.facebook.com/RepMichaelCapuano.

4. The weather this weekend was pretty extraordinary. But as surely as spring unfurls its beauty, we’re seeing the ugliness of the city at the end of a brutal winter. At the start of the season, most of us are thrilled to see the end of street sweeping. But right now, we could really use it. There’s lots of trash out there -- and there it will stay until April 1. Maybe throw a plastic bag or three in the trash if they cross your path between now and then. Worth noting: Street sweeping started up early in the North End. On March 1, crews were back to cleaning the curbs there, as part of the city’s Winter Street Sweeping Pilot Program.

5. We’re under a flood warning this morning. The rain will persist today til about 1 p.m., with possible thunderstorms And that spring-like temperature is going to drop to 36 by this evening.

For more info on what's happening around the neighborhood, check out our events calendar.

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