Maybe you're the type of restaurant patron that always orders an appetizer. If that's the case, you'll love the fact that the prix fixe lunches and dinners offered by establishments participating in Restaurant Week Boston include appetizers. Or maybe you're a more reserved diner and generally abstain from ordering an appetizer for budgetary (or perhaps dietary) concerns. If that describes you, forget your reservations (but be sure to make reservations), and take advantage of the great three-course deals featured during Restaurant Week.

The spotlight is typically on the main course at a restaurant. Sometimes, the departing memory of a particularly tasty dessert will linger. But appetizers can be the unsung heroes of a meal. Diners are often more willing to take a chance on an adventurous dish if they know that the first-course portion will be relatively small and the entrée will be there to bail them out. Their sense of culinary adventure can be rewarded with some great finds.

Among the possible great finds are the following appetizers that eateries are offering on their Restaurant Week menus:

  • Tempura fried zucchini flowers filled with ricotta, drizzled with acacia honey at Artu Rosticceria & Trattoria in the North End.
  • Crispy steak bomb rolls with Tabasco mayo at The Met Back Bay.
  • A pate duo of pork and duck rillettes with garnishes at Pierrot Bistrot Francais in Beacon Hill.
  • Serrano-wrapped pork and rabbit pate with smoked peaches and mustard at Toro in the South End.

OK, let's all wipe up the drool caused by the preceding foodie temptations, shall we? Indulge your culinary adventure with a scintillating appetizer (or two or three) this week.

Restaurant Week Boston 2013
Continues August 23 and 25 to 30
2-course lunch: $15.13; 3-course lunch: $20.13; 3-course dinner: $38.13
Reservations strongly suggested

Photo: Artu Rosticceria & Trattoria