Dine Out Boston, which kicked off March 16 and will continue through March 28, brings a new name to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau's biennial dining program and new ways to sample the region's eateries. Formerly known as Restaurant Week Boston, the redesigned DOB gives dining establishments more flexibility to strut their stuff and patrons more opportunities to enjoy delicious multi-course meals at a variety of price points -- all offering tremendous value.

In the spirit of DOB's new name and new concept, let's take a look at a few of the newish restaurants that are participating in the program. While there are many established standbys that you could, and should, patronize during the two-week event, one of the joys of the program is the chance to check out places with which you might not be familiar. Since the following eateries are all relatively new, it's probable you may not have had the chance to dine at any of them yet. Now is your chance.

  • Toscano in Beacon Hill and a newer second location in Harvard Square offers Italian dishes with a focus on Tuscan fare. Dinner selections for DOB include Salmone Affumicato, an appetizer featuring smoked salmon with crostini, lemon, and caperberries, a main course Gamberoni al Moscato with sauteed shrimp, leeks, Moscato wine, and patate al forno, and a white chocolate tart with blueberries for dessert. Delizioso!
  • Row 34 in the Seaport District, developed by the same folks behind the wonderful Island Creek Oyster Bar, is offering a lunch DOB menu with options that include grilled salmon with cauliflower puree and a fennel salad for the main course. Kick off the three-course lunch with either clam chowder or a creamy lobster slider.
  • As its name implies, Boston Chops in the South End is a steakhouse, so it should come as no surprise that diners can choose a variety of steaks with a variety of sauces for its DOB main course. The restaurant is offering an intriguing sounding appetizer, crispy oxtail croquettes. A more conventional choice would be its Caesar salad.
  • Despite what its name implies, Beat Hotel Brasserie Restaurant Bar in Harvard Square, is not a hotel. As part of its hippie-dippy vibe, the name was inspired by a boarding house in Paris that attracted "Beat Generation" writers. Its DOB menu, which is being offered for both lunch and dinner, was not available when this was written. But you can get an idea of what's in store since the funky fare on its regular menu includes an "earth bowl" and an "Inca bowl," both loaded with all kinds of vegetables and available as strictly vegan or with a variety of proteins. In addition to the food, the decidedly bohemian Beat Hotel also presents live music with no cover charge.

Try someplace new. Try someplace classic. Have you made your DOB reservations yet? Whatchya waiting for?

Photo: Toscano.