Summer Restaurant Week starts today—yes, today. For the next 7 glorious, feast-fueled days, some of the city’s best restaurants are offering three-course meals for $20.14 at lunch and $35.14 at dinner. (Fetch us our fainting couch, will you?)

Restaurant Week is divisive among District diners. For some, it’s an opportunity to eat at top-notch places without breaking the bank. Other folks see it as a way for restaurants to get patrons in the door during traditionally slow periods, while offering a limited menu and not that much of a discount. The truth is, it’s all about how you play your cards. Pick the right place and you’re looking at a great meal at a deep discount.

A couple of pro-tips: First, you have to like dessert—it’s baked (pun intended) into most Restaurant Week menus. Second, look to lunch for the best deals. Lots of places offer similar menus for lunch and dinner, except lunch runs a downright economical twenty bucks. And no matter what, don’t forget to tip generously. (Just because you’re getting a discount doesn’t mean you should Scrooge it.)

So without further ado, here are our picks for Summer Restaurant Week 2014.

3311 Connecticut Ave., NW
What makes this Cleveland Park standby a bargain during RW? They’re opening up their entire menu, and offering additional specials on wine, to boot.

601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
The RW menu at Fiola doesn’t have a ton of options, but entrées at Fabio Trabocchi’s much-lauded Italian eatery run well north of $30, so this is a good opportunity to save some dough.

5335 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Range is the latest from farm-to-table master and Top Chef favorite Bryan Voltaggio. Look for fresh salads, grilled fish and steak, and house-made ice cream and sorbet.

2201 14th St., NW
By day, G is an upscale sandwich shop; at night it offers a four-course tasting menu, which is what’s on offer during RW.

1316 9th St., NW
We love Thally chef Ron Tanaka’s approach to food (namely, making good, simple food that people want to eat). We also love that the upscale-yet-casual neighborhood spot has a huge range of choices on its RW menu.

Woodward Table
1426 H St., NW
Woodward Table’s entire menu is available during RW. Convenient to most downtown offices, this is where our lunch strategy really pays off.

Brasserie Beck
1101 K St., NW
Another solid lunch choice, this Belgian pub is offering $4 glasses on top of a tantalizing RW menu.

Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Central is a classic RW play—an upscale place you normally wouldn’t go to. The real draw is the fried chicken, which is only available on the dinner menu.

1317 Connecticut Ave., NW
Dupont Circle’s new Jewish deli has included a glass of wine or beer with dinner, which puts it over the top.