Now is the best time to dine out at your favorite restaurants. Am I crazy? Nope.

Restaurants are in deep fiscal misery, feeling the pinch due to rising fuel costs, lowering dollar and grains being used up for ethanol or shipped halfway around the world. That means that chefs and bakers and restaurateurs are getting more creative than ever in hopes of tempting customers. The value — the bang for the buck — in dining out has never been better, as chefs get smart with seasonings, innovative flavor and texture combinations, more slow-cooked dishes, stir-fries just all-around smarter use of every ingredient.

The diner wins here, and that means that you should be making reservations right now!