2004_10_food_dinersdeck.jpgGothamist has a hard time resisting New York City's gustatory delights. And if there is a discount involved too, resistance is completely futile. So, we can't decide if learning about The Diner's Deck is a blessing for our palates and pocketbooks - or a curse on our waistlines.

Costing a mere $29.95, Diner's Deck is a set of 52 "playing cards," each card featuring the lowdown on a swank restaurant, along with a $10 coupon towards a meal. Paying for a coupon? Sounded fishy to us at first too. But, once we did the math - $10 x 52 = $520 - and deducted our outlay, we came up with a total savings of $490.05. (Every nickel counts!)

Savings aside, food is always paramount for the New York foodie. And, with 52 restaurants not being nearly enough to sate any self-respecting chow aficionado, the folks behind this nifty thrifty product offer several versions of the deck based on your neighborhood locale. If say, you live on the West Village, your 2005 "Downtown West" Diner's Deck would offer discounts on local hot boîtes like The Spotted Pig, The Blue Mill and August.

And, though the company has yet to go city-wide, with decks for Uptown Manhattan and Brooklyn still on the horizon, it seems that these gourmet gambling goodies are already catching the eye of wedding planners and the like. One member of the Gothamist staff spied Diner's Deck cards as table give-aways at the nuptials of a New York couple. Could inclusion in holiday gift baskets be far behind?

The Diner's Deck is available at several retail locations, including:

Shakespeare & Co. Booksellers
716 Broadway (at Washington Place)
(212) 529-1330

Kate’s Paperie
561 Broadway (btwn Prince & Spring)
(212) 941-9816

Kate’s Paperie
8 West 13th St (at 5th Ave)
(212) 633-0570