Initiated in 1991 by a concerned ActionAIDS volunteer in Philadelphia, Dining Out for Life has grown into a national HIV/AIDS awareness and fundraising campaign. It's gained so much national recognition that this year, food critic extraordinaire and Emmy Award-winning TV personality Ted Allen has signed on as spokesperson, a sure way to bring even more attention and charitable contributions to the annual event. Basically, it works like this: Potential diners visit the Dining Out for Life website and peruse the list of participating restaurants in his or her city, choosing one and then inviting friends and/or family members to eat at the selected establishment, which donates 25 percent of the check to a local AIDS organization. The 36 local restaurants that are taking part include Elements Global Cuisine, Bella Brava, La Fogata Churrascaria, Backfin Blue Café, Dominic's Pizzeria, Lucky Dill Deli, Java Nirvana Café, Ferg's Sports Bar, Le Bouchon Bistro, Casa Tina, Mid Peninsula Seafood Market, Roman Gardens and Spoto's Italian Grille. The Bay area beneficiary is AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP), a division of Hospice of the Suncoast that provides superior, culturally competent, compassionate services to persons infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Thurs., April 24; visit diningoutforlife.com for more info about participating Tampa Bay restaurants.