Raleigh, N.C. — While it's fun to go out to eat, for most people it's important to keep a budget in mind, too.
During Triangle Restaurant Week (Jan. 20-26), participating restaurants are offering three course prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner. Here are some of our picks for wallet-friendly dining during TRW.
Five Star, Raleigh. This sophisticated yet fun Asian restaurant in the warehouse district has something for everyone on their $20 dinner menu – noodles, beef, chicken and fish are all on there. I recommend the Heat Seeker Shrimp for an appetizer! They also have tofu or tempeh substitutions available for those with dietary restrictions.
Lucky 32, Cary. Elevated Southern cooking doesn't get much better than this! The main course choices of Black Bean Cakes and Basin Street Chicken come with two sides, so you won't leave feeling hungry. For dessert, try the Affogato – vanilla ice cream with sea salt caramel and a shot of cold brewed Counter Culture coffee.
Talullas, Chapel Hill. Authentic Turkish cuisine in a relaxing setting. Fresh veggies are prominently featured in many of their dishes, like the Sebzeli Musakka – layers of eggplant, zucchini, carrots, peas, peppers, onions, tomatoes and potatoes. Another yummy choice is the Balık Böreği, with Gulf Coast tilapia wrapped and baked in phyllo dough.
Nofo, Raleigh. This cafe's TRW menu includes the Chef's Special and the Blue Plate Nightly Specials, so it will change every day. Choices include Fried Green Tomatoes with a "secret tomato dressing," Salmon with Roasted Garlic and Tomato Risotto and Chocolate Torte for dessert. Plus, after your meal you can wander around the eclectic store upstairs.
The Big Easy, Raleigh. This New Orleans menu includes many choices, so it's a good bet if dining out with a big group of friends. You can get chicken, pork, shrimp, jambalaya and more...including alligator bites for an appetizer! You can pick a salad, entree and dessert or a salad, appetizer and entree for $20.
Piazza Italia, Durham. Sometimes pasta and traditional Italian food is the way to go. With this TRW menu, you get your choice of antipasti, salad, entree and dessert, so it's kind of a four course meal. Try the daily risotto or the Rigatoni Siciliana, and finish out your meal with gelato or the Chef's Signature Chocolate Layer Cake.
Raaga, Chapel Hill. Modern, sophisticated Indian food created by a James Beard-nominated chef. Their $20 dinner menu includes Kashmiri Kofta – vegetable paneer dumplings, cashews, and raisins served in a rich cream sauce – and Mango Mousse.
Which $20 TRW dinner menu sounds delicious to you?