The time is upon us. The time when fancy, expensive, flavorful, delicious food is made more affordable to poor, struggling foodies like myself. The time I am talking about is of course Triangle Restaurant week.
If you haven’t heard of it, Triangle Restaurant Week is one week when some of the Triangle’s best restaurants offer special deals on their menu. The restaurants come up with a special menu which is normally just a paired down version of their everyday menu. Most restaurants offer 3 courses for either $20, $25, or $30. Some restaurants offer an appetizer, entree, and dessert, while others will do an appetizer, salad, and entree. Most have about 2-4 options for each portion of the meal. While the selection is much more limited, restaurants tend to chose some of their best offerings for this menu.
This year Triangle Restaurant week is being held January 25-31, and I feel like there are more restaurants than ever included. So, being the lover of all things restaurant that I am, I figured I’d tell you guys some of my top picks for this years restaurant week. I have by no means been to all of these restaurants, so I’m just going to chose based on my experiences, things I’ve heard from other people’s experiences, and of course the menu.
I’ve only been to Sitti once, but I loved it. Its one of those places that’s a little different than everywhere else downtown, but its a little pricey so it doesn’t immediately jump to mind when you’re looking for somewhere to eat. I think both appetizer options sound amazing (Avocado Hummus or a Kale salad with a ton of stuff on it), for my entree I would either go with the Falafel and Vegetables or the Baklava Crusted Salmon, and for dessert I would probably go with the Strawberry Astha. I feel like that salmon dish kind of puts restaurant week into perspective. I can only imagine that dish itself is pretty close to $20, if not more, but you’re getting two other dishes with it!
I’ve also only been to Shaba Shabu once, and it was years ago, so I don’t really remember it much, but the menu they’re offering during Restaurant week looks awesome! You get a soup or salad first course, then an appetizer sampler for your second course, followed by an entree. I love a good sampler platter, because it allows you to try a ton of different things. They also have both regular dishes and sushi available for entrees.
You can’t really go wrong with Irregardless. Everything is always fresh and delicious. I chose Irregardless because they have a fully vegetarian menu for $20. It looks like it comes with tapas for appetizers and some awesome looking choices for entrees. Personally I think that polenta lasagna looks pretty delicious. I don’t really like that you have to pay $30 for meat options, but I get it I suppose. But for you veggies out there, this looks like a great option.
This one of the restaurant I plan on going to during Restaurant Week. I don’t actually feel like there’s many good Italian places in Raleigh, but I feel like Cafe Luna is one of the more authentic. The menu looks pretty simple, I think I’ll get a good ole Cesar salad, and honestly all of the entrees look really good. I’m slightly disappointed because they changed the menu since the last time I looked, but it does still look pretty delicious. And for a good Italian, three course meal, $25 is a pretty good deal.
Mura at North Hills
This is another one that I haven’t been to, but I walk by it basically every day and it smells really good so…. But in all seriousness the menu does look really good. They also offer a good variety. They have ramen, sushi, and a pork tenderloin dish, which all sound delicious to me. And again, thinking about how much sushi and ramen cost makes me feel like $25 is a pretty good deal.
While there is a limited offering on this menu, I still think $30 is worth it. This place isn’t cheap but everything is such good quality that you can’t really go wrong. Pork cheek? Lasagna? Shrimp? Yeah I’d take it. Plus one of the dessert options is lemon creme brûlée so….
I actually went to Gravy for restaurant week a few years ago with my family and I really enjoyed it. The risotto balls were killer, so I’d probably either go for those, or the grilled pears, or the bruschetta as an appetizer. Pretty much all of the entrees look amazing, but I would probably go with the beef risotto, and flourless chocolate torte for dessert. Sounds like a $30 well spent to me.
I haven’t been to Little Hen but I’ve heard a lot of good things. Its a farm-to-table restaurant in Apex with a great looking menu. I think I would go with the charred beets for an appetizer, shrimp & grits for an entree, and either tres leche cake or vanilla bean panna cotta for dessert. All of the options look really fresh and different, so I think this place would be a really great option.
I haven’t actually been to Garland myself but I’ve heard great things and the menu looks really amazing. That roasted beet salad looks like something that is right up my alley. And both the Pork Rice Bowl and Bo Ssam look really interesting and different from anything I’ve seen at another restaurant. If I had 30 extra dollars I’d definitely give it a shot.
The Melting Pot
Is that stupid? That I chose the Melting Pot? I’ve never been but everyone I know that has been has loved it. I feel like its just so expensive for a chain restaurant that the only way I would go is during restaurant week. The menu does look pretty amazing though. A few options of cheese fondue, a salad, a protein, and a chocolate fondue. Mmm Mmm Mmm.
There’s actually like 50 different options in the $30 range, so I just wanted to pick a few.
If you’d like to look at all of the other options go to www.trirestaurantweek.com
Just a warning: the menus may still be changing. I think most of them are finalized but earlier this week one restaurant we wanted to go to (The Oak) was taken off the list and the menu for Caffe Luna changed.