DARLINGTON COLUMN: Charleston Restaurant Week offers meals for less
I often say that Charleston locals are spoiled when it comes to their cuisine options. Something delicious can be found on almost every corner, and it seems new restaurants are popping up every week. Yet all of those options can make choosing a place for dinner a difficult decision.
That's why Charleston Restaurant Week is one of my favorite times of year. It's a great opportunity for chefs to showcase their talent and for you to try something that may be out of your price range.
Until Jan. 20, restaurants with the Charleston Restaurant Association will offer affordable three-course meals, many of which are crafted specifically for the occasion.
I've compiled a list of what I think are some of the best-priced meals, but you can find a complete list of participating restaurants online at charlestonrestaurantassociation.com
Five Loaves Cafe at 43 Cannon St. downtown is one of my favorite places. The food is imaginative, simple and vegetarian-friendly. For $20, you can choose from about four items for each of the three courses. I'd highly recommend the potato gnocchi for an appetizer and the coconut cake for dessert. Plus, bottles of wine are half-price on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the downtown location and Tuesdays and Fridays in Mount Pleasant.
Virginia's on King, 412 King St. downtown, is another favorite of mine because it's affordable, the ambience is low-key and the Southern food is authentic. This year, the specialty menu will feature a country-fried steak, chicken and dumplings or seafood jambalaya for the main course. They tend to serve hearty portions, so the three-for-$20 deal likely will leave you more than satisfied.
There are only a handful of decent Thai restaurants in Charleston, and Basil, 460 King St., is among the most popular. Its three-for-$20 menu is expansive. The Yum-Yai salad with egg-peanut dressing is a favorite appetizer, plus it's vegetarian and gluten-free.
Another exotic restaurant that's often overlooked is Nirlep Indian Restaurant, 908 Savannah Highway in West Ashley. Its $20 deal for Restaurant Week feeds two, so it's a perfect spot for a casual date.
Higher-end restaurants are offering three courses for $30 and $40. For some restaurants, that's a major discount. For example, a three-course meal at The Grocery, 4 Cannon St., could cost up to $60, not including tip. During Restaurant Week, they'll offer three courses for $30 per person.
Besides, those who live in Charleston should be able to enjoy our cuisine just as much as tourists do.
Email Abigail Darlington at email@example.com. Find more ways to save by liking our Facebook page, visiting the blog at charlestonsavvyshopper.com