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Finding the best bets for Charleston Restaurant Week, Winter 2019

Go ahead, take our money

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Restaurant Week starts today, which, as we've said a million times over, means seeking out the needle in the overwhelming prix fixe menu haystack. Lucky for you (and us!) there are plenty of deals to be had over the next 12 days.

For the full rundown, visit CharlestonRestaurantWeek.com.

TREAT YO' SELF

We've resolved (and you should, too) that this year when we decide to treat ourselves, we're gonna treat ourselves properly. That means visiting some of the top restaurants in the city, whether we can afford it or not, because they really are worth experiencing. Here are two to knock off your bucket list that won't totally destroy your credit:

Beef deckle tataki - RUTA SMITH
  • Ruta Smith
  • Beef deckle tataki
We probably wouldn't casually swing by The Establishment (unless we'd just gotten a fat bonus), the Broad Street restaurant that sent our critic into gushing iambic pentameter. But when the Restaurant Week deal gets you three courses for $40, well, now it's officially within the realm of possibility.

Choose from the 'taste' section of the menu which includes local chilled shrimp, crispy confit duck, oysters with black truffle bisque, beef deckle tataki, aeroponic farmed greens, or baby carrots with fresh cheese before moving onto the main course, 'savor.'



Main course options include swordfish, coq au vin, ribeye, pasta with peekytoe crab, scallops, or monkfish. The ribeye on the regular menu will cost ya $34, so already you can see why this Restaurant Week special is worth checking out. Finish it off with chocolate mousse or ice cream and sorbet.

Vincent Petrillo making the to-die-for honeycomb - MARY SCOTT HARDAWAY
  • Mary Scott Hardaway
  • Vincent Petrillo making the to-die-for honeycomb
Zero Restaurant +Bar is another fancy joint that we wouldn't just pop into for a fun night out (there are dive bars for that, kids). But when the Restaurant Week deal gets you five courses from the inimitable Vincent Petrillo plus beverage pairings for under $100? Yeah we'll carve out a few hours for that.

Also, we have had the absolute pleasure of trying both the tres leches dessert made with crispy, ineffably delicious honeycomb and the grilled lobster served with the humble but mighty rutabaga. Both worth the price of admission.

For $95 you get a 'snacks' course, lobster grilled and glazed in yuzu and chili served with various textures of rutabaga and celery root, 'Beef Wellington' with foie gras and aerated potato, and tres leches with young coconut and honeycomb.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

While we prefer to scope out new restaurants on weeknights when we can take it all in, Restaurant Week is not a bad way to cross some newbies off your list; hhere are some new faces joining the 12 day feasting spree:

Bourbon N' Bubbles, the fancy shmancy King Street spot is offering a three for $40 deal with a choice of first courses including a winter salad, orzo tots, or deviled eggs; main courses including grilled portobello ratatouille, pan seared local fish, or steak frites; and flourless chocolate cake, Zabaglione, or Carolina gold rice pudding for dessert.

Joséphine wine bar serves 20 wines by the glass - RUTA SMITH
  • Ruta Smith
  • Joséphine wine bar serves 20 wines by the glass
Josephine Wine Bar is offering a three for $35 deal with first course choices including Great Lakes smoked trout dip, a little greens salad, or a carrot, ginger, and apple soup; second courses including crispy baked polenta, hand-cut pappardelle, or black Angus hanger steak; and either hazelnut chocolate cake or vanilla crème brulée for dessert. They'll also have $35 or $50 optional wine pairings.

Tradd's will have a three for $40 special running throughout Restaurant Week with the standard starter/entrée/dessert setup (FTR we wish some of these places offered a free glass of bubbly or Pinot instead of dessert, but that's just us). Choose from butternut squash and farro salad, escargot, or shrimp cocktail; local grouper, lobster gnocchi, or pork tenderloin; and caramel tart, chocolate pudding, or rice pudding.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

Hankering for a midday deal? These restaurants are offering lunch/brunch specials throughout Restaurant Week:

Bistro Toulouse has brunch and lunch specials in addition to their dinner offering. Wed.-Fri. order three courses for $20 at lunch, with soup or salad followed by a daily special, crepe, or croque monsieur. Your third course is dessert or a glass of house wine (bless). Brunch is three for $22 and is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekend. Choose a bloody or mimosa, entrees like salad Lyonnaise or quiche du jour, and a 'sweet finale' dessert like red velvet bread pudding.

82 Queen serves their two for $20 lunch special Mon.-Fri. with an app and an entree. First course includes she crab soup, chef's soup du jour, barbecue shrimp and grits, or fried green tomatoes. Entrees include the chicken salad wrap, Lowcountry gumbo, or the roasted pork sandwich.

For only $15, score three courses at Butcher & Bee during lunch. Choose from sweet potatoes, local beets, or soup of the day; followed by an entree of roast beef, pulled squash, or a kale salad; finishing with a fruit bar or brownie.

Raclette burger - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Raclette burger
Three courses at Felix will only set you back 20 buckaroos during lunch. Enjoy a soup or salad; the petit raclette burger, shrimp po' boy, or croque monsieur; and the chef's daily selection for dessert.

We will take any excuse to go to the Dewberry, anytime, any day. The lunch deal, two courses for $20, at Henrietta's is pretty simple, but again, it's the Dewberry y'all. Choose from soup or salad then order the sauteed flounder, wood-grilled bavette (flank) steak, or roasted sweet potato steak. No martinis included, but if you want to make that lunch break extra special, go ahead and order one or three, extra dirty.

You can get more than breakfast at breakfast all day spot Millers All Day. Get three courses for $15 daily, with choices changing slightly over the weekend. Highlights include Hoppin John, sandwich and salad entree combos, and molasses cookie sundae for dessert.

If you're hungry and hankering for some 'que, Poogan's Smokehouse has a three for $20 lunch special. You can choose one starter, one main/barbecue, and one dessert .

Also in the meat sweats wheelhouse, all Swig & Swine locations will be offering a two meat platter plus dessert for $20, lunch and dinner.

Sol Southwest Kitchen (Downtown, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville) has a two for $15 lunch deal with apps including posole with chicken and tomatillos, salsa duo, or grilled Romaine salad and entrees like the wood-fired grilled salmon bowl, 10 spice grilled chicken sandwich, bang bang tequila shrimp tacos, barbecue chicken quesadilla, or chile-rubbed chicken salad. To wash it down, try the $6 prickly pear marg. 

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