Trimming the Fat: Prix-Fixe Meals for Under $45


Restaurants continue to drop their price points making the prix-fixe the new tasting menu. Here are some we'll be hitting up in the coming weeks.

Starting Sunday, chef Chris Cosentino is rolling out his new Cucina Povera, a 3-course menu ($30; $39 with wine pairings) that pays tribute to the Italian countryside. Each week throughout the summer, Incanto will feature a host of delicious specialties from a different region in Italy. First stop: Lazio (home to the capital city of Rome) for spaghetti cacio e pepe, lamb stew with lemon and egg, torta di contadino with cherry conserva and regional wines. This special is good every Sunday and Monday from May 31 through August 31.

Everyone's favorite pre- and post-symphony spot—Jardinière—has made Monday the go-to night. Their three-course Monday night dinner includies pairings, and is offered for the low price of $45 at this otherwise pricey spot. The upcoming dishes on June 1, for example, are wild gulf shrimp and hearts of palm dumplings, flowering bok choy and shang tong broth; five-spice roasted duck leg with spring onions and apricot-scented jus; and plum tartine with black sesame ice cream for dessert.

You already named it Best Indian joint in the city earlier this year in our annual Reader's Choice Awards. What better reason do you need to sample some of Southern Indian's finest cuisine on this side of the international dateline in the new Pac Heights outpost of the Mission? How about four courses for $30? Yeah, we like the sound of that, too. Tack on an additional $20 for full wine pairings, and you've got yourself a date to Dosa.

A two-course power lunch at Bix will only set you back a mere $20. The menu consists of a starter of sweet onion soup with Point Reyes blue cheese cream or hearts of romaine with blue cheese vinaigrette, followed by the restaurant's signature comfort dish, chicken hash à la Bix or Hill Ranch pork roulade with Anson Mills polenta and pea tendrils.

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