Q. Do you have a good resource for fine dining on a dime? I would love to find decently priced specials (for) a steakhouse palate.
I run special specials – meaning that I include interesting bargains in my Friday notes column (see it on Page 14). For instance, Luce uptown has a $25 four-course tasting menu on Friday and Saturday nights, and SouthPark-area Zebra offers three courses for $44 through Oct. 31: That's upscale food for … well, not a dime, but less than you'd usually pay.
The first Charlotte Restaurant Week, held in July, gave folks three courses for $30 at a number of upscale spots. A few places continued that pricing for some time afterward, in hopes of speeding up a slow time of year, and I wrote about that. So checking my Friday notes column is the best way I know of finding those occasional deals.
Several uptown places also have pre-theater meals for a nice price, aimed at folks heading off to a show: They're earlier in the evening, but that's a great way to get some good food more inexpensively, too.
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You might also consider going to upscale places for lunch, when they often offer terrific plates at reduced costs. And my favorite trick: Share a few appetizers for dinner, rather than getting an entree each. It's often the most creative food at many higher-end restaurants, and if you're not insistent on being full, it's a great way to save.