(1) Don’t eat at national chains.
(2) Splurge. Don’t eat at a place you’d normally eat at — go to the “special occasion” place you’ve been dying to try. (Especially because you’re paying a prix fixe price of $30 or $35 for multiple courses.)
(3) Try something new. (Why would you not?)
And without further ado, here are our team’s top picks for the week, which continues July 20-29.
1829 Cleveland Ave.
First course pick: Summer Gazpacho with pickled shrimp, crème fraiche and popped sorghum.
Second course pick: Foggy Mountain Radiatore Pasta with maitake mushrooms and cauliflower Bolognese, as well as basil, and goat feta. (Bonus: You can add a 6-oz. fried lobster tail to any entrée for $19.)
Third course pick: Warm Apple Crisp with vanilla bean gelato.
110 N. College St.
First course pick: Melon Salad with prosciutto, goat cheese and arugula.
Second course pick: Lots of Grains Salad with grapefruit, grilled asparagus and maitake mushrooms.
Third course pick: Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse with banana ice cream.
1535 Elizabeth Ave.
First course pick: Warm Goat Cheese Salad with mixed greens, hazelnut-crusted goat cheese, wine poached onions, and an apricot-jalapeño vinaigrette.
Second course pick: Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast, served with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach, and shallot-black pepper gravy.
Third course pick: Citrus Pie with a saltine-graham-cracker crust and whipped cream.
8470 Bellhaven Blvd.
First course pick: Lightning Cakes with lion’s mane mushroom cakes, root vegetable slaw and Carolina Reaper pepper sauce.
Second course pick: HFC (Heirloom Fried Chicken) with chef-foraged maitake mac and cheese, heirloom cabbage slaw and rooftop honey hot sauce.
Third course pick: Grandmom Tut’s Angel Food Cake with seasonal berries, rooftop Koji honey, Wicking Bed mint and Chantilly cream.
127 N. Tryon Street, Suite 210
First course pick: Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with Asian vegetable salad, lotus root chips and soy citrus vinaigrette.
Second course pick: Dry-Aged Beef Sirloin with crushed Yukon Gold potatoes, broccolini and cherry-red wine demi.
Third course pick: Milk Chocolate Pretzel Bar with vanilla gelato and 24k gold leaf (so fancy).
Hungry? Get out there and support local restaurants. You can check out the restaurant list (and menus) here.