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Six tantalizing prix-fixe menus from 2014 Downtown Raleigh’s Restaurant Week

Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week is back. The weeklong culinary celebration promoting downtown Raleigh’s vibrant restaurant scene begins Monday, August 18 and lasts until Sunday, August 24.

42 restaurants in the downtown Raleigh vicinity are offering three-course prix-fixe menus at $20 and $30. And, new to DRW this year, select restaurants like Babylon, Kimbap Café, Sono, Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar, Tuscan Blu and Mo’s Diner are additionally offering an “Elite” experience option whereby dinner will also include additional courses beyond the prerequisite three and will also include drink pairings for $65 a person.

If you are a fan of snapping foodie pictures of dinner with your mobile device, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (organizers of Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week) are holding an Instagram contest throughout the restaurant week. Diners that use the hashtag #myDRRW throughout the restaurant week have a chance to win one out of five $50 gift cards to a participating restaurant.

For a complete list of Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week participants and their prix-fixe menus, see here. Reservations are recommended and some rsvps can be made through DRW’s website.

So, what can diners expect for DRW? Check out six tantalizing sample prix-fixe menus from participating downtown Raleigh restaurants.

1. bu•ku

Explore the world through bu·ku, a global street food restaurant located on Davie Street in downtown Raleigh.

For $30, you could get:

SPICY KERALA SAMOSA

spiced butternut squash, cilantro-mint chutney, Indian pickle, cucumber-onion salad, flash-fried okra

AUSTRIAN PORK PORTERHOUSE

apple glaze, house made quark spaetzle, applewood-smoked bacon, braised mustard greens, red cabbage purée, truffled asparagus

BAVARIAN DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

sour cherry compote, white chocolate ganache, crushed pretzel crust, and dark chocolate crumb

2. Jimmy V's Osteria + Bar

Drawing inspiration from the late Jimmy Valvano, diners can nosh on Italian and American comfort foods with a modern twist at Jimmy V’s Osteria and Bar.

For $20, you could get:

ARANCINI
fried risotto rounds, homemade pimento cheese and house sauce

GRILLED SALMON
Scottish salmon pan seared, sauté of sweet potatoes, jalapeno & kale, sriracha honey and balsamic reduction

TIRAMISU
traditional Italian dessert, espresso syrup, creamy caramel and whipped mascarpone

Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar also offers an “Elite” menu as well for $65 per person.

3. Jose and Sons

Traditional Mexican cuisine meets the influences of the Deep South at The Depot’s Jose and Sons restaurant.

For $30, you could get:

AROLINA GOLD RICE WITH ESQUITES
Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice, shaved sweet NC summer corn with roasted poblanos, charred cayenne pepper sauce

WALKER FARMS BISON FAJITAS LARRY’S BEANS
coffee and Pasilla pepper rubbed Bison skirt steak, onions, bell peppers, heirlooms, rice, black beans, mixed greens and corn tortillas

HOMEMADE CHURRO ICE CREAM SANDWICH
served with choice of ice cream flavor: vanilla, coconut, or avocado

4. Plates Neighborhood Kitchen

At Plates Neighborhood Kitchen, the cuisine of the world is served plate by plate.

For $20, you could get:

PEACH AND FENNEL SALAD

SMOKED DUCK BREAST CARBONARA

served with wild mushroom Fettuccine with basil and olive oil

STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING

5. Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant and Bar

The vibrant cuisine of Laos comes to life in downtown Raleigh at Bida Manda.

For $30, you could get:

MANDA’S CRISPY SPRING ROLLS
vegetables, fresh herbs, and your choice of Pork or Vegetables (Vegan)

FRIED NORTH CAROLINA WHOLE FISH
with the trinity of tamarind, palm sugar, and basil sauce and jasmine rice

HOUSE-MADE FRENCH MACAROON

6. The Pit

Perhaps nothing else better represents North Carolina more than the Eastern-style whole-hog barbecue that you can find at downtown Raleigh’s The Pit restaurant.

For $30, you could get:

GRILLED WATERMELON AND ARUGULA SALAD
served with goat cheese, smoked salt, extra virgin olive oil and a balsamic reduction

SWEET TEA CURED PORK LOIN
pit cooked pork tenderloin, topped with a peach compote served with a local NC sweet potato hash and sautéed green beans

DEEP FRIED BACON ICE CREAM
homemade bacon ice cream rolled in frosted flakes and deep fried, drizzled with chocolate sauce and candied bacon