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Restaurants dishing up deals in Clayton

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Image courtesy of The Libertine's Facebook page

Image courtesy of The Libertine’s Facebook page

Thanks to Clayton’s Restaurant Week, college students have nearly no excuse to skip out on some of the finest dining the city has to offer. Through Jan. 26, restaurants will be offering three-course, pre- fixe menus for only $25.

Those new to the pre-fixe game should know that this is one of the best ways to eat out, and also happens to be one of the most economical checks you’ll pick up too. The way it works is that for this week the chefs slim down their menus to only a few dishes for each course. While it may seem like this limits your options, in truth, it actually makes your decision a heck of a lot easier because the three or so dishes are typically the most popular items or the chef‘s specialty.

Just take a look at The Libertine, one of Clayton’s highest-acclaimed restaurants that opened this past spring. For their first Restaurant Week, Executive Chef Josh Galliano is stacking the menu with all of their fan favorites, such as the beef cheek ragù with pappardelle and ash roasted carrots or the innovative sunflower seed fried rice served with Chinese bacon and a sunny side up egg. Typically, these dishes alone would cost anywhere from $15 to $20, but with Restaurant Week it costs almost half of the usual price per plate.

Image courtesy of Crushed Red's Facebook page

Image courtesy of Crushed Red’s Facebook page

If the American-eclectic cuisine of The Libertine seems like too big of a jump from Pickleman’s for a SLU student, then perhaps the chopped salads and craft pizzas of Crushed Red will be a safer bet. Actually, Crushed Red has one of the most college-friendly deals going on with a menu designed to feed two people with one appetizer, two mini-sized salads and a pizza for $25.

This menu certainly does not skimp on options with eight kinds of salad and 10 varieties of pizza providing plenty of possibilities. And not to knock Pickleman’s, but these pizzas might be a nice change from the usual asiago or buffalo chicken that kids pick up on the way home from Humphrey’s. At Crushed Red, the fire-roasted vegetable pizza is loaded with artichokes, portabellas, tomatoes, red peppers and topped with rosemary and mozzarella. Another popular pie should satisfy any cheesy-beefy craving as it combines sirloin steak with parmesan cream, onion, tomato, Gorgonzola, rosemary and mozzarella.

While Clayton Restaurant Week certainly gets people to explore their local eateries, there’s also another part of the annual event that greatly benefits the St. Louis community. Each table will be given the opportunity to add on an “extra helping” to their check, which will go directly to Operation Food Search. Each month, this local charity helps feed over 150,000 individuals at over 265 food pantries and soup kitchens in St. Louis.

Restaurant Week is one of the busiest times for eating out, so all of the participating restaurants strongly encourage guests to call ahead for reservations. More information along with full menus can be viewed on The Clayton Restaurant Week website.

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