It’s a world’s fair of dining deals.
San Jose Restaurant Week starts today, Jan. 16, and runs through Jan. 26, with more than 30 restaurants offering prix fixe lunches and dinners for $10, $20, $30, $40 or $50. The promotion is part of California Restaurant Month, an annual campaign that highlights the state’s culinary treasures.
Here are five fabulous menus that represent a mix of San Jose’s new and established restaurants. You’ll find details on others at the website. And remember: It’s smart to make reservations for these meal deals.
Maybe Adega’s been on your gotta-try list but you haven’t been in yet? Here’s a chance to enjoy the highly acclaimed Portuguese cuisine at a seriously discounted price. For $50, you’ll start with executive chef David Costa’s Caldo Verde, a wintry potato soup with collard greens and chorizo, then dine on his popular Polvo à Lagareiro, oven-roasted octopus with garlicky fingerling potatoes. For dessert, it’s pastry chef Jessica Carreira’s Pudim Flan, sauced with caramel. Put your savings toward a bottle or glasses from the Portuguese wine list that numbers 500 selections. (Open Wednesday-Sunday.)
This casual downtown hot spot opened as the food source fueling customers of the adjoining MiniBoss bar-arcade — until word got out about the creative Asian fusion dishes. And by hot spot, we also mean spicy. For $30, you can order one of four appetizers such as the Mean Green Curry or the Dan Dan Noodles, followed by the one-flame Mom’s Smoky Eggplant or the three-flame Milk-Roasted Pork Jowl with bird’s eye chiles or something inbetween heat-wise. Dessert is a palate-calming Coconut Panna Cotta. (Open daily.)
This Willow Glen restaurant’s $40 three-course menu lets you sample the creativity of chef-partners A.J. Jimenez and Josh Hanoka, and it’s a dream lineup for vegetarians. First, pick the popular Cheddar Beignets, House Pickles, Shinko Pears or a new menu item, Pickled Anchovy Toast. Next up is the Little Gem Salad, the Papaya Salad or Grilled Zucchini Bread, followed by a Whole Roasted Romanesco, Lamb Curry or Fried Chicken. Bonus: Bar manager Syrus Fotovat is dreaming up a cocktail that will be included with this prix fixe meal. (Closed Sunday, Jan. 19, and Monday, Jan. 20; open all other days of Restaurant Week, including Jan. 26.)
Meso Modern Mediterranean
This newcomer to Santana Row from the Left Bank Restaurant Group boasts a Roland Passot pedigree and a menu designed by him and executive chef Gregory Short. Head for dinner and the $50 prix fixe menu, which features selections like Lamb Shank with ratatouille couscous; Fattoush, a salad dressed in a sumac vinaigrette; and, to cap off the evening, Rose Water Mousse encased in dark chocolate. Meso’s also offering a $30 lunch special for Restaurant Week. (Open daily.)
Regional Mexican cuisine stars at this San Pedro Square restaurant that’s put together a $30 menu. Start with a refreshing Ceviche Traditional or Olla Cocina’s poblano-packed take on a Caesar, studded with roasted corn and cotija cheese. For entrees, choose among the Pollo Con Mole with house-made corn tortillas, the Achiote Salmon or the Braised Chicken Enchiladas with chipotle salsa roja. Dessert’s a tough one: Do you want the Flan de Cajeta or the Tres Leches with fresh fruit? (Open daily.)