I am a big advocate of taking advantage of happy hour food specials in order to go out and stay Thrifty. Many places offer ½ priced appetizers and special bar food items and small plates for around $10 that can fill up the belly without emptying the wallet. These kinds of deals are great for me because I am an app eater. By that I mean, I fall in love with appetizers and small plates on many menus. I like to sample different things and share with friends. That to me is a lot more fun than ordering a big plate of food and stuffing myself until I am too full to eat another bite.
A perfect place to sample delicious small dishes is Balliceaux (203 N Lombardy St). When you walk into Balliceaux it smells just delicious. Their dinner menu includes full dinner entrees complete with complimenting sides, but they also offer Small Plates and a la carte Side Dishes. On a recent date night, we made a decision that we would order off the small plates menu instead of ordering a dinner entrée that ranged from $21-$28. My husband and I chose three small plates to share, lamb meatballs $11, Asian braised pork belly $13 and a smoked bluefish cake $12. My favorite was the lamb meatballs, each in their own sauce. My husband was mesmerized by the pork belly and we were both impressed with the portion size for what was called a Small Plate. I opted to add on the cheese plate as dessert and he added on a side of collared greens. Throw in a couple glasses of wine….and you have an amazing dinner that we will be talking about for months and a bill that we had not planned for when ordering a small plates dinner.
I believe strongly that sometimes you just have to treat yourself. And treat ourselves we did and will do again. Eating at Balliceaux made me feel like I was on vacation in Manhattan. That is an experience that I am willing to pay for. On my list to try on our next visit are their tandoori fried cauliflower and truffle fries. But next time I will plan a splurge or total what we are ordering before we are served with the check. Photo credit.