If you're looking for a more upscale dining option, Spoleto in Northampton, Mass at 50 Main St. (also with a location in East Longmeadow, Mass) offers a rather impressive option (not valid on Holiday or graduation weekends) of three courses, which includes your choice of appetizer, entree and dessert for just $20. The inside of the restaurant is dimly-lit and undeniably romantic, so if you're looking for a great date location, this place is a must. There is a red glow that's flattering on anyone that will certainly set the mood.
But of course, the most important thing is the menu, which offers a variety of options. From the appetizer category, try the fried or grilled calamari, both of which are tender and cooked to perfection, the phyllo ravioli which are baked and stuffed with smoked chicken breast, spinach, red onion and goat cheese and finished with a sun-dried tomato cream sauce, or, for a $5 up-charge, the orange basil scallops which are pan seared with an apricot bell pepper confit, served atop an orange basil beurre blanc. All of these are a great way to start off your meal.
In terms of the entree category, there is a wide variety to choose from. From the classic ravioli ala vodka, to the pecan salmon encrusted in pecans and glazed with an apricot sauce, the menu offers something for everyone. For a $7 up-charge guests can enjoy other main dishes such as cioppino chock full of fresh seafood in a saffron broth, black peppercorn encrusted duck breast, and grilled filet mignon.
To some, the entree is not the main event however...it's the course that comes after, and a Spoleto dessert will not disappoint. Whether you're in the mood for something light, like the mixed berry sorbet, or something decadent, like the tiramisu or the flourless chocolate espresso torte, any of the desserts are sure to finish off an already delicious meal with success.
Overall the food at Spoleto is inspired and executed with great technique, and right now three gourmet courses for $20 is pretty hard to beat.
*All of Spoleto's menus are available at their website listed above.