Prom Food on a Budget

By Isabella DeMattei

Going out to a fancy restaurant for prom doesn’t have to break the bank. Many upscale restaurants have menu items that won’t break your budget, yet still give you the experience of a nice night out.

One restaurant that is notorious for a great, but pricey, meal is Stark’s Steak and Seafood. Located in Historic Railroad Square, Stark’s has some of the best steaks in Santa Rosa, and the perfect ambiance for your meal. Don’t be discouraged by the expensive cuts of meat and side dishes you have to order separately. The entree that is the best priced also comes a large quantity of delicious eats, is the Grilled Prime NY Strip and Onion Ring Steakhouse Salad. I know what you are thinking, “I can’t just have a salad for dinner,” but trust me, it is so much more.

Priced at $21 and served with a large amount of Stark’s classic Caesar salad, the Grilled Prime NY Strip is cooked to order and comes with two large onion rings on the side. The steak is perfectly seasoned and pairs nicely with the flavors from the caesar.

Photo by Isabella DeMattei

Another item that is on the cheaper end of the spectrum is the Stark Standard Burger. Don’t let this burger’s cheap price fool you; the standard meal is perfectly filling. It comes with smoked bacon, salsa verde, cambozola cheese, and a large side of french fries. The hamburger patty itself is made with the high quality beef served in the restaurant. This is the best hamburger I have ever had. The Steakhouse Caesar or the Stark Standard Burger is more than enough food, and with all the money you save, you can even try the heavenly Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread Pudding for only nine dollars.

Another fancy restaurant that serves beautiful Italian food is Ca’Bianca on 2nd Street in Downtown Santa Rosa. Located in a lavish historic 19th century house, Ca’Bianca is the perfect spot to feel like royalty on prom night. The menu is full of authentic Italian cuisine, but it does come at a price. One great value, and my personal favorite dish regardless, is the gnocchi. While this dish is on the appetizer menu, if you eat it as your entree you will be stuffed at the end of your meal. The Gnocchi is priced at $10 and is a housemade potato and spinach pasta topped with rich gorgonzola sauce. Do not feel weird ordering your entree off of the appetizer menu, it is delicious and will save you a bundle. I also like to get a Insalata di Cesare (Caesar Salad) to share with my dinner date. At $8, the salad is the perfect pair to the decadent Gnocchi. One thing you don’t want to miss out on is the cannolis for dessert.

Going out to a fancy dinner for prom doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg if you choose wisely!

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