The Restaurant Guide: BOUGIE BARGAINS!

MICHAEL RIETMULDER | Updated 10/4/2012

Oceanaire bartender Jack Grengs mixes martinis.
Tom Wallace

Oceanaire Seafood Room

50 S. 6th St., Mpls. • 612-333-2277 • www.theoceanaire.com

If you don't feel like dropping $35 on a fish, then post up in the bar at this swank seafood joint during its weekday happy hour from 4-7 p.m. Part with just $4 and $5, respectively, for select taps and wines or sip $6 and $7 specialty cocktails and martinis while noshing $5-$8 bar bites. You might feel like you're sticking it to the man, paying so little, but in reality he's probably sitting next to you.

Meritage

410 Saint Peter St., St. Paul • 651-222-5670 • www.meritage-stpaul.com

We understand if your wallet starts trembling anytime you walk into a fine-dining French restaurant. But at Meritage that doesn't have to be the case. Enjoy a weekly rotating $30 prix fixe menu on "Recession Sundays" from 5-9 p.m. With the discount, you should have no trouble tipping triple the unemployment rate.

Murray's

26 S. 6th St., Mpls. • 612-339-0909 • www.murraysrestaurant.com

After closing for its first major renovations in nearly 30 years, the home of the Silver Butter Knife reopened this month with a bit of a facelift. Most notably, your grandpa's favorite steakhouse now boasts a sleek new horseshoe bar fit for Manhattan-sipping. Its weekday happy hour doesn't offer any deals on food, but half-priced rails, $3-$4 taps and $5 wines make for an affordable first look.