It's amazing what summertime brings. Restaurants pick up their hula hoops and spin in circles trying to attract patrons. We get great happy hour deals, new menu offerings, and a sampling of summer seasonal produce. At happy hours, high-end restaurants put their chefs to work early, turning out amazing little plates to match with half-priced cocktails.
Now, non-epicures will embrace anything from the cheapest chicken wing to most loaded potato skin, but there is a certain allure to sitting bar--side and enjoying food that does more than simply satisfy. When in search of a little proscuitto crudo and melon with your rossini, head to the bar at Cecconi's where a new "cicchetti" menu offers mini "pizzettas" ($14), a fancy grilled ham and cheese sandwich ($14) and wood-oven meatballs ($10). They have also introduced a summer garden lunch menu ($23), which includes a choice of soup or salad, grilled fish or pasta, and includes a sgroppino, which is an Italian cocktail made with limoncello and roughly translates to "little un-knotter." La bella vita!
The happy hour at Area 31 features $5 drinks specials to wash down
reasonably priced bar bites such as a "fish fry" of calamari, rock
shrimp, and white fish ($6). The great news here is that happy hour,
which usually lasts from 5 - 8 p.m., runs until 10 p.m. on Thursdays and
Fridays. Summer celebrating begins on Tuesday, when the "Raw, Rosé,
Refresh" promotion launches. This deal includes a pairing of rock
shrimp ceviche and a glass of Juvé y Camps rosé for $10. Also valid all
day on Saturdays and Sundays when the promo gets sweeter, add a pool
pass to the Epic's adjacent sundeck for only $5 more.
Sustain weighs in with fancy cocktails made with
"fruit bitters" and alcohol extracts like rosemary and black pepper. Drinks are half-off from 5 - 7:30 p.m. daily, but on Wednesdays, get classic corn-dogs,
cast iron cooked meatballs and fried chickpeas, all for $3 each. New
summer menu additions include an heirloom tomato gazpacho, a watermelon
and watercress salad, and bbq beans ($6-$12). A 3-course tasting menu on
Mondays (starting this Monday, June 20 - July 25) is tailored towards
vegetarians ($35), highlighting local fruits and veggies that peak in
db Bistro Moderne's "Lucky 7" happy hour charges exactly that
for everything on offer - cocktails (like their blackberry mojito made
with Flor De Caña Rum) wine (a French chardonnay, bordeaux, or rosé) and
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various small plates. Curried duck rillette, a tomato braised chicken
and chorizo empanada, or perhaps the ceviche du jour? All can be had for
the same seven bucks, from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday - Friday.