Happy Hour at Home!
The Incredible Ichabod's
Happy Hour at Rosa Mexicano is a Great Deal!
Happy Hour with Sad Oysters
Still Can't Call Myself a "New Yorker"
Sometimes it is painfully obvious that I am still relatively new to living in Manhattan. I was recently reminded of this fact when Melissa suggested grabbing a bite to eat at Republic (http://www.thinknoodles.com/findex.html). I had mentioned that I felt like something Asian - maybe Chinese or Thai, so I was confused when she suggested this place. I had (how embarrassing!) thought that it was a burger place. It is near Heartland Brewery...the signage looks very similar...so, you can see how I'd be confused! Clearly, I had said something sacrilegious. EVERYONE (except little ol' me until then) knows this place has yummy Asian food.
Melissa RAVED about the Spicy Beef noodle soup - similar to Pho. This bowl contains heavenly noms, like wheat noodles, rare beef, garlic, onion, lemongrass, chili peppers, bean sprouts, scallions and fried shallots. For $15, this bowl will FILL YOU UP!
This restaurant has a great reverse happy hour that starts at 10pm. Cocktails that are normally $11 are $7 and beer/wine is around $4. We each got a frozen Lychee-tini!
This is a lovely spot. I'm glad I'm no longer in the dark! If you haven't been here, please enlighten yourself as well!
Tropical Happy Hour in Hell's Kitchen
After our cocktails at Havana Central, we went over to Reunion. Their happy hour is Mon, Thurs and Fri from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. I would love to check out Taco Tuesday for some great taco deals.
The happy hour deal is great here - drinks are 50% off. Normally $12-$14, they are $6, What an awesome deal in such a great environment! I love the lighting and décor.
I ordered a Frozen Mojito, the Mermaid! It was phenomenal! I enjoyed it so much I drank it way too quickly. Can you say BRAINFREEZE?!
I love the tongue-in-check signage around the bar. It really adds to the whimsical feel of the space.
I want to come back here for some food. Watch out Taco Tuesday!
$6 Mojito? Yes Please!
Melissa and her friend Dayna were going to catch a Broadway show, If/Then, so we opted to do happy hour in the Theater District. Melissa suggested going to Havana Central (http://havanacentral.com/) since the Mojitos are $6!
Normally, I don't give Mojitos the benefit of the doubt. I'm not the biggest fan of mint in my cocktails. Melissa convinced me to give it a shot and since I trust this lady, I let her be my "spirit" animal, pun intended.
I really enjoyed the cocktail. I loved that it was served with a stick of sugar cane. It absorbs the sweetness of the drink and it compliments the sweetness already in the sugar cane. It is tasty (but messy) to chew on.
I know Times Square can be SCARY but if you happen to find yourself in the area, this is worth your attention.
Mermaid Inn for the Win!
I love a good happy hour deal. Frank and I wanted to catch up and he suggested the Mermaid Inn (http://www.themermaidnyc.com/uws/). I had been to the East Village location once and loved the selection of snacks and cocktails. It is lovely to find a location that serves up fancy cocktails at happy hour pricing and not just basic drinks (vodka soda or rum and coke).
The happy hour is from 5-7pm daily. Cocktails are $7, Wine by the Glass is $6, and Beer is $5.
I started with the Gone with the Gin, made with gin, grapefruit liqueur, thyme and lemon. It was refreshing and light and FAR TOO easy to drink! I highly recommend it!
Oysters are $1 each during happy hour - a great deal! We got a dozen to split. The two sauces served with them (cocktail and mignonette) offered a nice enhancement to the natural briny ocean flavor.
The Mini Mermaid Fish Taco is made with blackened tilapia, avocado, and smoked jalapeno. At $3 each, they were a bit pricey given the size! They flavor was wonderful though and the fish was super fresh.
We got an order of calamari ($7) which was served with a very unusual dipping sauce. Frank thought it may have had tamarind in it. I'm so used to marinara sauce that is was a change for sure!
For my second cocktail, I ordered the Kentucky Green, made with bourbon, apricot and green tea syrup. I loved how the green tea syrup brought out the flavor of the bourbon. An awesome combo!
Frank ordered one grilled shrimp & avocado slider for $7. It seemed a bit overpriced for the small size. Frank did say the flavor was quite tasty.
The Yelp! Check-in deal is awesome - you get 1 free side even without purchasing an entrée! What a deal at happy hour! Naturally, we got the most expensive side: smoked gouda mac & cheese. It was rich and delicious...and FREE!
When we were finished, we were surprised with a complimentary chocolate mousse! It was the perfect size and the perfect flavor to end our meal with!!
Mermaid Inn gives you a Fortune Teller Miracle Fish when they present the check. It is a nice touch. Love it!
The happy hour here is wonderful! I encourage you to check it out at either the UWS or East Village location! Also, there is outdoor seating but it was too hot!
Fancy Happy Hour at The Flatiron Room
Note: since I posted this, the owner reached out to me, Happy Hour is from 4-7pm and ALL signature drinks are $10!
Since I returned from my trip to Ireland, I've wanted to catch up with many of my friends, especially Melissa! I did research on some fun places for happy hour. The Flatiron Room (http://www.theflatironroom.com/) has a happy hour from 5-7pm and features a bartender's selection of specialty cocktails for $10 each (Margaritas and Manhattans offered when we were there) as well as $10 flatbreads (the one we got was originally $17, so a great deal!). During the week, live music from 5:30 to 8:30pm adds to the ambiance.
For my first cocktail, I ordered the featured margarita - it was lovely! I am always a fan of the coupe glass.
After we got our first cocktail, we ordered the Pig & Fig Flat Breads. This yummy one features guanciale (unsmoked Italian bacon), black mission fig and arugula! It was so good, we ordered two!
After the first cocktail, I got a Manhattan. It featured a spritz of Absinthe which I asked to not have on my drink. Just not a fan. The adjusted cocktail was great!
The interior of the bar has a wonderful vibe.
I recommend coming during Happy Hour, though it would be better if ALL specialty cocktails were $10 and not just the bartender's selection.
A Mexican Fiesta at Agave
We had an incredible Follies this year - the Torchy Awards! We wanted to take the cast out to celebrate with a fun dinner. Naturally, I was all over planning this event and picking the restaurant. I chose Agave (http://agaveny.com/) because I love this place. The food, drinks and atmosphere are awesome.
We had a 7pm reservation and I arrived a bit early...so I ordered a mango margarita - my favorite here! Gotta love that happy hour pricing! BOOM!
Once we were all assembled, we had to take a group shot! What a beautiful group of funny people - so proud to be a part of this amazing cast!
Naturally, we had to order the guacamole! It is so yummy here and served in an edible bowl. I love that they refill your chips - it is critical to maintain the right guac to chip ratio.
We also got sweet potato fries to split - served with a chipotle mayo. I'm sure you are aware of my love of mayo, so this was so yummy!
I ordered the Enchilada Mariscos, stuffed with Gulf Shrimp, Lump Crab, sautéed cabbage, queso cotija and salsa verde. Yummy. I did have some meal FOMO when I saw what Mike ordered: the Duck Enchiladas! I sampled a piece and it was soooooo good. NEXT TIME!
We ordered several pitchers of frozen margs - awesome call. We also got three desserts to share. My favorite was the molten chocolate cake! The banana thing was ok, but honestly, I'm not a huge banana person (unless it is the cupcakes at Sugar Sweet Sunshine!). The tres leches was good too, but nothing to write home about.
You know I love Agave. If you trust my taste, do yourself a favor and visit! Come early for happy hour at the bar, then get seated for dinner.
Agave FOR THE WIN!
Last Friday, Melissa and I met up for lunch at Agave (http://agaveny.com/). The weather was turning around and Melissa researched places near campus that had outdoor seating and lunch specials. I had no idea that Agave offered a Two-Course Pre-Fix Lunch for $14.95! It is served with a fruit-infused margarita "tasting" (image below). We got a pomegranate and mango one. Clearly, this is a smart ploy to get you to order a full-sized one. I already know how good they are, so I was planning to order one anyway.
I didn't snap a picture of it, but for my first course we both ordered the Mother Road Roadhouse Chili. I'm not typically a huge fan of chili, but this was absolutely DELICIOUS! It is a blend of braised beef & pork cooked in Dos XX and Chile. It is served with soft tortillas for dipping. Yum yum yum! The other first course option was a salad. We clearly made the best choice.
For the entrée, there were four choices. I got the chicken wrap, served with mango chutney and sweet potato fries.
My mouth is watering looking at that photo. The wrap was utterly fantastic. The fries were great too and served with a delicious chipotle mayo. I cannot rave about this enough!
Melissa ordered the steak wrap, which was served with regular fries.
Poor Melissa really struggled with eating her wrap. I have no idea why they thought it would be a good idea to cut it up like a sushi roll. All the filling kept falling out! I felt the chicken wrap was much tastier.
When we were wrapping up lunch, we rolled right into happy hour ($6 margs down from $10). You can add the fruit flavor for $1 extra...so worth it! We both got mango!
I love Agave so much! The happy hour, lunch special and brunch special ($27.95 for two-hours of bottomless mimosas, wine or frozen/shaken margaritas) are hard to beat! You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't check it out.
Gyu-Kaku has Deals all Day!
Recently, I met up with Melissa during the week to take advantage of Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Times Square's Happy Hour (http://gyu-kaku.com/ny/timessquare.htm). This location has Happy Hour for lunch (11:30AM - 3:00PM) and dinner (3:00PM - 6:00PM & 9:30PM - 11:00PM). The drink deal during this time is 50% off select drinks. The meal deal is reduced pricing on most menu items.
We ordered the steamed chili dumplings ($6, normally $8), bistro hanger streak ($5, normally $8), sukiyaki bibimbap ($6, normally $10), and chocolate lava cake ($6, normally $8). With a Yelp! check-in, we each got a free edamame ($4 value). Social media has measurable value people!
I didn't snap photos of everything, but trust that it was yummy. The Bibimbap arrived in a hot stone pot. It is served with a raw egg and continues to cook. We didn't realize how hot it was and some of the rice started to get too crispy...nearly burnt. Next time, I'll need to make sure to monitor it more closely!
The dessert was super tasty. It didn't have any Asian twist to it (I love the Green Tea one at Spot Dessert Bar) but it was lovely.
I would recommend only visiting this spot if it is during Happy Hour, otherwise it is a bit pricey for what it is.
Happy Hour Every Night Until 9pm!
Before meeting up for dinner with Liv, Christine and I hit up Happy Hour at Juke Bar (http://jukebarnyc.com/). This East Village establishment has awesome drink specials: all beer if $5 and wine & well-drinks are half-priced AS WELL AS the specialty cocktails ($8 instead of $13)!
Given how awesome this deal is, you can imagine the bar got a bit crowded. Christine is a genius and managed to snag a table. After I waited at the bar for our drinks (it took about 10 minutes to order), we found out once I was seated again that there was waitress service. Oh well, sometimes you live and you learn. At least we were able to order our second round without going to the bar - the wait wasn't much shorter but at least I didn't spill!
For my first cocktail, I got the Junior's Levee, made with Old Grand Dad Whiskey, fresh blackberries, lemon, cracked mint leaves and simple syrup.
I did like this cocktail but felt it was a bit teeny. Sometimes those fancy glasses end up backfiring on the customer.
For my second drink, I got the Maple Old Fashioned.
I'm not sure what spirits were used in this cocktail (no further details on the menu), but I loved it! It was a normal sized drink and had a lovely taste to it.
If you're looking for a solid Happy Hour with specialty cocktails, this is a great option. It does get crowded though, so try to come earlier!
Awesome Happy Hour in Williamsburg!
To celebrate the end of a long week, some of my close friends at Stern (Michelle and Christine and their significant others) wanted to go out to dinner to celebrate Chinese New Year. Last year, I went to a great spot in Williamsburg (M. Shanghai) and we wanted to go back for a meal to celebrate this holiday.
Before our dinner, we joined Michelle's husband Ilya at the Bar Below Rye (http://www.barbelowrye.com/).
There is an awesome happy hour Monday to Saturday from 7pm to 8pm; the deal is Two for One for Beer, Well & Wine. I ordered a Manhattan - even though I am in Brooklyn, it is always in my heart!
While we were sipping on our cocktails, we asked the bartenders about the many different bitters on the bar. He entertained our questions and let us give them a little sniff. I really loved the Grapefruit Bitters.
After we closed the tab out, we headed over to M. Shanghai. We were shocked when we saw the sign below:
While at first we were sad, we quickly realized that the owners of a Chinese restaurant may want this important holiday off to celebrate! I hope the owners and employees had a wonderful night!
I'd recommend checking out Rye if you're in the neighborhood - especially during Happy Hour! We didn't get any food though I did smell the Mac & Cheese someone got - YUM!
Guacamole is Best Served in Massive Quantities
Last week, I went out to dinner on a date at Rosa Mexicano (http://www.rosamexicano.com/newyorkcity/unionsquare/index.php?action=page&id=1976&group_id=1955&location_id=9). There are multiple locations of this popular chain and we went to the one in Union Square. I haven't been to this location and it much larger than the one in Midtown East - the ceilings are higher and the vibe seems younger in general. There is also one on the Upper West Side. Naturally, we started with the Guacamole. It is delicious! It is made tableside. There are servers at the restaurant that push the Guac Cart around and are busy NON-STOP! People cannot get enough of that green goodness.
After we were happily nibbling on yummy chips and guac, I ordered Frozen Pomegranate Margarita, made with silver tequila, pomegranate and lime juices. My date ordered a Michelada, specifically the Chelita. It is made with Tecate, fresh lime and Tabasco, served over ice with a salted rim. As soon as he tried it, he commented that he hated it. I tried it and agreed. Sometimes being adventurous doesn't pay off.
For my entrée, I got the Chamorro (Crispy Pork Shank). It is a slow-braised "carnitas-style" with chipotle-creamed spinach and red bean-chorizo chili. SO TASTY! It is served with teeny-tiny tortillas to make baby tacos.
The meal was delicious! My date ordered the Chicken Enchiladas - I tried a little and they were good, though a bit limey. I was glad with what I ordered.
There is a Happy Hour here Sat- Thurs from 4pm - 7pm in the Bar Area. Cocktails are $6-$7, Beers are $4 and a selection of appetizers and rotating tacos are $6. I will need to check that out!
If it is Happy Hour, of course you can!
After our wine happy hour at 8th Street Wine Cellar , Melissa and I were still hungry. Melissa suggested heading to Sushi Samba West Village (http://sushisamba.com/location/new-york/nyc-7). This restaurant has "SambaHour" which is a Happy Hour from 4-7pm and 11pm to close.
Naturally, we started with a cocktail. We both ordered the Nina Fresa. It is made with vodka, strawberry, grapefruit and guava shaken with rhubarb bitters, lime and sugar. Normally, it is $14 - on happy hour, it is $7!!
Although we had the cheese plate at 8th Street Wine Cellar, we were still a little hungry. We each ordered one of the Happy Hour rolls. The Ezo roll is made with soy-marinated salmon, asparagus, sesame, tempura flake, and served with some yummy wasabi mayo on the side. Normally, it is $12.50 and I believe it was $6. It was really yummy although the ratio of salmon to wrapping was a bit unfavorable.
This is now a favorite spot for Happy Hour! I can't wait to return.
A Lovely Spot Near NYU
I am always in search of a Happy Hour spot and I read about 8th Street Wine Cellar (http://8thstwinecellar.com/) near Stern that has a solid offering. The spot offers half-off bottles everyday. Although the selection is small it is tasteful. Naturally, since I was with Melissa, we went with the Montepulciano that was featured on special. We love a good red - pure heaven in a glass.
As we drank our wine, we were enticed to order the cheese tray. I can't recall what the daily selections were but they were yummy. It was a bit disappointing that the slices of cheese were VERY TINY. We were given an ample supply of slices of bread, which was nice, but that isn't the high ticket item. The cheese is and we wanted more!
If you check out this spot, go for the Happy Hour (half priced bottles of wine until 7pm Mon - Fri) but hold off on the food. Just not a good value.
Pick Up Your Phone When You Give PDT Your Number!
After Scott and I finished dinner and dessert, we wanted to visit PDT, located within Crif Dogs. You go within the unassuming hot dog spot to discover the hidden speakeasy. The phone booth has a number that you call. Then, someone within PDT opens up the phone booth and either 1. Invites you inside or 2. Takes your phone number for a reservation. We fell within 2 and Scott left his phone number. We decided to kill some time at a bar right down the street, Ten Degrees Bar (http://10degreesbar.com/).
I've been here before as it features a pretty awesome Happy Hour. 2 for 1 Drinks, 7 Days a week from noon to 8pm! Of course we entered the bar right after 8pm. I ordered a glass of red wine, I believe Montepulciano. It was $9 and quite nice.
While we were at Ten Degrees, Scott's phone rang. Naturally, he didn't have the volume up or the phone even out, so we missed the reservation. When we showed up at PDT, we were told it would be another 30 minutes. So, we just went home. I am still determined to go there sometime soon! If you're in this area, check out 10 Degrees for an affordable drink.
Happy Hour in the East Village
After Melissa and I finished at Cha-An Tea House, we wanted a spirited beverage, preferably hot, as the weather was quite brisk that day. It was a weird time though, 4:00pm-ish; it isn't the sweet spot for bars to be open. This seems odd to me though, as we were near NYU, which doesn't exactly have a population of people on a 9-5pm schedule. After some false starts, we finally walked by a spot that was 1. Open! 2. Serving Hot Beverages! and 3. Offered Happy Hour! We were delighted to go to Vbar (http://vbarandcompany.com/) and get cozy at the bar!
I loved my first drink (above). The hot cider and Captain Morgan were mixed really well. It was a dangerous drink - went down far too easily (there has got to be a "That's What She Said" joke in there).
I was being responsible and ordered a coffee (with Baileys) as my second drink. I had to present in my evening class for a group project and wanted to be ready to go. This is totally random, but I've been taking screenshots of random wireless network names that are hilarious. Check out what I found at Vbar below.
If you're in this neighborhood, Vbar is a solid choice for a Happy Hour beverage (we got our $12 drinks for $6!).
Happy Hour with a New Friend :)
This past Friday, I got drinks with Ashley, someone I was introduced to by Justin, an MBA 1 at Stern. I should note they are a very cute couple! I really liked her when I met her and only saw her randomly at school events. I wanted to see her on purpose. So I sent her a Facebook message and asked her out on a "friend" date. It sounds silly, but it is hard to meet new girl friends sometimes! I was glad she wanted to meet me for drinks. We picked Friday the 13th - it would be Spooky Drinks! She suggested a spot that had a solid Happy Hour, Von (http://www.vonbar.com/). The Happy Hour is from Monday - Friday, 5pm to 7pm and Saturday - Sunday, 3pm to 5pm. I ordered a Sauvignon Blanc that was $6 and quite nice. After this drink, I ordered a glass of the mulled wine. It was delicious!
Do you see the hot steam coming off that wine? It was so comforting on a chilly December evening. I had a wonderful time with Ashley and I look forward to getting together with her (on purpose!) again. Also, Ashley has an amazing website: The Fiscal Femme. You should check it out: http://thefiscalfemme.com/