Amuse-bouche Happy hours around town


Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS -

Whether your wal­let is held to­gether with duct tape or comes from Comme des Garçons, every­one likes a good deal, es­pe­cially if it’s de­li­cious. This week, we hunted down the best happy hour bar­gains in Santa Fe — but these high­lights are by no means the last word on cheap eats and drinks in town, as daily or weekly spe­cials are ev­ery­where from the Jean Cocteau Cin­ema (6-10 p.m. Wed­nes­days) to Se­creto Lounge at the Ho­tel St. Fran­cis (4-7 p.m. Mon­days-Fridays) to the Burger Stand (2-6 p.m. week­days). Go to www.pasatiem­po­ and click on “Restau­rants” for a more com­pre­hen­sive list. And, not to sug­gest that any­one’s a cheap date — but some of these deals might just fit per­fectly into your Valen­tine’s Day plans. At Mi­lad Per­sian Bistro’s late-night happy hour (802 Canyon Road, 10 p.m.-mid­night Thurs­days-Satur­days), you are re­warded for be­ing one of Santa Fe’s rare night owls. This up­mar­ket grotto carved out of an adobe house is a warm, sexy spot with a vaguely Old World feel. Keep your even­ing go­ing with half-price wine by the glass from their ex­ten­sive se­lec­tion and $5 small plates like the “date omelette,” ji­gar (a tra­di­tional Per­sian street dish of grilled beef liver with a pome­gran­ate glaze), mirza ghasemi (roasted egg­plant with egg and pita), or beet falafel and house-made hum­mus.

— Tantri Wija

With your back to the din­ing room, the in­ti­mate bar at

La Boca (72 W. Marcy St., tapas de la tarde 3-5 p.m. daily) is ideal for gorg­ing on br­uschetta — a fried egg on toast un­der a lush cloud of cream, earthy mush­rooms, truf­fle oil, and Parme­san-like reg­gian­ito. Other beloved dishes are dis­counted daily, like the patatas bravas, fried fin­ger­lings be­neath a lux­u­ri­ance of aioli. On the lighter side, the roasted egg­plant dip comes with house­made crack­ers and gi­a­r­diniera wor­thy of a pick­led veg­etable startup. The drink op­tions are spare (juicy san­gria, one beer, and two wines), but try let­ting the bar­tender guide you to one of the three sher­ries at $5 to $6 a glass. — Nouf Al-Qasimi

If you live on the South­side or of­ten find your­self there, The Ranch House bar (2571 Cristo’s Road, 4-6 p.m. daily) has a happy hour that’s as clas­sic as they come, with dis­counted house wines and draft beers as well as deals on a few cre­ative cock­tails, like the pineap­ple mar­garita and the Cu­cum­ber Crisp — all of which you can sit back and en­joy in a warm, well-lit space, with its cozy booths, leather bar chairs, and over­sized TVs. Food items are re­ferred to as “bar bites,” but that’s quite a mis­nomer — you can eas­ily fill up on rich good­ies like won­ton tacos filled with saucy-sweet rib meat or bar­be­cue slid­ers. — Lau­rel Glad­den

Sun­days are a steal at the New Mex­ico

Hard Cider Tap­room (505-A105 Cer­ril­los

Road, Sun­days 11 a.m.-close), a cozy rec-room-like space stuffed into a strip mall. Drinks are a dol­lar-off all day, in­clud­ing the warm­ing Touch Me Gingerly and the sourfin­ish Dry Mari­achi Tart Cherry ciders. Pair one of those with the strik­ingly good house-made salsa trio ($5, in­clud­ing fresh mango pico de gallo, chile caribe, and a fine reg­u­lar salsa), and you’ve got your­self a great game plan. — Molly Boyle At a happy hour as es­tab­lished as Pranzo’s (540 Mon­tezuma

Ave., 4-6 p.m. daily), get­ting in can be com­pet­i­tive, but don’t let that stop you. Ar­rive early for a seat at the bar and watch 6-inch pizza af­ter pizza float out of the kitchen un­til it’s im­pos­si­ble to re­sist or­der­ing one; all the bar food is 25 per­cent off dur­ing happy hour, mak­ing these snack­able pies, like the Funghi — a sa­vory hit of shi­itakes and roasted gar­lic scat­tered with arugula — a bar­gain at $5.21. Still peck­ish? Stick with Pranzo’s more tra­di­tional of­fer­ings, like the mixed fried seafood. Or­der a half-price glass of wine from the ex­ten­sive list or a $4 well cock­tail and con­tem­plate re­turn­ing Mon­day night for a bar­rel-aged cock­tail spe­cial. — N. A-Q. As An­drew Carnegie said, “The first man gets the oys­ter; the sec­ond man gets the shell.” To avoid a shell­fish-free fate, show up early at 315 Restau­rant & Wine Bar (315 Old Santa Fe Trail, 5-7 p.m. daily), where peo­ple flood in for half-price oys­ters (re­cently, clas­sic Blue Points, mildly saline, and Misty Points, with their in­trigu­ing notes of let­tuce) washed down with dis­counted beers, cock­tail spe­cials, and se­lect wines. If a dozen






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