Happy Hour is a place to vent daily frustrations and unwind, a time to reconnect with friends and coworkers you don't mind seeing beyond the boundaries of Cubicle Land. It's is also the ideal time to score a deal on your favorite gustatives and gulpables. Although my work scenario has me behind a kitchen prep station rather than a desk, I can appreciate HH just the same. For this feature, I'll hop bar by bar to HHs across the area and report back to Meal Ticket every Tuesday.
If you've been to this week's featured HH, tell us about it in the comments. I want recommendations for future trips, too!
Let's delve into it at Bar 210 at Lacroix.
WHERE YOU AT?
I've eaten dinner at Lacroix
(210 W. Rittenhouse Square) on a few occasions, each time arriving early to relax at the bar and warm our insides with a few drinks. To me, the bar is an extension of the restaurant, but to the Rittenhouse Hotel
it's considered its own entity, which was made clear when they launched Bar 210
in 2008. (I wonder if we'll need to go through a customs-like checkpoint to transfer our drinks and tab now?) I waited for a friend and her co-workers (finally, some stereotypical
classic happy hour company!) to join me. There were only 10 seats at the bar and four small two-tops behind it, which didn't leave us many options, but I secured a spot at the corner of the marble bar so that we could somewhat face each other if we swiveled our rattan seats just right. Sitting alone for a while gave my mind ample time to wander, and when I gazed at the candle-lit walls with long hanging mirrors, I pictured myself in a cavern below a castle. Then a sailor walked in and it was time for a drink.
WHAT'S THE SCENE?
The sailor wasn't part of my fantasy, he was really there. Although, upon closer inspection, he wasn't really
a sailor but a man in the midst of an identity/wardrobe crisis. Billy Idol, Clint Eastwood or Captain Stubing â what's it gonna be, sir? I wonder what Colin Powell
would say? (He was giving a speech down the hall and I hoped he'd stop by and I'd get him a drink. Maybe two since the deal was so good.) After I shook off the three-man-wonder sighting, my mates and I chatted it up with a few couples, singles and out-of-towners in for a conference. Then another guy, who I dubbed The Artist Never Formerly Known As Prince, came in with his mom. Unlike our confused singer/cowboy/sailor, this guy knew his endgame: to one day become Prince's stunt double. If it weren't for the 60something threesome that walked in looking for trouble and their way back to Palm Beach we'd have sat right next to this dude and no doubt hit it off. We relinquished our seats so the trio could sit together and we moved to one of the two-tops with nap-inducing, cushioned seats.
WHAT'S THE DEAL?
I was in a beer mood and was bummed when I saw none on special. My spirits fizzed back up after a few sips of the Moscow Mule
(vodka, ginger beer, lime) in a super-chilly copper mug, priced at half of its usual $12 damage. Bar 210's happy hour stretches Monday to Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and features half-priced cocktails and two wines (usually a Sauvignon Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon) for $5.
Embarking on one of my lushier HHs, I sampled almost half the cocktail menu in two hours, including the Blackberry Bourbon, Kiwi Caipirinha
(my favorite) and a Ciroc Martini
with frozen grapes. Between drinks #1 and #2 I was presented a teeny, edible "thank you" in the form of a honey- and truffle-glazed chicken wing served over a pear and carrot slaw. I like to think I'm special but bites are offered to every happy hour guest every day. Other than the gratis grub, there are no specials on food but there is a very reasonably priced gem-filled bar menu priced from $4 to $8.