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Up-to-the-Minute Food News

A preview of the small plates you can get when you order the Chef's Fancy Hour Special at Staple and Fancy.

A crop of new happy hours has sprung up recently. Some accompany new places, but a few longstanding restaurants are making their first foray into the wonderful world of discounted food and drinks.

Staple and Fancy Mercantile
If that Iggy Azalea song spoke to you, so will the self-branded “fancy hour” at Ethan Stowell's Ballard Ave establishment. It must really be fancy, since happy hour happens for just one hour of the day. Elegant plates come cheap Sunday through Thursday from 5-6 in the bar and on the patio. The daily bruschetta costs $5 during happy hour, and the seared albacore ($6) comes with fresno chili and avocado puree. Get super shmancy and order the chef’s fancy hour special—an assortment of small plates—for $12. The place’s drink specials include a daily $6 cocktail or glass of wine. In addition, it offers two types of beer: regular ($3) and “fancier” ($5).

Maria Hines has been the gold standard of organic dining for years, but this is the first time her original (and Beard-winning) restaurant in Wallingford has offered happy hour. Every day, between 4:30 and 6:30, you can order cheaper plates and specially priced drinks on the patio, in the sunroom, or at the counter. A refreshing serving of the watermelon carpaccio, garnished with feta and mint, will cost you $6. And the Skagit River Ranch steak tartare ($8) comes with a sampling of Tilth’s breakfast radish and grilled romaine. Drink specials include three $6 wines, and cocktails like the lavender daiquiri that go for $7.

With Monsoon's recent expansion comes a new—and might I add swanky—cocktail bar. And it offers happy hour seven days a week, from 3 to 6, then 9 to midnight. A substantial amount of plates ring in for less than $7, such as the fresh tofu roll with shiitake mushrooms and peanut sauce or the Painted Hills flank steak, wrapped and grilled with la lot leaves and served with Vietnamese dipping sauces. Wine is $5 and a cocktail (a classic martini or a sparkly French Pearl house concoction) runs $6.

Intermezzo Carmine
Il Terrazzo Carmine's new sibling cicchetti and cocktail bar unfolded its happy hour menu a week ago. A trio of little bites might include $7 wild boar sliders with a green peppercorn aioli, a seasonal flatbread for $5, or arancini for just $3. When it comes to drinks, you really have options: $8 buys a classic vesper, negroni, or Old Fashioned, or an Aperol spritz, and wine and beer come cheap, too. The menu is available Monday through Thursday from 4-6, and 10pm-12am.


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