SALOONS | CHRIS BARNETT
A fresh wave of happiness is flooding Fillmore as boulevard bars and restaurants are pouring newly discounted drinks and offering bargain-priced appetizers during afternoon happy hours. Some thirst parlors are more generous than others.
The Elite Cafe, at 2049 Fillmore Street, the one-time sporting house, gambling den and Chinese restaurant turned New Orleans fine dining spot, with a long bar and discreet private booths, has extended its happy hour — now from 3 to 6 p.m. — with $2 off all cocktails, wine and beer and a new daily “bartender special.”
Heading a list of discounted appetizers on a new happy hour menu is a choice of oysters or its signature stuffed deviled eggs. Owner Peter Synderman has shaken up the kitchen and brought in new chef James London, who is catering to early birds with pulled pork sliders, mustard sauce and green apple slaw, $4 apiece; charred skirt steak with smoky potato salad, $8; shrimp cocktail, $8; and a smoked trout kale salad with onions, $8.
The Elite is also kicking with live music Monday through Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. No cover charge and no drink minimum.
Harry’s on Fillmore, at 2020 Fillmore Street, has a long list of special prices and different times and caveats for its happy hours. But with patience and persistence, you can score some real deals.
For starters, there’s a 4 to 6 p.m. happy hour weekdays only with well drink prices cut to $5, draft beers trimmed to $4 and house wine going for $6. On Tuesday, a bottle of premium wine is half price. All night long on Wednesday, there is a “shot and a beer” special with a choice of Jameson Irish Whisky, Jack Daniels, Fireball, Cazadores or Fernet Branca and any draft beer for $10.
On Thursday and Friday, Harry’s has Chinese-Hawaiian Martini Nights from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. closing for $8. While a cocktail purist would dispute its authenticity, a recent concoction mixed pineapple juice, lychee juice and vodka.
The longstanding Monday burger special offered from 5 to 10 p.m. has been modified, too. It was previously a basic hamburger, fries and a drink for $10.95. Now the drink has been dropped and so has the price, to $5.95 — except when a legal holiday falls on a Monday.
Palmer’s, at 2298 Fillmore, has a daily happy hour that runs from 4 to 6 p.m. that includes a draft beer for $4, a basic well drink for $5 and a glass of select white or red wine or a bartender’s special cocktail for $7.
The $5 appetizer list includes a choice of spicy meatballs, mussels in a fume blanc sauce, dry rub pork ribs and burrata cheese. Curry or plain French fries are $3 and deviled eggs are a buck apiece.
Thai Stick, at 2001 Fillmore, has redesigned its happy hour, and while the time remains from 4 to 7 p.m. every day, the bargains are scaled back. On Monday, draft beer is $4 and on Tuesday, beer and wine are $1 off and there’s a 20 percent savings on any bottle of wine. A bottle of beer is $3 on Wednesday. Gone is the daily generous pour of a house chardonnay or cabernet for $5. It’s now $6 every day but Tuesday. Also, there is no break on cocktails, either well or call brands.
Still, Thai Stick retains its happy hour appetizer prices of $5 each, led by the six grilled chicken satays with peanut sauce and a cucumber salad.
The small, sophisticated bar at Florio, at 1915 Fillmore, has not pared its prices to woo imbibers. However, on weekends it now opens at 3:30 p.m. instead of 5:30 with a new game it’s calling Dealer’s Choice.
“You just choose a spirit and I will create a cocktail for you,” explains the congenial and smartly turned out Reuben Aguirre, who has joined the bartending team.
Florio is known for its serious cocktails that at $11 are fairly priced considering the ingredients and ambiance. They range from “classics” (a Pegu Club Cocktail with gin, Cointreau, lime, Angostura bitters) to “moderns” (Fillmore Fizz: bourbon, mint, lemon, ginger syrup and Champagne).
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