As a Canadian,I am mostly' unfamiliar with the concept of Happy Hour. I know that the concept relies on the idea of 'special' drinks and sometimes greasy bar snacks being 1/2 price. Everything I thought I knew about Happy Hour went out the window...when my husband and I had the good fortune to wander into Barolo Ristorante.
Tired and Hungry.
My husband and I had left home at 5 something in the morning to supposedly get the jump on the border lineup, and ended up sitting there for over an hour. By the time we arrived in Seattle, we were starved. We ate a huge breakfast and threw ourselves right into shopping. By the time our stomachs started rumbling and we got checked into our hotel, we were desperate for a place to sit down and have a nice late lunch. The concierge at our hotel recommended we check out the Happy Hour at Barolo Ristorante.
A Very Happy Place.
It was a little after 4 in the afternoon,and the snug,stylish bar at Barolo was almost full. The restaurant is a real beauty, and the bar area is cozy in a friendly European way. The place smelled great, like garlic and olive oil, and that made me feel even hungrier. We asked the server what the happy hour was all about.She handed us a menu, and told us that all the food items listed on the left hand side of the menu, plus a few bottles of wine were 1/2 price, and if we wanted a glass of wine it would be $3.50!
The Main Event.
Everyone around us looked like they were having a great time. Even at this early hour,there were 3 or 4 servers and a bartender all buzzing around. It certainly didn't feel like 4pm. The menu also didn't look like a Happy Hour creation. In fact it was the restaurant's regular menu. The portions were also regular size. At first glance, there wasn't anything I wouldn't have ordered! After much deliberation we decided on:
Grilled calamari with olive oil,chili and lemon.
a mixed antipasto platter with eggplant,salami,olives,roasted red pepper and cheese.
Rigatoni with meat sauce.
A bottle of crisp white Pinot Grigio,plus an extra 2 glasses
Our total was $51.15 including tax.
We went back again the next night, and tried some of the other simple and delicious selections...Spaghetti with calamari, a truly delicious cheese plate, and a huge platter of some of the most melt in your mouth prosciutto I have ever had.
The 2 meals(this was not plates of Happy Hour snacks)I had at Barolo Ristorante were 2 of the best I have ever eaten anywhere. I must have told 50 people about them when I returned home. I believe that the value I received enhanced the experience...but certainly did not overshadow the beauty of the room, the quality of the service, or the taste of the food and wine. We live in a world where usually,when something is too good to be true,it is. Not this place.
Barolo Ristorante is my new happy place...at any hour.
1940 Westlake Ave.
Happy Hour is Daily: 3 to 6:30 and 10 pm to close.