Category Archives: Happy Hour

Longmont’s Beguiling Bin 46

Guest post by my friend Melanie Mulhall.

When those of us who live on the Front Range of Colorado think wine bar on a Friday evening, we are usually also thinking Denver or Boulder, not Longmont. But Longmont is exactly where wine bar lovers will find the chic and very worthy wine bar, Bin 46. This is a comfortable, modern, hip place without pretense. Inside, the walls are covered with art, and there is abundant seating outside for those who want to enjoy their wine and eats en plein air. 

Over three trips, my friends and I have worked our way through many items on the happy hour menu including the PEI mussels, charcuterie, wild trout spread, Spanish anchovies, crab cake, diablo eggs, roasted Brussels sprouts, and brisket mac and cheese. We have also savored an Italian beef slider and fresh figs. Everything we had was several steps up from the usual happy hour fare. 

Bin 45’s smoked trout spread with accoutrements (cucumbers, celery, fresh dill and naan bread).

The smoked trout spread was made with Ducktrap (as in Ducktrap River in Maine) trout. Pleasantly singing with dill, it was served with cucumbers, celery, and naan. Gluten free crackers for the gluten free diner (me) were added cheerily and without fuss by the server.  

Roasted Brussels sprouts in with ale,  Applewood-smoked bacon and Balsamic vinegar.

The roasted Brussels sprouts seem to be a favorite, so if you go, try to snag an order before they’re gone. Made with Bootstrap Brewing Insane Rush Pale Ale and Applewood smoked bacon, they are great as a nosh or to accompany dinner. 

Swoon-worthy, but only available when fresh figs can be had, the figs were spread with goat cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and finished with a pistachio and honey drizzle. For those of us who love figs, this would have been heaven on a plate even without the drizzle, but the pistachio and honey drizzle took it to at least the seventh level of nirvana. The figs are an example of the thought and creativity that goes into the offerings, so even if you don’t manage to find them on the menu, know that you will probably find something equally imaginative and delicious.

 This is also a place worth visiting for dinner. The prices are reasonable and the choices range from beef stroganoff and Bolognese to Cubano sliders and spicy chorizo mussels.

 There are 150 wines in stock at Bin 46 served by the bottle, pour, and taste.  I loved the fact that they have a very nice Malbec as a happy hour house red. There’s also a well-curated list of craft beers. 

Owner Candy Campbell’s house rules are these: Love people, love wine, love food. Her execution strategy? Be kind. Be different. Be unpretentious. I think that she and Chefs Eric Dwyer and Marc Hernandez deliver on those promises.

[Here’s a very personal note from Malanie] It was great to see Candy A Campbell, and I had the pleasure of seeing her son, too . . . now pretty much grown up and not the little boy I remembered. But it was also glorious to know that she, the chef, and all the staff have made a place I want to return to again and again.

The Bin 46 rules are these: Love people. Love wine. Love food. And the execution strategy is this: Be kind. Be different. Be unpretentious. I think they deliver.

Price check: At happy hour, $3 for a street taco to $14 for a sizable portion of PEI mussels.

600 Longs Peak Avenue,  Longmont,  720-438-7410 .  

Uncle Joe’s After Travel Show

Hong Kong-style happy hour after to Travel & Adventure Show.

We traveled the world vicariously at the Denver Travel & Adventure Show on the weekend, visiting a lot of Asian exhibitors. These particularly interested me because we are going to Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan next month. We spent a fair amount of time hanging at the Access China Tours booth, where the first of several pairs of Sherpas were stationed. After we had walked every aisle, collected more literature than necessary, we were hungry. I was also primed for Asian food.

I had just been to a media event when Uncle Joe’s Hong Kong Bistro first opened in December 2015. It was the second Denver eating event of the day, and I couldn’t do it justice. But I loved the spare décor, and I did my best with the food; click here for my first experience. And I’ve posted about our happy hour at Uncle Joe’s, when I was hungry.

Four-hour-long happy hour is a big deal at Uncle Joe’s.
Tasteful and simple place setting.

Continue reading Uncle Joe’s After Travel Show

World of Beer’s Appealing Happy Hour

West Pearl beer emporium’s long happy hour.

001Most Boulder happy hours end at 6 p.m., but the World of Beer’s downtown Boulder location of this franchise has a well-priced happy hour that starts at 3 p.m. and lasts until 7 p.m. That’s one of the things I really like about the place.

Billing itself as a “craft tavern,” WOB puts out a ginormous beer list with a goodly number of Colorado brews. Other pluses: the menu of substantial and shareable dishes, the congenial sidewalk tables and the fact that cocktails, wine and non-alcoholic beverages are also available. What I don’t like at all is the volume of the sound system. Outdoors is OK, but the noise level guarantees I won’t be there when it gets cold.

Tasty peach sangria is one of the World of Beer's alternative beverages.
Tasty peach sangria is one of the World of Beer’s alternative beverages.
Babacoa tacos, one of the two taco options offered on happy hour.
Babacoa tacos, one of the two taco options offered on happy hour.
The other happy hour taco is crisp chicken. Both are full-size, not street taco size. Each comes with a suitable salsa and other condiments are available on request.
The other happy hour taco is crisp chicken. Both are full-size, not street taco size. Each comes with a suitable salsa and other condiments are available on request.

004Price check: At happy hour, craft beers, $4; shareable food, $5; wine and cocktails, $6.

Zomato has not yet discovered this World of Beer, which is at 921 Pearl Street (former Bácaro location), west of the Mall. The phone number is 303-728-9155.

Sampling Samples’ Small Plates

A cool time at downtown Longmont eatery.

006Samples World Bistro has been on my radar screen since I learned about its international cuisine. More importantly, I was impressed when I read a piece in the local paper about its self-imposed mandate of employing people with physical or developmental disabilities in “real” jobs — not in isolated sheltered situations.  I admired that, but I also really like its Main Street location, since I far prefer real downtowns to new developments.

With all that, it still took what I now realize was too long to finally get there. After all, food and beer aficionados Mark and Carmen Sample opened it a couple of years ago.  A Longmont friend suggesting meeting there for hapy hour on Friday. On the roof. For drinks and small plates and live music. On a mellow spring evening. Everything went according to plan — except the mellow part. It was chilly and windy. We didn’t last as long as we’d anticipated. But the food was good, the music listenable  (and not too loud) and the company terrific. We shared some plates but ordered others individually.

My husband ordered the Carolina BBQ Beef slider with shredded short ribs and white cheddar. Our friend's lamb slider had goat cheese and green harissa, These two meat sliders essentially look alike -- each sitting alone on an unadorned white plate. Both were pronounced to be very tasty, so presentation isn't everything.
My husband ordered the Carolina BBQ Beef slider with shredded short ribs and white cheddar. Our friend’s lamb slider had goat cheese and green harissa, These two meat sliders essentially look alike — each sitting alone on an unadorned white plate. Both were pronounced to be very tasty, so presentation isn’t everything.
Devils on Horseback is a delicious pair of dates stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon and served with a bit of truffle honey.
Devils on Horseback is a delicious pair of dates stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon and served with a bit of truffle honey.
Bacon and goat cheese flatbread comes with asparagus, caramelized onions and that tantalizing truffle honey.
Bacon and goat cheese flatbread comes with asparagus, caramelized onions and that tantalizing truffle honey. It comes cut into slides for convenient sharing.
Is one fried rice ball still called arancini or is it a single arancino? I don't know, but I do know that the crisp-fried exterior surrounding lush interior with tender rice, a bit of chili and cheese,
Is a single fried rice ball still called arancini or is it a single arancino? I don’t know, but I do know that the crisp-fried exterior surrounded a smooth interior of tender rice, a bit of chili and cheddar cheese atop a cool herb-flecked sauce., plus scallions.
The baba ghanoush with a smooth, subtle version of this Middle Eastern eggplant dish. It came with (not enough) flatbread, celery sticks, cucumber slices and carrot sticks. We asked for more, but nothing materialized before we had to leave. We were not charged for the add-ons that we did not receive.
The baba ghanoush with a smooth, subtle version of this Middle Eastern eggplant dish. It came with (not enough) flatbread, celery sticks, cucumber slices and carrot sticks. We asked for more, but nothing materialized before we had to leave. We were not charged for the add-ons that we did not receive.

Price check: At happy hour, small plates, $2-$6. Also, $2 off draft beers and wines by the glass.

370 Main Street, Longmont; 303-327-9318.

Samples World Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Generous Happy Hour at Spruce

Spruce-logo

Spruce Farm & Fish in the Hotel Boulderado does a dynamite happy hour — A) because the prices are good and B) because it stretches from 5 to 7 p.m. — none of this 3 to 5 stuff. The atmosphere is also exceedingly congenial, with a noise level that allows for pleasant conversation. The dishes are pared-down versions of what’s available at dinner, and I really like that.

Spruce Food and Fish is at last the third name for this hotel restaurant in the 27+ years that I've lived in Boulder. The décor changes with each name change.
Spruce Food and Fish is at last the third name for this hotel restaurant in the 27+ years that I’ve lived in Boulder. The décor changes with each name change, but the columns and the leaded-glass windows remain.
PEI mussels, my enduring faves, here with creamy pumpkin seed pesto, shaved fennel, sundried tomato and grilled bread.
PEI mussels, my enduring faves, here with creamy pumpkin seed pesto, shaved fennel, sundried tomato and grilled bread.
My husband actually ordered a burger and, of all things, grits from the regular menu. We are like Jack Sprat and his wife when it comes to food tastes.
My husband actually ordered a burger and, of all things, grits from the regular menu. We are like Jack Sprat and his wife when it comes to food tastes.

Spruce Farm & Fish is located in the Hotel Boulderado, whose front entrance is at 2115 13th Street,  Boulder. The side entrance is on Spruce Street, hence the name. The phone number is 303-442-4880

Spruce Farm & Fish Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Terrific Tabernash Tavern

Casual atmosphere & first-rate fare in tiny mountain town.

P1000270Whenever I visit the greater Winter Park area, eating at the Tabernash Tavern is high on my list . This casual restaurant in a vintage building is loaded with more vintage it — such items as beer cans, jumping skis from the Olympics, fishing memorabilia and other eclectic items decorate the walls and ceilings. Both the bar area in front ad the dining room in back exude casual fun. Five of us went there for happy hour this evening — five different dishes, decent portions and a wonderful variety of styles and tastes. The menu will change tomorrow, so don’t expect to see this exact selection.

Ahi tuna nachos with spicy tuna, wonton and nori chips, cucumbers, sriracha aioli, ponzu, wasabi crema, seaweed, avocado and queso.
Ahi tuna nachos with spicy tuna, wonton and nori chips, cucumbers, sriracha aioli, ponzu, wasabi crema, seaweed, avocado and queso.

Continue reading Terrific Tabernash Tavern

Keystone’s Upcoming Savor the Slopes

Each week features a different resort restaurant showcasing food, wine & spirits.

KeystoneResort-logoKeystone was Colorado’s first mountain resort to really emphasize its culinary side with interesting restaurants in the valley and up on the mountain. It long ago began hiring real chefs rather than short order cooks who were frying up burgers in exchange for free skiing. and began beefing up its kitchen staffs with real chefs and culinary school apprentices. As one of the early built-from-the-ground-up full-service resorts, it developed lodging and food and beverage facilities. The high bar Keystone set for itself continues.

Keystone Resort’s distinct signature restaurants are on display during this season’s Savor the Slopes, an upcoming multi-week rotating showcase featuring food, wine, beer and spirits. Each the host restaurant organizes its tasting event with its own unique theme that promises to be both informative and delicious. Award-winning, mountaintop locations, historical buildings and two distinct village settings host a combined 17 tasting events. All events begin at 4 p.m., so they are an excellent après-ski option. I love that several feature Colorado beer, wine and spirits. Resort guests might even want to ski off a little of the Savor the Slopes calories, while cay skiers can linger and avoid some of the eastbound I-70 traffic — of course, being  very conservative adult beverages.

Each event costs $25 (a tab easily reached by ordering some beer and munchies during conventional après-ski.  Reservations for individual Savor the Slopes tasting events are required, and can be made by calling 970-496-4386. Continue reading Keystone’s Upcoming Savor the Slopes