Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cheap Off-Peak

In theory I am a fan of the happy hour, but in practice it tends to disappoint.  The offerings end up being cheap well drinks, giant margaritas that resemble sno-cones more than drinks, and greasy, luke-warm chicken wings.  Lure Fish Bar's happy hour is the antidote to the otherwise bleak bar landscape that exists between the hours of 5 and 7 on weekdays.  

Zenia and I stopped by Lure one day a few years back, and for some reason it was closed at the time, but the hostess implored us to return for happy hour, she whispered to us that it was really great.  A few days later we followed her advice, and were certainly glad that we had.

First of all, the setting just feels plush and civilized, like the yacht of a sophisticated Italian bon vivant.  This alone puts me in a good mood.  There's no angling for a bar stool, no waiting patiently yet futilely for the bartender to notice that you are in need of a drink, no fighting off sweaty men in blue button down shirts sans tie.  It is the kind of place where you can have a conversation unimpeded by noise or unwanted interruptions.

Now on to the food and drink.  $5 glasses of wine.  And the wine is good.  If you are a fan of rose, I would highly recommend the rose of the day, but the white and red are good as well.  $1 oysters.  They also are good.  And the piece de resistance?  The shrimp tempura is an absolute must.  Light, crispy, and with the most delicious spicy, creamy sauce drizzled over the top.

Now I realize that there are few people with steady jobs in New York who actually have the option of attending a happy hour between 5 and 7 p.m., but everybody has the chance once in a while, so I implore you, take it, and take it here!  And perhaps with the impending collapse of the job market a whole lot of people will have the chance a whole lot more often.  The good news?  You can afford this place, between 5 and 7 that is.

142 Mercer Street (across Mercer from the Mercer Hotel). 

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