September's best happy hours deals feature several soon-to-be Houston hot spots, a few old favorites with revamped bar menus and one just opened locale.
The Place: The new upscale Italian restaurant from owner and chef John Sheely of Mockingbird Bistro offers seating for 150 and is located on the first floor of BBVA Compass Plaza. The lounge area, complete with high-top seating, brick accent wall and tile-fronted bar, overlooks the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling wine cellar and has space for 35. The bar is already seeing a crowd, thanks in part to its “5 for 5 at 5” happy hour special.
The Food: Five buck small plate standouts are the Polpette, or lamb meatballs in a pecorino (cheese) cream sauce, the satisfying Pizze with slow cooked pork and the Suppli plate of crispy saffron risotto fritters.
The Drinks: The $5 cocktail menu includes the Limon Ginger Smash with a tangy house-made Limoncello and Canton Ginger Liqueur and the Black Currant Margarita. La Poema Brut Cava bubbles and select wines and beers by the glass are also $5.
Happy Hour Times: Daily from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Place: Open since late July, Mr. Peeples has taken over the refurbished Boy Scouts of America Building in Midtown and given it a trendy makeover with ornate design elements and graffiti art throughout the interior. The 40,000-square foot, three-story restaurant specializes in steaks and seafood.
The Food: A list of $8 "Teasers" ranges from a trio of crunchy vegetable, chicken and shrimp spring rolls to the Bacon Wrapped Fingerling with jalapeno aioli sauce.
The Drinks: Choose from sangria, select wines by the glass and specialty elixirs like the Gin-Gin Mule with Plymouth Gin and ginger beer, all priced at $6.
Happy Hour Times: Weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.
The Place: Perched high above Highland Village, three floors up to be exact, Up's wall-to-wall windows and outdoor patio provide sweeping views of downtown and the Galleria. The restaurant, which features classic American cuisine, has a fine dining dress code after 5 p.m. However, since the new bar menu is available all day, you can skip the formality if you'd like.
The Food: $9 bites include Short Rib Sliders, Sesame Crusted Prawns and Shrimp Tacos.
The Drinks: Sangria and select wines by the glass are $8 apiece.
Happy Hour Times: Monday through Saturday, all day, at the bar.
VALENTINO VIN BAR
The Place: The chic Vin Bar at Hotel Derek recently updated its bar menu to include a price break on food and drinks.
The Food: Prices go from $5 for the Gulf Oyster BLT to $8 for the hearty Hangover Burger with a fried egg and hash browns.
The Drinks: All signature cocktails are just $6 — a deal considering the regular price is $14. Try the The Diamond Tip Bit made with Dripping Springs Vodka, Luxardo Maraschino, Lillet Blanc and splash of champagne or the Texas T with Maker’s Mark and blackberries.
Happy Hour Times: Weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and again, for reverse happy hour, from 10 to 11 p.m.
THE ROSEMONT SOCIAL CLUB
The Place: The Rosemont Social Club, next to Uchi, opened quietly this summer and is gaining a steady following. Three different ambiences flow from one to the other — the first-floor has a speakeasy vibe while the upstairs offers one bar area with a Moroccan motif and a second area that serves guests both indoors and out via a large outdoor deck, with a more laid-back feel.
The Food: You’ll find $4 hummus, $5 cheese flatbreads and $6 sliders on the 4-5-6 happy hour menu.
The Drinks: Keeping with the 4-5-6 theme, bottles and wells are $4, select wines are $5 and daily craft cocktails are $6.
Happy Hour Times: Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and all day Sunday.
THE PALM RESTAURANT
The Place: Thanks to a $5 million renovation, this high-end steakhouse has been updated and expanded. That includes the bustling bar area which draws a regular crowd. The half-off happy hour menu features deals on both the drinks and the food, and even offers a calorie count on the bites.
The Food: For $7 or less, prime bites include the Calabrese Flatbread at 480 calories and the Barbeque Chicken Meatball Sliders at 840 calories. The Nova Scotia Lobster Sliders weigh in at only 380 calories.
The Drinks: The Pucker Up Lemon Drop and other signature cocktails are $6. Classic cocktails like The Palm Ultimate Margarita are $6.50.
Happy Hour Times: Monday through Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the bar.
LA BALANCE CUISINE
The Place: From chef Jose Hernandez, former pastry chef at Philippe, Triniti and Etoile, comes La Balance Cuisine. Located in Katy, La Balance offers ample parking, fine French dining, a friendly staff and a cozy atmosphere.
The Food: The selection features discounted fare such as a $5 hamburger, $8 cheese plate, $5 prosciutto salad and half-off select pastries.
The Drinks: Order select wines by the glass for $4 and domestic beer for $3.
Happy Hour Times: Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.
RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE
The Place: To go with a new location on Westheimer, comes an updated bar menu. The Sizzle, Swizzle and Swirl happy hour is a great way to check out the new space without breaking the bank.
The Food: $7 sizzling plates include the Steak Sandwich with fries, Seared Ahi Tuna and the Spicy Lobster, lightly fried and tossed in a zesty cream sauce.
The Drinks: The Swizzle and Stir portion of the menu offers $7 libations with the Pomegranate Martini and Classic Cosmo as options. Select wines by the glass are also $7 and select beers are $3 each.
Happy Hour Times: Sunday through Friday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the bar.
RDG + BAR ANNIE
The Place: RDG has unveiled a new cocktail menu crafted by bar manager Chris Frankel, and an inspired new bar bites menu from celebrated chef Robert Del Grande.
The Food: For $4 enjoy the Lime & Black Pepper Potato Chips with a smoked cheddar bacon dip. For $9, order the Fried Gulf Popcorn Shrimp.
The Drinks: $6 drinks include a margarita, gin or vodka tonic and select wines by the glass. For only a dollar more, order one of Frankel's tasty cocktails like the Jack Rose made with apple brandy and home-made grenadine or the Plum Collins with vodka, plum brandy and Japanese Plum Liqueur.
Happy Hour Times: Monday through Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the bar.
The Place: Partners Jeff Vallone, Tony Vallone, and Scott Sulma call Ciao Bello "your neighborhood Italian restaurant." The menu is classic Italian and the happy hour menu offers free slices of pizza gratis and a revolving cocktail menu.
The Food: Those free slices of Tony Vallone's signature "Roman-style" thin-crust pizza are available at the bar during happy hour.
The Drinks: All wines by the glass are $1 off and classic Italian and craft modern specialty cocktails run $7.
Happy Hour Times: Weekdays from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the bar
The Place: Morton’s Grille just opened in The Woodlands. The casually-elegant sister restaurant to Morton’s The Steakhouse, Morton’s Grille is the latest addition to the vibrant and ever-growing Waterway area.
The Food: Items on the happy hour menu, listed at $6 to $8, include Toasted Garlic Sticks with blue cheese fondue, the Filet Mignon Trio and Tot’chos — crispy tater tots with spicy beef, cheese and jalapenos.
The Drinks: Select from classics like the Cosmopolitan and mojito for $7. Select wines by the glass are $6 and beer is $5.
Happy Hour Times: Weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and again, for reverse happy hour, from 9 p.m till close.