1229 Spruce St. 215.790.9494
Happy hour: Every Mon.-Fri., 5-6pm.
$4 premium drinks, $4 tapas menu
Happy hours tend to be loutish affairs. Career drunks want to get as drunk as possible as quickly as possible. Worker bees want to get as drunk as possible as quickly as possible. And you, mon petit chou --well, you want to get as drunk as possible as quickly as possible. But you're a little more particular about your surroundings than the rube in the cubicle behind you. You'd like something with a little ambience, something a little more refined than slamming back pints at the corner watering hole. For you, princess, we have the ultra-civilized Valanni, which offers a light tapas menu and all its signature specialty cocktails, wines by the glass, beers and premium cocktails for $4 each from 5 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Sidle up to the inviting bar and allow yourself to be pampered by the friendly bartender who patiently muddles minty mojito after minty mojito for you, garnished with a rock candy stick perfect for plunging directly into the heart of your Atkins diet. The Brazilian Pop (champagne, pomegranate syrup and mango puree) and the White Cosmopolitan (Ketel One Citroen, triple sec, fresh lime and white cranberry juices) also make excellent after-work libations. Valanni also has a neat list of wines by the glass that includes a tart Austrian Gr�ner Vetliner and a juicy Malbec from Argentina. The beer selection has depth as well--though since most are priced between $4.50 and $6, they're not really worth wasting your time on during the $4 happy hour. Of course, you need something to soak up all that rapidly swilled booze--don't forget, this is supposed to be an elevated imbibing experience. Fortunately, chef Evan Turney's tasty tapas, also priced at $4 each, will do the trick nicely. Won't you feel pretty nibbling on grilled adobo-rubbed filet kabobs and spicy pulled chicken empanadas with manchego? Or inhaling the earthy, heady funk of truffle oil while sinking your teeth into a wild mushroom crostini with warm Parmesan? The chunky hummus, served with charred strips of pita bread, is also delicious--although, considering its powerful garlicky punch, not advised if you're trying to make new friends. Then again, it could be the perfect way to keep that carefully cultivated cloud of mystery about you. (Kirsten Henri)
Valanni is a popular Midtown Village location, which was recently renovated and expanded. There are four sections to the restaurant, including a large bar. There is a bar and lounge menu, a meat-and-cheese menu, and a dinner menu. Furthermore, there is paella and many small dishes. The dinner menu is a seamless blend of Mediterranean and Latin influenced small and large plates of seasonal specialties. Paella, tapas, foie gras burgers, and lamb meatballs are some of the popular choices. Outside tables have been added, which are a great place to sit in the summer....