Name of restaurant: Cecconi’s
The happy hour: Every Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. A selection of the restaurant’s most popular cicchetti (small plates or snacks) are all priced at $4 including a porchetta, mushroom, fontina and olive pizzetta, baked gnocchi romana with gorgonzola, eggplant agrodolce and burrata bruschetta and chunks of lamb sausage with roast peppers in balsamic vinegar. The cocktails, which include a Negroni, draft Prosecco, Bellini, well drinks and a selection of red and white wines, are all priced at $7.
Best bang for your buck: The salt cod croquette and meatballs. The croquettes come three to an order, fried to a golden brown and served on top of a smoky tomato aioli. The meatballs come four to an order, buried under a sweet tomato and basil sauce. Each is a satisfying snack, and on the happy hour menu, priced at less than half what they normally cost. It’s worth it to get your own order of each, so you don’t have to share.
What are you drinking? A classic Negroni or the restaurant’s La Dolce Vita cocktail made with Veev acai spirit, St. Germain, Martini Rosato, muddled raspberries, fresh lime, mint and Prosecco.
Who’s at the next table? The bar stools and table areas are packed with young, well-dressed groups of men and women sipping glasses of Prosecco. There are girlfriends saying “cheers” to a new job, and even a couple in Lululemon gear who stopped in for a drink post-yoga session. Men in suits with their ties loosened sit at a booth sipping Negronis, with a stack of papers, hunched over a laptop.
Uh-oh: The closer it gets to 7 p.m., the more crowded it gets in the bar area. It will become increasingly difficult to spot your server, and order that last drink before happy hour ends. Get there early and order quickly.
Service: Friendly and eager to make suggestions.
Info: Cecconi’s, 8764 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood (310) 432-2000, cecconiswesthollywood.com.
Love a good happy hour? Follow me on Twitter: @Jenn_Harris_