Al Fresco Ambiance

Written by Geri Koeppel Category: Food Reviews Issue: February 2012
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Bliss/ReBar
901 N. Fourth St., Phoenix
602-795-1792, blissonfourth.com

With two tree-shaded patios fronting two charming historic bungalows, Bliss/ReBar is a true urban oasis – for your pocketbook. At happy hour, well drinks are two for one, beer and house wines are $3 and martinis are $5. Moreover, the all-day cocktail du jour is a mere $3. That’s insane, right? Weekend drinking (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) will also relieve your chapped bottom-line, including mimosas for $3, Bloody Marys for $4 or a mimosa pitcher for $10. Wanna keep that Sunday buzz going (2 to 7 p.m.)? Buckets of domestic beer cost $10 and all other alcohol is buy one, get one free. On Tuesdays, any sandwich and a bottle of domestic beer or house wine costs $10. No daily food specials, but the prices here are so low, why grouse? 3 to 6:30 p.m. daily; reverse happy hour 10 p.m. to close Su-Th.

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Bar at BLT Steak
5402 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale
480-905-7979, bltscottsdale.com

Luxuriating by the fire pits at BLT Steak’s patio while gazing at Camelback Mountain feels indulgent, but thanks to the restaurant’s 5@5 happy hour – featuring five wines, five handcrafted cocktails, five appetizers and select draft beers for $5 each – it’s also a bargain. And we’re talking quality wine and beer, superb seasonal cocktails (look for the Crimson Shrub, a winter concoction with currant shrub, maple syrup and Bacardi OakHeart spiced rum), and out-of-sight seasonal bar food such as a garlic butter baguette crostini with Burgundy escargot and artichoke barigoule. 5 to 7 p.m. daily.

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House of Tricks
114 E. Seventh St., Tempe
480-968-1114, houseoftricks.com

Few places in the Valley are as bucolic as House of Tricks, where the bar is not only surrounded by botanical wonder but has actual trees sprouting through it. In addition to its romantic patio, Tricks hosts a terrific happy hour, when wine is $2 off by the glass, cocktails and beer are $1 off, and the nosh menu ($4 to $10) features bar fare with a sophisticated twist, such as a sublime spinach and artichoke dip punched up with poblano chiles; spicy caramel-glazed chicken wings with coriander ranch dressing; and house-made chips dunked in sour cream and onion dip. 4-6 p.m. M-Sa (bar only).

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