Reel in lively happy hour deals at these Valley seafood spots.
1720 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
Bluewater bears an uncanny – one might even say “fishy” – similarity to The Fish Market, which sliced and diced at this location for 20 years. Little wonder: Bluewater co-founder Richard Staunton is son-in-law to Fish Market co-founder A.C. Duckett Jr. Happy hour at the massive bar features meaty Blue Point oysters on the half shell ($12 per six; $20 per dozen) and steamed clams swimming in buttery broth and served with bread for dunking ($6). Chowdah Fries (clam chowder with french fries, smothered in cheese and broiled, $8) are New England’s piscine answer to poutine, but if you’d rather sushi, try the Phoenix Roll, a crunchy combo of tuna, krab mix, avocado, tempura flakes and eel sauce ($9). $3 Coronas, $4 drafts and $5 house wines/mixed drinks boost happiness, as does a service staff that aims to please. 3:30-6:30 p.m. M-F, noon-5 p.m. Sa-Su.
The Salt Cellar Restaurant
550 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale
Phoenix is a fickle culinary town, but this subterranean seafood hideaway has been hooking customers for nearly 40 years for three reasons: extensive selection of fresh seafood, reasonable prices and intimate setting. Happy hour in the narrow lounge is especially cozy, so settle in with glistening oysters on the half shell at $2 a pop, or try their buttery baked counterparts, oysters Rockefeller, which are as rich as their namesake ($10). Halibut ceviche combines silky fish with chunky tomatoes and a sprinkle of capers for salty counterpoint ($12), while the New England clam chowder, brimming with quahogs, is among the best in town ($6). Don’t miss crunchy shrimp toast, a steal at $4. Tipples include $3.50 well drinks or non-discounted but decent wines by the glass. 4-7 p.m. and 10 p.m.-close daily.
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
15323 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Whoever this Eddie V guy may be, he sure runs a classy establishment, complete with a Sinatra-esque crooner and band. Eddie keeps happy hour simple, knocking $2 off everything on the seafood-centric menu. Pacific ahi tuna tartare, drizzled with curry and sesame oils and served with avocado, mango and citrus, is pricey but worth it ($13). Less inflated: tasty blackened fish tacos ($8). Oyster lovers have choices: a spinach-and-artichoke fondue Rockefeller (2 for $7); gussied up with ponzu and ginger (2 for $7); or Alaskan wild salmon roe, lemon and olive oil (2 for $8). Dropping a Benjamin here is easy to do, especially when you keep knocking back 8-buck cocktails. 4-10 p.m. Su-M, 4-7 p.m. Tu-Sa.
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