The Hours: Mon.-Fri. 5-7 p.m., and all day on Tuesday
The Deal: $2.50-$3 for a (small) selection of bottled and draft beers, $5 daily cocktail special, $6 sangría del día and $16 pitcher of sangría roja. Single-bite tapas for $0.25-$2. Available in the bar only.
Sure seems like the makings of a topnotch Happy Hour...
The Scene: Bathed in rich oranges and fiery reds, Modesto sports a robust romantic atmosphere that lends itself more toward an intimate date than to happy-hour mingling. Still, with its itty-bitty pintxos (a.k.a. little bites) menu, you can, literally, sample everything on the menu for under ten dollars. Champiñones (stuffed mushrooms) and delicias de queso (manchego cheese fritters) are by far the best options on the specials menu. Each offer a mouthwatering experience with healthy helpings of garlic and salt.
As far as libations go, Modesto delivers dependable sangría, whether you opt for the del día version or the always available sangría roja. There's also a variety of hard-to-pronounce cocktails. But while the likes of the Gateway Caipirinha (a $6 cocktail of cachaça, lemon juice, cinnamon simple syrup and peach marmalade topped with cinnamon) trips up the tongue when you ask for it, its peachy creaminess rolls back down your throat nicely.
Why You'll Go Back: The pintxos. If you're only a bit peckish, you can order the exact amount of food to fulfill your needs. Same goes for when you're feeling ravenous. The entire little-bite list is yummy and clever. (Not for nothing was Modesto a 2009 Best of St. Louis pick in the tapas category.) And who among us is averse to cleverness?
The Verdict: Modesto has considered each and every important detail of a happy hour: good prices, tasty drinks and food, and a distinctive atmosphere. While it might not be the best in any single category, it amply covers all the bases.
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