Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Heathman Happy Hour (Dwntwn)

Last night, my friend Jennifer and I were midway through a Ken's Artisan spicy sopressata pizza (5-9 pm Monday nights only on the West Side!!) and a bottle of Cote du Rhone when my friend Brian of PICA (www.pica.org) called to see if I wanted to get some culture in the form of the Oregon Symphony's "Classical Elegance" performance tonight at the Schnitz. I googled the concert schedule--it promised I'd "feel the sensual heat of Wagner," and that sounded great, particularly since I broke the knob on my heater last week and have been forced to endure this foul blizzard-punctuated faux-Spring in the live-in freezer that is my apartment. So we finished up our pizza and wine and I ran downtown to meet Brian, who was pacing outside the Schnitz and about to scalp our tickets for champagne funds. Determined to get our dose of culture, I stopped him just in time, although I secretly thought it was an awfully clever idea! The symphony was great, despite the ancient fellow in the corner with a very loud breathing machine that emitted sharp hissing noises throughout the performance, slightly marring all that sensual Wagner heat the musicians were throwing out. We left in the middle of the second half, because Brian couldn't take the hissing any longer and I didn't want to miss the Heathman Hotel's late night happy hour, which goes from 9 pm to close (generally around 11 pm.)

In my opinion, the Heathman Hotel has a positively marvelous happy hour. Drinks are regular price, which mars the fun, but the food! A $12 crab cake appetizer crashes to $2! Crispy Willapa Bay Oysters with spicy lemon aoili plummet from $9.50 to $2.50! Oregon Dungeness deviled eggs slashed from $9 to $1.50! It's the foodie version of what I imagine a rummage sale at Sak's to be. I cannot believe the Heathman is not fighting off hordes of ravenous happy hour goers with a stick every day (yes, every day!) from 4-6 pm and 9 pm to close, and all ALL NIGHT LONG on Thursdays!

I ordered a glass of the Louis Perdier Brut, FR ($7) and after much deliberation over the extensive cocktail list Brian chose the Northwest Martini--house-infused citrus vodka, raspberry puree, triple sec and cranberry ($7.75), the raspberry flavor bursts in one's mouth and I was rather sorry I had not ordered it myself. Resisting the urge to order everything on the bar menu, Brian and I just shared the Croquant Normande--a tender crepe filled with camembert, bacon, and leek ($2.75), one of my favorite flavor combinations; the Smoked Duck and Maui Pineapple--thinly sliced bright pink smoked duck layered with slices of sweet pineapple, drizzled with balsamic and sprinkled with fresh basil ($3.20), I get this every single time I go to the Heathman, that is how much I love it, even though the duck isn't salty enough for me; the Pork Pate with pistachios and roquefort ($2.25), so savory and lovely with a bit of whole-grain mustard on a piece of fresh baguette; and the Charcuterie plate--prosciutto, finocchiono, sopressata (aah, I can not get enough sopressata in this lifetime!) and sweet coppa, with fruited mustard and cornichons (2.75).

When the plates cleared and the bill arrived, we chortled over our food total--a grand total of $12.95! I think I will have to wander down and secure a spot at the marble bar Thursday at 4 pm...and see if I can make my way through the entire bistro menu by 11 pm.

A Fun Fact About the Heathman Happy Hour: If you ordered every single one of the 22 discounted bistro menu items at the Heathman Hotel bar during happy hour, your food total would come to a trifling $61.65. Amazing!

Heathman Restaurant and Bar * www.heathmanrestaurantandbar.com * 503.790.7752 * 1001 SW Broadway * Happy Hour every day 4-6 pm and 9 pm to close, all night Thursday from 4 pm on * yes leave the symphony early if need be to take advantage of late night happy hour especially if you are impossibly distracted by someone's breathing machine, yes order one of everything and it will only be $61.65

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