Happy hours are one of life’s greatest pleasures. Bad day? Have a reduced-price wine, beer, or cocktail to take the edge off. Even worse day? Have more than one. Hungry? Happy hours usually offer a handful of delectable bites to be had on the cheap as an accompaniment to your glass of booze. I’m obviously a fan of the whole idea of happy hours—and I’m betting you are too—so I’m always on the lookout for new ones in the area. That’s when I came across Tarry Lodge Westport’s brand new Aperitivo Hour.
Introduced in May, Apertivo Hour goes down Monday – Friday from 4 – 6 p.m. It features wine and cocktails for $10 each, and five snackable small plates for $5 per.
If we’re on similar wavelengths, you agree that any happy hour should begin with a buzz. If wine helps you chill out, Tarry’s three offerings include Mionetto Prosecco, Villa d’Adige Pinot Grigio, and Perpaolo Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m more of a cocktail guy, so I’m partial to the Torino Milano, typically made with equal parts Campari and sweet vermouth (Tarry Lodge adds a little cranberry juice for sweetness and tart). Think of it as a riff on a Negroni, minus the gin, that’s evenly sweet/bitter. A lighter mixed drink—and perfect for summer—is their Aperol Spritz (Aperol, prosecco, club soda). It’s not my usual drink of choice, but this refreshing spritz should come in half-gallon jug size. They also serve a bright red, fruity sangria should the mood strike you.
Hey, easy on the alcohol there, champ. You need something deep-fried or carby to soak up all that booze. Tarry Lodge has that. A must-order is Tarry’s tender meatball, made with Fleisher’s pork, with a bright red, hearty tomato sauce. It’s a menu staple that’s always been excellent. I suggest pairing the meatball with an order of soppressata garlic knots for an obvious reason. You’re not going to let that tomato sauce just sit there, are you? Be a professional and mop it up!
The snacks at Apertivo Hour round out with deep-fried Sicilian olives stuffed with funky gorgonzola, garlicky bruschetta topped with a thin slice of salty prosciutto and parmesan, and one other item named “Tarry Tots.” Tarry Tots aren’t tots at all. There’s no potato happening here. They’re actually a version of arancini that uses cacio e pepe-inspired risotto as the creamy center. You get three in an order, I’d like a dozen, please!
Carbs, deep fried things, a damn fine meatball, and alcohol. All you need is a partner in crime, so in that case, clink glasses and say “cin cin!”
30 Charles Street; Westport
(203) 571-1038; http://westport.tarrylodge.com/