Once a month, an acquaintance and client from work comes along and catches up with me. Sometimes we talk about her dog; other times we talk about her upcoming wedding, of which I know every detail except for the nuptial night (I have class!) and what the invite looks like, since I have not been invited. Don’t gasp, I am only an acquaintance! As this person leaves my workplace I always hear, “Don’t work too hard, Eduardo … ”
Every single time I hear those four words it makes me cringe. I find it to be patronizing, as well as the mantra for the lazy and inept. I pride myself in working hard, but every hard worker needs to blow off some steam and find a sanctuary to forget about the deadline, the project, the co-worker or the boss. In my case, sometimes a drink or two and the company of good friends helps the cause. And who says you must spend a fortune to have a good time? Or that you must stay home with the cheap bottle of wine? Allow me to take you on a journey through some of my favorite spots for after-work adventures.
The work week begins and you’re sad the weekend’s gone. You’ve got a million voice mails and tons of emails waiting for a response — or you make a great sale or lead a successful meeting. If you want to cry your heart out from stress or celebrate in the day’s accomplishments, there is no better place like Michael’s On East Piano Bar & Lounge. Although a happy celebration is more welcome than tears, everyone’s invited to visit the restaurant between 5 and 7 p.m, especially on Monday nights. When you show up at the bar, you must say Monday’s unique “Secret Word” in order to enjoy the special for the evening. It’s one deal per person, so you can always share the word with all your friends and family. Michael Klauber himself sends a Facebook invite every Monday morning with the secret word and the special deal you will be getting. MOE has recently updated their lounge menu which is fantastic! Some of my new favorites are the “Berry-Go-Round” martini flight and the Peppery Pear Martini — plus a cold glass of champers never fails to satisfy.
Tuesday is Wine Lovers’ Night at Selva Grill, located on Main Street in the heart of downtown. Every week you can get a fabulous bottle of vino for half the price! They will present you with a selected wine list that shows you the week’s specials. Plus, for the whole month of July you can get 25 percent off your dinner from 5 to 7 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, with the Summer Early Diner’s Card which can be picked up at the restaurant free of cost. That’s still not all! $5 specialty cocktails and deals on beer and wine are offered every day from 5 to 7 p.m. as well. All these deals make it hard not to visit the Peruvian gem at least once a week.
Craving the big city steak house but can’t leave town? Visit Hyde Park Steak House located on the corner of Lemon and State Street and get your big city drink on. The staff is always very professional and dressed like none other in town. With 50-plus choices for wine by the glass and a cocktail menu that offers drinks and martinis for $4, $6 and $8 … it is a deal you can’t help but take right away. I regularly sip on their pomegranate martinis and indulge in their Kobe beef sliders and fries. Don’t forget to always get their peppercorn aioli on the side and ask for two servings. I can never get enough of it! Make Hyde Park your Wednesday night destination … the cow-hide printed chairs and comfortable booths are waiting for you.
Hungry for a little taste of Asia? Pacific Rim might be the cuisine you are looking for. Enter the restaurant and you will encounter a most beautiful crowd, from the host to the servers, to the guest and the owner. The place is definitely happening every night of the week. Owner Veth Senenoi, usually dressed in Burberry, always greets you with a smile and makes sure you being taken care of. The music and the drinks start flowing as happy hour specials are offered from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The deals consist of a big list of $4 specialty martinis and small plates, as well as $3 makimono rolls — including the spicy tuna roll and the Mexican roll, which are some of my favorites. Bring co-workers and friends after work; geisha attire not required!
Now the week is over, and you are looking for the place to start the weekend early, get your tie off your neck and leave the two-piece board meeting suit at home. Jolly’s downtown on Palm and Main is the place to see and be seen on Friday nights. Partner Giovanni Migliorini tells me that their happy hour deals go on every day during the work week from 4 to 6 p.m. Relax and enjoy all their wines by the glass for only $4. Other daily deals include martinis for $6, beer for $3 and premium spirits for only $5. Their mouth-watering, fresh pizza starts coming out of the wood oven at 5 p.m. You know you’ll need it if you plan to stay until the party is over.
We have covered a tour de force! From the empire that is Michael’s on East, to the exotics of Selva Grill and Pacific Rim and more. Now you can celebrate your hard-won accomplishments or throw back your sorrows and wish your boss death without breaking the bank. At least you bet you will be doing it in style and at affordable prices any or every night of the week.
Your turn. What are some of your favorite things to order at these fabulous establishments? Or your must-vist places to relax after work?