Over at The Wise Restaurant & Bar, “The Fiver Happy Hour” keeps things straightforward. As noted on its website, the restaurant in HotelRED offers five beers, five wines, five cocktails, and five appetizers from 4-6 p.m. In a nice twist, happy hour is offered on Saturday as well as on weekdays. On a recent weekday we found cozy banquette seating, facing the bar where Barry Alvarez was schmoozing and two TVs were playing (no one seemed to be watching any of the three on in the room). It was our first time at the restaurant but by the end of our stay our very personable and efficient server, Aliyah, made us feel like regulars.
The cocktail specials are available only on straight rail drinks (a gin and tonic, for instance), not the list of special cocktails, so we thought we’d try the Butcher’s Board Special for $12, which comes with two glasses of wine or beer for $12, saving $3. The attractive board was piled high with capicola and Mortadella, alongside rounds of soft goat cheese, plus all the sides and condiments you could want: dried cranberries, nuts, orange marmalade, mustard and honey. The Mortadella had a nice peppery kick, but truth be told neither ham nor goat cheese are my favorites – that’s the gamble you take when ordering a butcher’s board that changes frequently. But two other appetizers hit the spot. Fish tacos (two) with coleslaw and spicy aioli were a bit heavy on the tempura coating, but tasty nevertheless; pulled pork sliders (two), served on toasted brioche buns, also with coleslaw, were tender and pure comfort food. A bottle of One Barrel Commuter Kolsch was its usual delicious self and a Wombat Hill Cabernet was a bargain at $5.
See full article at the Isthmus website here.