Friday, July 15, 2011

Bartini

2108 NW Glisan St.
Happy Hour: All Day Sunday (4 - 11 PM), All Day Monday (4 - Midnight), 4 - 6:30 and 9:30 - close Tuesday through Thursday, 4 - 6:30 Friday and Saturday


Half-price martinis! (I know. It's hardly a sentence...but it's really all I need to say.) Bartini has half-price martinis during happy hour. And they have happy hour every day of the week. They also have one of the longest martini menus I have ever seen. It's almost overwhelming.

We made it to happy hour at Bartini shortly after they opened at four. (I highly recommend doing all that you can to get there right at opening or you might not be able to find a seat. The place fills up fast.) We decided on a table outside despite the cloudy forecast (it was just barely starting to rain when we left).


It took additional time to study the menus (both martini and food menus, that is) but our server was right there ready to take our order. (She also helped in the decision-making process...because I was so overwhelmed.) I went with one of her favorites, the HMB, and across the table was the Peach Bliss. The HMB was a mix of muddled cucumber and basil, fresh lemon juice, and citrus vodka. And the Peach Bliss was made of muddled blueberries, blueberry vodka and peach puree. Both were refreshingly tasty and fun to drink. Yes, fun.


The food menu is a long one, too. (And it's not the same as what is currently posted on the internet...so don't get your heart set on the bruschetta martini like I did.) With all of those options, we had to order quite a few plates. Variety is SO important.


The smoked cheddar fondue was a must since Bartini is attached to Urban Fondue...making it their specialty. I was a little concerned at first when I saw brown spots in the cheese and had to put off my first bite. (Smoked flavors always make me think of bacon...and seeing brown spots while thinking about smoked flavors led me to believe that this dish was not a vegetarian option. I was wrong. They were just spots.) It was served with a bowl of cubed bread but we could have opted to add on asparagus, fruit, a meat item of some sort, or button mushrooms. With all that we ordered, we decided to stick to the cubed bread. I've never been too keen on cheddar as being the number one choice for fondue, but this was pretty good. The consistency was good too, which is always a concern when making fondue.


More bread and cheese came in the form of the roasted vegetable flatbread. I can't be one hundred percent sure about what veggies were one top but the combination seemed to go well enough. There might have been an asparagus spear, but it's hard to say. Most of the veggies were so small that they became unidentifiable. Next time, I'll probably skip this one. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't exactly good either.


The pulled pork sandwich (obviously not something that I ordered) received the same vote. But...she did mention that no pulled pork sandwich has been that great after a visit to North Carolina (where pulled pork sandwiches are their specialty).


My favorite item (despite the chewy mushrooms) was the grilled polenta. I have recently (okay, it's been close to two years now) decided that polenta is one of my favorite things to order. And I've liked it in all of its forms (of which, there are plenty). I just need to learn how to make it at home.


With such a great deal on martinis, we had to get more than one each. For my second drink I ordered the Coconut Mojitotini. I loved the sprinkling of coconut on top. Also at the table was one of the many cosmopolitans. This one had a splash of champagne that almost overpowered the rest of the flavors. (So if you don't LOVE champagne, we suggest that you skip this one and go straight for the Snickertini...because it tastes like a Snickers. And who wouldn't LOVE that.)

Bartini definitely passed the test. They have great service, a huge selection, and discounts on both food AND drinks. But they get extra credit for having half-price martinis.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Exceeds
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Exceeds

-b

Bartini

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