Bargain bubblies at 20nine Restaurant 

click to enlarge Slow down: A sumptuous Rush Hour spread from 20nine. - STEVEN GILMORE
  • Steven Gilmore
  • Slow down: A sumptuous Rush Hour spread from 20nine.

In my mind, happy hour is about two things: value and the consequent goad to try new things. If you're bubble-curious, for example, the place to go is 20nine Restaurant & Wine Bar on Thursdays when all sparkling wines are 50 percent off. At the extreme end of the list, this means a bottle of Krug Brut Rosé, normally listed at $700, will set you back a mere $350. Bring friends. Have two. Get really happy.

Fortunately, there are also more modest bubblies to choose from, starting with a cava rosé for $36 before discount. And there's also the Monday-Friday Rush Hour pricing (3:30-7 p.m.) on all wines, appetizers, and pizzas to consider. The 25 percent discount applies to bottles, wines by the glass, and the three-glass flights, or Road Trips, that 20nine is known for. Happy Hour might not be the time to be parsing different styles of merlot, but $15.75 will get you a very respectable trio out of which the '07 Peju represented the best value. A syrah and shiraz flight is available for a modest $11.25. I liked the Naughty Petite Sirah in this one. Other wines by the glass are available starting at a discounted $6.

I recommend sharing the personal, sourdough-crust pizzas ($8 for the mushroom with eggplant and roasted squash — don't forget to use the pepper flakes) as that will allow you also to sample a bruschetta with duck confit ($7.50) or the mussels with garlic and champagne ($10.50). Not all happy hours feature $3 Bud Light and jalapeño poppers — not that there's anything wrong with jalapeño poppers.

20nine Restaurant & Wine Bar

255 E Basse
(210) 798-9463
20ninewine.com

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