Happy Hour Review–Peppino’s Irvine

August 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm (Happy Hour) (, , , )

Last night, I met up with some co-workers from my last place of employment to enjoy a few adult beverages. I was laid off, and another member of our party quit said establishment with no notice because she was fed up with our narcissistic boss. Only one remains working at the company, and it’s because he is loyal to a fault, not because he is well-paid. So we needed some cheap drinks and a central location in which to drink them. That led us to Peppino’s in Irvine.

I’ve never been to a Peppino’s before, but Mr. Frugalicious says the restaurants offer heaping portions of Italian-American food. I, however, took only liquid nourishment. We sat in the bar, where drinks were just $2 apiece! Well, I should clarify…Thursday night is “Ladies Night,” so well drinks, draft beer, and house wine are $2 for ladies, but the guy we were with got his beers for $2, too. No gender discrimination at Peppino’s! I enjoyed the house Pinot Grigio: It was very drinkable, especially for just $2. Our waiter was very attentive and was quick to bring us fresh glasses of wine (with a very generous pour) whenever he saw that we were running low. Our total bill was $28. That’s a frugalicious deal!

According to the Peppino’s website, mini meatball sliders are also offered on Thursday nights…just $3.95 for two. They sound tasty, but as I said, our group didn’t let any food get in the way of our alcohol. Still, the price is right, so if I were in need of a little nibble with my drink, I would definitely sample them. Take advantage of “Ladies Night” specials at Peppino’s in Irvine, Mission Viejo, and Foothill Ranch on Thursday nights from 4 pm to close (in the bar area only), or hit up the Lake Forest location on Mondays.

I’ll definitely return to Peppino’s to take advantage of the incredible drink specials. And next time, maybe I’ll even have some food!


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Happy Hour Review–Casanova Ristorante

August 14, 2009 at 7:37 pm (Happy Hour) (, , , , )

Dining out is expensive, even if you do take advantage of the dining deals out there. But since Mr. Frugalicious and I are both at home all day, every day thanks to our status as involuntary freelancers (read: laid-off employees), sometimes we are desperate to get out. Sure, we could just go to lunch, but even though we don’t have an office to return to, we feel it’s a bit unseemly to be knocking back cocktails in the middle of the day. Luckily, lots of restaurants in Orange County are now offering happy hour specials. I’ll be reviewing one each week (I hope!).

Back when we were gainfully employed, Mr. Frugalicious and I visited Casanova Ristorante in Dana Point several times for dinner, and it was always delicious. It offers a charming atmosphere and delicious Italian food. And now, it’s got a great happy hour. From 3:30 to 6:30, you can belly up to the bar and take advantage of specialty martinis for just $5…my favorite is the “Casanova martini,” a winning combination of vodka, pomegranate juice, peach nectar and a squeeze of lime. A glass of wine or a beer will run you between $4 and $6.

The specialty martinis are potent, and as everyone knows, you should never drink on an empty stomach. That’s why I’m glad that Casanova’s also offers a selection of appetizers and small plates for just $5 to $7. The bruschetta is heaped with tomatoes and basil, and the pepperoni pizza could easily serve as dinner for one. The happy hour food isn’t extraordinary, but the price is right.

Although the leather banquettes look inviting, do not sit in them if you’re there for happy hour. The happy hour specials are only served to patrons sitting at the bar, and the bar can get crowded. To snag a space, plan on heading to Casanova’s on the early side…maybe a little before 5:00. The good news is that Casanova’s offers its happy hour specials seven days a week, making it an ideal spot to relax with a drink on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

If you decide to check out Casanova’s happy hour, let me know. I’ll meet you there…especially if you’re buying!

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