Wednesday, July 15, 2009
5008 SE Hawthorne
Happy Hour 4-6 p.m.
The Sapphire Hotel is one of those restaurants that is good for a variety of types of situations--it's fun for Happy Hour with friends, nice for a celebration dinner, and it's even a good place to go on a first date. While I have had problems with slow service here before, on this latest visit everything was nearly perfect. I highly recommend coming here for Happy Hour!
Since we were the first customers, we had our choice of tables. We decided to sit outside (there are two tables outside, both of which have umbrellas to help shield you from the sun). The weather was perfect, so that made our Happy Hour experience even better.
The Happy Hour menu was small, but it had enough items on it that everyone in our group found something they were interested in ordering. For drinks, they offered $4 well drinks, $4 house red or white wine, and a $5 speciality drink (today it was a Gin Rickey). I ordered the house red, and it had a light flavor that complemented my appetizers.
I ordered two items off of the Happy Hour menu--a Sapphire Salad ($3) and a Meze plate ($5). I was very impressed with both of my dishes. The salad was a good size for being $3, and it had mixed greens, a light vinaigrette, candied walnuts, and shaved Parmesan cheese. It was delicious. The Meze plate was also impressive. With hummus, toasted pita chips, tapenade (an olive dip), sliced cucumbers and grape tomatoes, and a mystery sauce, this was enough to fill me up. I did run out of pita chips before I was done with all of the hummus, but I was completely full by that time. These two appetizers were filling enough for me to make dinner out of Happy Hour!
Other people at our table were especially impressed with the artichoke and arugula dip ($6) and the corn and salmon cakes ($6). I got a bite of each and loved them both, too.
Finally, the service was really good. We had a fairly large party, and people arrived at different times. The waitress was very accommodating and attentive. She kept checking back with us to see if we needed more water or drinks, and the food came in a timely manner. We had a minor incident with the check not adding up correctly, but overall I thought the service was the best that I had experienced in awhile.