Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jo Bar & Rotisserie

701 NW 23rd Avenue
Happy Hour: 3 - 6, daily

There are only a few days left of summer vacation. The kids aren't back until after Labor Day, but the teachers are expected back next week. (And most of us have already been back for meetings and such already.) All this means that there isn't much more time left in the summer for early afternoon happy hours. It's going to be back to that five o'clock business in no time. It's harder to get a good seat that late in the day at some places. And so I made plans for one last happy hour with my sister. You see, she's a teacher too. We both are ridiculously busy during the year and rarely see each other (despite living so close to one another). During breaks and on those precious three-day weekends, though, we usually get together quite often. And she's a good one to do happy hours with...especially when it comes to new reviews. In fact, she's the one who tops the list for most-happy-hours-in-one-day. A lot of people can do three in a row, but she's the only one who has been with me to hit four. (No worries, there was a lot of strategy involved and we weren't driving!)

We met downtown at Jo Bar and Rotisserie. It's not exactly attached to Papa Haydn, but they do share a wall and they are owned by the same people. (And maybe you can get some of the same desserts there, too.) They offer happy hour from 3 to 6 daily and the menu offers quite a lot to choose from.

We started with drinks, though. And because she's my sister...when I wasn't as impressed with my selection as I had hoped to be, she switched with me. I had originally ordered one of the specials from the chalkboard posted near the bar. It was served in a martini glass, but was made mostly of muddled strawberries, a Rose wine, and Prosecco. There was a basil leaf floating on top but not a huge basil flavor to it. It was good, but I need to do a better job of remembering that I don't usually like champagne-type drinks. Sometimes, but not usually.

I ended up finishing the majority of her Jojito. (A Mojito made at Jo Bar, obviously.) It was extra sweet and not too planty (a serious concern of my co-blogger). I liked it and found it to be perfectly refreshing.

Also refreshing was the open-air quality of the restaurant. They don't have garage-door-style openings (I think they've been around longer than that's been the norm) but they do have plenty of huge windows that open up all the way. We actually sat side-by-side with a table (just a bit lower than us) and they were out on the sidewalk...but you almost wouldn't know it.

To accompany our fancy beverages, we ordered two things off of the menu. The first was a plate of bruschetta. They sell them on their own for two dollars each or as a trio for five. We opted to go for the trio, but selected two mushroom and one shrimp since neither of us were going to touch the chicken. The mushroom bruschetta was piled high with sauteed mushrooms and a spread of marscapone cheese. It truly was delicious. The shrimp bruschetta, topped also with huge chunks of tomatoes, was pleasing but not as big of a hit as the mushroom option.

We also selected the fancy Gorgonzola fondue from the food menu. It came in a tiny ceramic fondue dish made with space for a tea light to keep everything warm and melty. The fondue was served with green beans, apple slices, and a few slices of a baguette. I loved every bite (even the green beans).

Jo Bar is most definitely a good option when in the neighborhood of NW 23rd. It's a great place to stop when working your way through the cute shops and trendy spots. Next time I just need to allow myself more time (and more space) so that I can enjoy some of those fancy desserts. They all looked SO good.

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


Jo Bar & Rotisserie

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