Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Fire & Stone

3707 NE Fremont Street
Happy Hour: 4 - 6 PM, Monday through Friday

Neighborhood restaurants are the best (especially when they serve delicious pizza). Although they might increase parking issues and foot traffic, it really is a fantastic feeling knowing that you can walk just a few blocks to find a complete meal--whether it's brunch on Sunday morning, an easy weeknight dinner after a long day at work, or happy hour (especially when it marks the start of the weekend). Fire & Stone is the perfect example of a neighborhood restaurant. They offer dinner and dessert nightly starting at four--now including happy hour during the week--and there's a little coffee shop in the back. It is situated in an area that serves the Alameda, Wilshire, and Beaumont neighborhoods.

Happy Hour is new to Fire & Stone. It's not uncommon for new restaurants to hold off on happy hour offerings after first opening their doors, but Fire & Stone really revamped their hours. The first time I stopped in was for lunch. I enjoyed a delicious Margherita Pizza and an order of their stuffed risotto. Since then, they've nixed lunch and are instead advertising discounts on food and drinks during happy hour--weeknights from four until six. That Margherita Pizza, however, is not included in the discounts.

The food menu--as printed--is pretty limited. They have selections of both meat and cheese (served with freshly baked bread), the daily crostini, and a pretzel. But there's more on the chalkboard in back. Not only does it list what's on the daily crostini, it has a few extra snacks that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

The discounts on drinks are almost more substantial than that on the food. They've got four fancy cocktails (priced between $5 and $7), four dollar drafts, and a dollar off well drinks and wine.

I was most impressed with the cheese plate (and that freshly baked bread). We opted to try all three. I am sure that they will rotate through different cheese offerings, but if I make it back anytime soon I will definitely order the fresh ricotta (and I'll look for it used as an ingredient on the dinner menu, too). It paired perfectly with the rhubarb preserves. And although the three slices of crusty bread that first accompanied the cheese plate might not seem like much, they kept the bread coming upon our request.

Although the romesco sauce has left me eager to make it myself (in mass quantities), the polenta didn't hit the highest mark. I love polenta for its taste but also its texture. It's enjoyable when baked or fried but oh so much better--in my opinion--when creamy and served piping hot. I got super excited when I saw the dish listed on the chalkboard but wasn't as pleased when it arrived at the table. This, of course, is my own texture preference. I suppose I should have read the description more carefully.

The cocktails listed on the happy hour drink menu are currently all suited perfectly for the sunny weather we've been having. I've always associated anything served with fresh lime to summertime and couldn't pass up the Rum Rita. It was hard to have just one, that's for sure.

Although happy hour is definitely my thing, I'm eager to get back to Fire & Stone for more pizza. Luckily, the dinner menu is available starting at four as well. Discounted drinks, a few reasonably priced appetizers, and a big crusty pizza are definitely in my future.

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


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