Happy Place: Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge, 930 Lincoln Street, 303-839-5100.
The Hours: Daily from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
The Deals: $2 bottled beer; $3 draft beer; $4 martinis and well drinks; $5 wines by the glass, $5.75 appetizers.
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The Digs: Dazzle is a fixture on Lincoln Street, a Denver institution whose boozy weekend brunches and jazz ensembles have given this romantic spot its longstanding reputation. Snag a bar stool and reunite with a pal over martinis, or bring a group of comrades and occupy a plush booth until you can't drink any more. Nearly every type of sauce in the house is featured on the happy-hour list, and there is a wide selection of appetizers to choose from at bargain prices. And if you get so comfortable that you decide to stay, the Dazzle experience only gets better once the band comes on.
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The Verdict: I made eye contact with my partner in crime and weaved my way to the long bar that separates the lounge from the supper club. It had been a helluva day, and I needed a stiff drink. Immediately.
The vibe at Dazzle is laid-back, and the crowd is of no particular demographic, which we find refreshing. The food isn't particularly innovative, but there's something for everyone on the happy-hour menu, and the portions are significant. We love a good plate of fried calamari, and the spinach salad, drizzled in a citrus dressing that reminds us of Creamsicles, is delish. Perhaps the best part of the Dazzle experience, however, is the service. The bartenders are friendly and entertaining, and when it comes to talking you into another drink, they are as smooth as butter. We could spend a few hours here any night of the week. Coming to Dazzle always feels like catching up with an old friend.
Overall Grade: B+