Happy Place: Tony P's, 240 Milwaukee Street, 303-355-1177
The Hours: Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and again from 9 to 11 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 to 11 p.m.
The Deals: $5 domestic pitchers; $10 craft beer pitchers; $2 Coors Light or Schlitz pints; $3 craft beer pints; $3 margaritas, well drinks and house wine; $7 bottles of sangria; $1 pizza slices; $10 Neapolitan pizzas; $4 meatball sliders and eggplant rotoli.
Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.
The Digs: Tony P's, named for owner Tony Pasquini, sits in the heart of Cherry Creek, and the recently opened Italian eatery with its ruby patent leather booths and delightfully shady patio that's perfect for watching the Cherry Creek elite stroll through their shopping endeavors, is a nice addition to the 'hood. Its busiest times are during lunch hour and early evening, so the late-night happy hour can feel a bit eerie when there's no one there. Regardless, the staff is easygoing and the food -- well, let's just say that you can never go wrong with a pizza and beer. Or so we thought.
The Verdict: We weren't even sure if Tony P's was open when we strolled in on a recent Thursday evening around 9 p.m. The place seemed deserted, although the jolly server at the front door assured us that the restaurant was still slinging dough. The happy hour selection at Tony P's is vast, and there are some decent craft beer selections, plus a palatable house chianti, which is all we really expect from a restaurant trying to impersonate an Italian pizzeria in the middle of Cherry Creek.
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We ordered a slice of cheese pizza and some rotoli, and kicked back with two glasses of Avery's White Rascal. The rotoli -- thin slices of breaded eggplant stuffed with mozzarella and basil and then seared and baked -- paired nicely with our beer, especially since the acid from a squeezed lemon assisted in cutting through an otherwise fatty dish. We were highly disappointed, however, by the pizza, an unexpected letdown. Our slice of cheese arrived reheated, which was understandable given the hour, but it had also been re-cheesed, and the visual of the new and old cheeses awkwardly mingling -- not to mention the bland crust -- turned us off in a big way. And it may explain why the late-night happy hour at Tony P's isn't exactly hopping. The joint is fine for a drink, but if you're jonesing for a slice, you'd be much better off going elsewhere.