It's 1:15 a.m. on a Friday and you want to take the party back to your place, but the liquor cabinet and fridge are both empty, and the liquor stores all closed at midnight.
What do you do?
The answer is the late-night happy hour at Lala's Wine Bar + Pizzeria (410 East 7th Avenue). From 10 p.m. to close (Midnight Sunday-Thursday; 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday) Lala's offers $20 bottles of wine that you can cork and take on the road.
The kitchen is open until close every night as well, so belly up to the bar, choose one of the 37 bottles and enjoy a glass while the kitchen hooks up a roadie pizza. (Along with the $20 bottles, any glass of wine over $10 is half off during happy hour.)
"It's always fun to share a bottle with friends," says Lala's manager Kristine Mountain, who recommends the Notro Sangiovese/Bonarda from Argentina. Named for an Argentinean wildflower, this wine was delicate, smooth and all-around delightful.
On the white side, the Matua Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand was a stunner with a heavy front load of bright and crisp grapefruit flavors.
Server Kaycee Edenfield cited the Alcance Carmenere from Chile as her favorite -- along with the Roman artichoke appetizer. I gave it a try, and the battered long-stem artichokes were rich, fried and salty, a.k.a. exactly the kind of snack you want at a late-night stop.
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