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Twenty-Something for Twenty-Somethings: Dive Into Your Week With Fish N Beer

Cold beer and a whiskey shot to get the week started!EXPAND
Cold beer and a whiskey shot to get the week started!
Kelsey Colt
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With so many great restaurants to choose from, cash-strapped Denver newcomers — challenged with rising rents and skinny paychecks — are finding it hard to have a fun night out without blowing the bank. Twenty- Something for Twenty-somethings will help you find hot destinations where you can enjoy cutting-edge cuisine in a stylish setting — all within a  twenty-something budget ($29 or less per person). And you don't need to be under thirty to take these recommendations; just be ready for a great eating adventure.

Fish N Beer (3510 Larimer Street) sits on the same RiNo block that's home to Hop Alley, our pick for the Best New Restaurant of 2015. But this restaurant brings a very different menu to the table — seafood, both in the classic fish-house style and in more modern interpretations. The space is simple and narrow: a bar with an open kitchen behind it centers on an Argentinean-style wood-fired grill, a few tables along one wall serve as a dining room, and there's an outside patio, which has been the main draw this summer. The spot has been open for almost a year and has earned a reputation for its all-night happy hour on Monday (from 5 to 10 p.m.), a great time to try multiple items on the main menu — there are eight, to be exact — at an affordable price. It's a deal that twenty-somethings should get hooked on!

The hot and salty artichoke is only $4!EXPAND
The hot and salty artichoke is only $4!
Kelsey Colt

Kick off your Monday night happy hour with the Old Milwaukee-and-a-shot deal — the best way to end a grueling Monday — and then get a few starters going for you and your dining companion. Start with something small but packed with flavor: the grilled half artichoke and some grilled oysters. The artichoke's lightly charred flavor comes forward as soon as you pull the leaves through your teeth to scrape off the fleshy part; that's brightened by a dunk in garlic-lemon aioli. The grilled oysters at Fish N Beer are some of the best in town. Staple sauces include the house blend of garlic, Parmesan, parsley and butter, and the Devil, with grilled tomato, chile de arbol and butter. But the kitchen also turns out specials like nduja grilled oysters, a must-order item. The flavor of the soft Italian sausage is subtle, but allows the Rochambeau oyster — a Chesapeake Bay variety that serves as the everyday house option — to shine through. This single bite is equally luscious and refreshing.

You must try the char-grilled oysters — in any variation.EXPAND
You must try the char-grilled oysters — in any variation.
Kelsey Colt

At this point, divide and conquer by ordering your own "entree." Pick between the mini Fish N Beer basket or the shrimp jambalaya from the appetizer menu. You'll probably be ready for another drink: Wine lovers will be attracted to the reasonably priced house white, while spirits drinkers might be drawn to an equally reasonable classic cocktail, like an amaretto sour.

Soft and buttery fish with a lightly fried crust doesn't overwhelm with heavy breading. The jambalaya is smoky and surprisingly loaded with a few nice-sized shrimp for a $4 appetizer. Both are good paired with wine or a cocktail.

End your meal with something spicy instead of sweet: Buffalo blowfish tails. These are Fish N Beer’s aquatic version of chicken wings that you eat almost exactly the same way; there's a bone down the middle, so you have to bite down carefully along the side to pull away the meat. And because they're dipped in hot sauce like wings, they're messy good fun with a heat that lingers.

These blowfish tails are spicy and hearty.EXPAND
These blowfish tails are spicy and hearty.
Kelsey Colt

Happy hour at Fish N Beer could end up being your new regular cure for the Monday-night blahs. You'll leave full but not uncomfortable, and with a happy wallet. The damage is just $26.50 or $28.50, depending on which option you choose. Here's how it breaks down:

Option 1: $28.50
Grilled Half Artichoke (to share): $2
Two char-grilled oysters: $5
Mini Fish N Beer Basket:  $6
Buffalo blowfish tails (to share): $3.5
Old Milwaukee and a shot: $6
Happy Hour white wine: $6

Option 2: $26.50
Grilled Half Artichoke (to share): $2
Two char-grilled oysters: $5
Shrimp Jambalaya: $4
Buffalo blowfish tails (to share): $3.5
Old Milwaukee and a shot: $6
Cocktail: $6

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