Happy Hour Hunt: Strings

The Place: Strings, 1700 Humboldt Street, 303-831-7310.

The Hours: Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m.

The Deal: Coors Light and Corona go for $3; glasses of 2007 Painter chardonnay and red zinfandel are $4; well drinks and specialty martinis ring in at $5; food specials are also $5.

The Digs: Strings has a classic restaurant bar - a modern spread set apart from the dining room just enough to ensure that the martini-doped folk won't interfere with anyone's dining experience. The stools are comfortable, there's a television for catching the Nuggets' games, and on a busy night, the crowds are lively.

The Verdict: Strings will not blow your socks off with innovative happy hour uisine. Although the atmosphere is classy, there's no pomp and circumstance when it comes down to happy time. The martinis arrive sans real fruit puree and fancy simple syrups, but they're made well. And any place that pours a five buck dirty Tanqueray martini for four hours a day is a friend of ours. The "happy hour edibles" menu consists of time-honored comfort foods like mini cheeseburgers and onion rings, with the additional options of tuna tartar or beef carpaccio. If you're in the mood for something fun, try the Chicken McNoel Nuggets, the namesake fritters of Strings' godfather Noel Cunningham, served with spicy chili sauce. Plump, fried, and way better than those other McNuggets, these little fritters come in a serving large enough to share liberally. The staff is friendly and outgoing, and the Uptown neighborhood is lovely.

Overall grade: B+

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