Cheap Eats: Panzano's Happy Hour

July 31 2008, 1:30 PM
Panzano, the restaurant tucked inside the Hotel Monaco, serves up a very happy happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily. In addition to $3 draft beer, $4 wines by the glass, and $5 specialty cocktails (try the Italian Rickey or the Perfect Pear martini), diners in the know nosh on $3 and $4 eats that are both delicious and generous. Think grilled Coleman Ranch skirt steak with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, arugula, Gorgonzola, and basil pesto, or Hazel Dell mushroom stuffed crêpes with fonduta sauce and white truffle oil. My favorite bite is the charcuterie piatto, chef Elise Wiggins' excellent riff on the classic prosciutto and melon appetizer served all over Italy. For her version, Wiggins shaves cured meats and combines them with cantaloupe, honeydew, blueberries, aged Pecorino, hazelnuts, rosemary honey, and balsamic vinegar. The effect is lovely, refreshing, and summery. Bonus: More deals can be had with Panzano's fast and simple Power Lunch deal, where three courses run just $19. 909 17th St., 303-296-3525