Editor's Note: Happy Hour at Bar Bianco now runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close, Monday through Friday. Plus, the restaurant has added cocktails to their happy hour menu!
Each week we venture to a new restaurant to check out what the spot has to offer during our favorite time of day — happy hour. Whether it's affordable appetizers, delicious drinks, jaw-dropping deals, or none of the above, we'll check out the situation and report back.
The Spot: Bar Bianco
623 East Adams Street
Happy hour is offered from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Taking your relatives from out-of-town. (The ones you like.) You won’t find any turquoise or jackrabbits, but Bar Bianco is indigenous in all the best ways.
Cute on cute on cute.
Well, the place is effing adorable, but you knew that already. You knew that because Bar Bianco is located in a sweet little house on Heritage Square, or because you’ve been here before, while you waited for your table at neighboring Pizzeria Bianco. Or maybe you knew it because Chris Bianco just can’t help but create spaces that feel rustic, community-driven, and effing adorable. Either way, from the oil paintings to the wood floors to the tiny votive candles that seem to be coming out the proverbial wazoo, you’re right about all of it.
Bread, cheese, and olives. But it's what they do with it.
At happy hour, Bar Bianco takes its “Bar Bites” menu and knocks $2 off four items (they exclude their desserts, and also the menu’s most expensive option, the antipasto). This leaves a cheese plate for $10, marinated olives for $3, roasted pecans for $3, and crostini with goat cheese for $4. Yes, technically that last one is essentially cheese on toast. But at Bar Bianco, it comes out looking more like artwork than bar food. The goat cheese was drizzled with olive oil and hand-torn basil, and a row of olives separating the two slices of toast were arranged in alternating red and green colors. Come on.
The house white at Bar Bianco.
Here’s where you have to be wily like a fox. Part of Bar Bianco’s recent OS update (read more about that here
) means that the venue now offers a typically atypical list of cocktails. But if you’re here for the deals, don’t be lured by the siren call of the cocktail list, nor the dizzying menu of beers, wines, and painstakingly selected liquors. The only drinks on special are the house red and white (each $5), or the four beers on tap, which are $1 off during happy hour.
Our inner Scrooge docked points for miserly reasons. Bar Bianco is not knocking down dollars on their best stuff — and we are, after all, chasing the best deals in town. However, when your order arrives looking (and tasting) like something you’d get in the foodiest of foodie restaurants in any flashy-pants big city, the bad feelings all sort of melt away. Bravo, Bar Bianco.
The “Crow’s Dairy Goat Cheese On House Made Crostini,” a.k.a. cheese on toast. Take it down a notch, guys.
Driving. Parking downtown is a pain, and you’ll probably want another glass of wine, anyway. Aaaaand then you’ll end up next door for pizza and a bottle. We know how these things work.