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EVO in Scottsdale: Happy Hour Report Card

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The Spot: EVO 4175 North Goldwater Boulevard, Scottsdale 480-265-9814 www.evoscottsdale.com

See Also: Mabel's on Main in Scottsdale: Happy Hour Report Card

The Hours: Happy Hour is offered daily from 4 until 7 p.m.

The Interior: When EVO opened in Old Town Scottsdale, it joined the ranks of some of our favorite area hot spots that offer late night eats. EVO's swank, but casual, atmosphere fits right into its locale off Goldwater Boulevard north of Indian School Road. Chandeliers over the bar and a candle-centric ambiance set the mood in EVO. You can sit either at the bar, a booth or at a table during happy hour to enjoy the deals.

The Food: The Italian menu at EVO translate over to happy hour offerings from 4 to 7 p.m., with pizzas, arancini and bruschetta all on special and under $10. We started off with the cappelini pasta for $7. Though the menu makes promises of a fresh basil-filled tomato sauce and homemade pastas, our cappelini was not so much al dente as it was chewy and a little tough and we didn't see (or taste) a single basil leaf, though the plate was garnished with heirloom tomatoes in some seemingly random aesthetic choice.

Next, we tried the steak sandwich with sliced tenderloin, gouda and onions. The sandwich was tasty, flavorful and definitely worth it's $8 price-tag. However, the sandwich also came with a side of thick cut potato chips, which varied in texture between kind of mealy to soggy. Not exactly a great showing for potato chips, but it is an Italian restaurant.

The Drink: Wine on tap and draft and bottle beer are $5 per glass during EVO's happy hour, but we decided to start off with a $6 specialty cocktail. Initially, we ordered the Pit of Passion with aperol, passion fruit and tequila, but they didn't have the ingredients to make it. We went for our second choice, the EVO Maid, which is a fairly standard combination of Hendrick's gin, cucumber and lime-- not a bad drink, but certainly not original. We also tried to intensely sweet Monroe's Mule, a fruity take on its Russian cousin, and the Elder Fizz, which, from what we could tell, was just a (sparkling) watered down St. Germain and champagne.

The Conclusion: While the selection on both the food and beverage menu for happy hour at EVO is great and the ambiance is inviting, we had several issues with hour our food's consistency, ranging from odd potato chips to crunchy pasta. The specialty drinks were also pretty unoriginal and way too sweet for our liking. Overall, we weren't blown away by EVO, but we might give it a second chance with a $7 pizza and that Pit of Passion we never got.

Grade: B-

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