The Spot: Little Cleo's Seafood Legend 5632 North Seventh Street 602-680-4044 www.foxrc.com/restaurants/little-cleos-seafood-legend/
The Hours: Happy hour is Monday through Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m. until June 1 when it will be from 4 to 6 p.m.
Perfect for: Possibly the cheapest but classiest happy hour in town.
Interior: There's an undeniably East Coast feel to Sam Fox's Little Cleo's Seafood Legend, but looking around at the décor, nothing jumps out as the cause. White subway tiles, stainless steel, and dark wood individually would not scream coastal, but combined with the navy blue bar stools and lights hanging from the rafters by chains, Little Cleo's becomes a nautically inspired escape, even with The Yard right next door.
See also: Central Bistro: Happy Hour Report Card
The servers were welcoming and helpful, walking the line between being attentive and letting us enjoy ourselves. Fox Restaurant Concepts has built a beautiful space, staffed it with lovely people, and created what we have to say is one of our favorite happy hours in Phoenix.
The Food: Little Cleo's happy hour menu is simple. Guests choose from two options: oysters or shrimp. The best part is the price. Both the oysters and the shrimp are a dollar apiece. We ordered several of each.
We wish we could have chosen our oysters from the variety that Little Cleo's normally offers, but our waitress informed us that the chef had chosen to serve Kumiai oysters from Baja.
The oysters were fresh and briny without smelling fishy and the shrimp were plump and juicy but not necessarily memorable. Our seafood came with sides of a cocktail sauce, which was heavy on the horseradish, and a bright, citrus-y mignonette perfect for drizzling over the oysters.
The Drinks: During happy hour, Little Cleo's offers $2 champagne pours and half off absinthe and absinthe cocktails. On our visit, the menu listed nine different kinds of absinthe. We went with the Kubler from Switzerland ($4.50), which was sweet from the water drip but still packed mouth-numbing flavor, and asked if they could make a Death in the Afternoon even though it wasn't listed on the menu.
The bartender made our $5 Death in the Afternoon, which is absinthe topped with champagne, with Mati Hari absinthe from Austria. It was as potent as it sounds and looks with its green-tinted hue but still surprisingly drinkable.
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Conclusion: Due to the quality of the seafood, the variety of absinthe offered, and the insanely low prices, Little Cleo's may have just moved into our favorite happy hour spot. That is, if you're looking for an oyster fix and a side of botanicals with a kick. The only downside is the limited time frame, but after happy hour becomes happy hours on June 1, we're not sure we'll have anything to complain about.
Don't Miss: The oysters with a touch of the mignonette Skip This: The shrimp -- just get more oysters