ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale: Happy Hour Report Card

The Spot: ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho 6850 East Main Street, Scottsdale 480-248-2000 www.cafe-zuzu.com

See Also: Chef Justin Pfeilsticker of Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho on What He's Growing

The Hours: Happy Hour is offered Monday through Friday from 4 until 7 p.m.

The Interior: If you're a fan of mid-century architecture and interior design, Hotel Valley Ho is a great spot for a staycation with cute retro vibes. While you're there, you can pop in for happy hour at ZuZu for beer, wine, cocktails, and small plates. While you don't have to stay at the hotel to hang out at ZuZu for happy hour, any excuse for a mini-getaway is enough for us to hang out by the Valley Ho pool. ZuZu offers table, booth, and bar seating, as well as poolside patio seating, for happy hour guests.

The Food: $6 small plates are the name of the happy hour game at ZuZu. With offerings like Asian-glazed chicken wings and green chili pork with tortillas and cheese, ZuZu's menu is a little bit of everything. Starting off, the truffle cheese fries were a reasonably satisfying combination of medium-cut fries sprinkles with truffle oil, shredded parmesan, and parsley, accompanied by three dipping sauces. However, $6 didn't seem like much of a deal for the setup, which we've seen similarly priced at other places in town.

The slow roasted ribeye dip was up next, which was kind of like a really fancy Hot Pocket. The thinly-sliced, albeit dry, beef was the vast majority of the filling, which desperately needed the side of au jus. The whole deal was encased in a puff pastry-like crust, with just a little fontina and horseradish cream to add flavor.

The Drink: In terms of cocktails, ZuZu offers options like a Dark and Stormy, a vodka-spiked strawberry lemonade, and a blackberry bramble with Bombay gin. At $6 a pop, we were hoping for a little more balance from the highly sweetened cocktails. Similarly, the housemade sangria (also $6) was a bit too on the sweet side for us to enjoy.

$6 wine by the glass, with two whites, two reds, and a sparkling option, are also available and beer is $4 for select varieties. One of the $4 brews is PBR on draft, which we laughed at out loud when we saw. $4 for PBR might fly in Brooklyn, but we'd probably stick to whatever Four Peaks seasonal beer is on tap for the same price.

The Conclusion: You're paying for ambiance and hip digs at ZuZu, but they certainly don't gouge you as much as other hotel bars do. Sure, $4 for PBR is crazy, but we'd pay $12 for an Old Fashioned and that ribeye dip again--especially if we're staycationing at the hotel.

Grade: B

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