Sometimes one of the best things after a long day of wheeling and dealing is happy hour at an elegant restaurant bar. And what better way to celebrate the closing of that multimillion-dollar deal than with a stiff drink on special? Here are my recommendations for the Haute 5 Happy Hours that you must check out.
We begin with one of the newest restaurants in Vegas, American Fish inside the Aria Resort & Casino. This elegant yet casual dining spot is one of Michael Mina’s newest creations. Inspired from a 19th-century lodge, it evokes a masculine charm, making it the perfect place to find our favorite moguls. The nightly happy hour is from 5 to 7 p.m. (except when they are closed on Tuesdays). Of course Michael Mina has ensured that every detail is taken care of here, including creating an entire bar program whose philosophy is focused on the classic cocktail of days gone by. The technique for ensuring that perfect drink? Hand pressed citrus, premium small-batch spirits, and glass all around. The menu even begs guests for patience in the time it takes to prepare a tasty beverage, and to consider that American Fish may be lacking on mainstream labels favored with fraternity types (this is a good thing!)
American Fish is located inside Aria Resort, 3730 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702-693-7223
We never say no to a night at Encore, so with that in mind, I direct your attention to The Society Bar, at Society Café Encore. While many of you already went rushing down there to check out Chef Kim Canteenwalla’s food menu when it was named one of Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurants in America” last year, I urge you to also check out the extensive and extravagant cocktail list. Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. The Society Bar aims to redefine our favorite hours of the day with two-for-one mojitos. And these aren’t just any mojitos! The mojito menu includes such concoctions as a Pineapple Mojito made with Appleton Estate, VX Rum, fresh pineapple, spearmint and fresh lime. The Coconut Copacabana and Watermelon Mojito are some of my favs as well. Their Bloody Marys may not be on the happy hour special, but they are to die for too, and well worth a mention here. The $9 tapas menu will help soak up all those spirits.
3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702-248-DINE
Next on the list is another Michael Mina hotspot, Nobhill Tavern, inside the MGM Grand. Here they have a late night happy hour every night of the week that will keep you smiling into the wee hours of the morning. Try the Whiskey Cobbler for an unexpected blend of Bulliet bourbon, Luxardo maraschino liqueur and fresh berries. The specialty cocktails start at $8 (beer is $4), but make sure to sit at the bar, the only place to truly take advantage of the happy hour vibe and specials.
Nobhill Tavern is located inside the MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 702.891.7337
Over at the Mirage, you’ll find Japonais Restaurant & Lounge offering a Lucky Lounge Happy Hour seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Seven is not just a lucky number here, it is also the special price for drinks as well as appetizers like tempura shrimp rolls with wasabi tobiko sauce and Black Angus beef sliders. But hey, did you really come here to eat? Well, yes, because the food is divine, but this Haute 5 is all about the drinks. The wine list and sake menu are certainly worth checking out, but making the most headlines is the Floating Orchid, a mixture of Stolichnaya vodka, Cointreau, fresh pear, and lemon juices, garnished with an edible orchid. Cucumber Passion and the Pomegranate Cooler aren’t too shabby either.
Japonais Restaurant & Lounge is located inside the Mirage, 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 866.339.4566
And possibly one of Vegas’ best, hidden happy hours has to be The Steak House. Here, from 3 to 5 p.m. daily, the cocktails and house wines are half price, meaning that their specialty martinis and margaritas taste that much better on the way down. And while you’re at it, make sure to try the Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and marinated artichoke crostini for $6, oyster shooters for $7, or the “Hot Rock” Prime Rib Au Jus ($5).
The Steak House at Circus Circus is located at 2880 S. Las Vegas Blvd., 702-794-3767.