Jeff Smith 11:52 a.m., May 21
Currant's HH: Mussel deal makes a ripple
Happy hour at Currant is, uh, raisin' the bar...
So I’ve just swung by Sushi Deli 2 (see blog yesterday).
Didn’t go in, but last time I was there, in May, you got those totally delish “green mussel dynamite,” four green-lipped mussels baked in the shell with spicy mayo and masago – smelt eggs. All for $2.50.
How can you beat that?
Tonight though, I’m following the suggestion of Alex, who was the much-loved master of ceremonies at Dobson’s (956 Broadway Circle) and knew good happy hour food when he saw it. He’s moved on to Currant American Brasserie (140 West Broadway, downtown, 619-702-6309).
“I’m telling everyone,” he says. “Currant’s mussels are great. In the white wine or the curry. But get them at happy hour.”
So, happen to be passing.
See a chalkboard sign that says “10% off w/Jury Tag .”
Don’t have that, but do have ten minutes before HH ends, so what da heck?
Inside’s retro, European. Like, say, Warsaw, ’58? Whatever. It takes up the front of the Sofia Hotel, right next to where the Greyhound Depot was, and with a bar right inside that’s oval shaped with sharp ends (has to be a name for that).
What I like is that in happy hour you can also eat out on the Broadway sidewalk patio. Most places, they herd you into one little kinda transit lounge for a near-bar experience.
I sit down at the end of the salmon-colored marble bar. Column next to me has red currants splotted all over it. Like that touch. Have to think quick so we don’t exit the magic time.
Amber, the gal, hands me the HH menu. Has pretty good deals like “Beer can” chicken sliders (with “Stone IPA gravy, chipotle slaw, Hawaiian buns”) for $5.95, a brasserie burger with caramelized onions, gruyere cheese and thyme fries for $7.50, an onion soup gratinée with gruyère and croutons for $5, and Bud Lights for $3.
‘Course the one I want, the mussels, is a little more up there. The moules frites (steamed mussels with thyme fries in a soup of white wine, tomatoes and shallots) goes for $8.95, down from its $14.95 regular price.
You can also get them in French curry.
I go for the white wine version, and order a glass of the house white, $5. It’s a Matchbook chardonnay. I mean, what do I know, but it tastes nice to me.
The chef, Patrick, brings the plate out. It’s loaded with the shellfish, plus a wild tangle of the thyme fries piling up from the middle.
At first I could do with a little more oompf in the white wine sauce, but as the mussels give their flavor and the thyme fries too, the soup gets richer and richer.
Oh man. I love this stuff.
And even though up the street at Sushi Deli 2 you have that incredible two-buck mussel deal, that’s only for four. Here you’ve got dozens, and eating the fries soaked in the white wine sauce (and yes, I cheated: poured a slurp from my glass too), I’ve got no complaints.
Nice having linen napkin, heavy tableware, too.
I could’ve had the fries and a Bud and spent $6. Instead I spent $14 plus tax. And had to leave before I finished to catch a stretch limo.
But as Edith Piaf, who I thought I heard singing on the sound system, says: no regrets. A little of what you fancy does you good.
Think this is gonna be my currant affair...