The Place: Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant (5257 Shaw Avenue; 314-772-8272)
The Hours: Happy hour is offered Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. -- the specials extend through the rest of the night on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Deal: Bite-size appetizers that range from 75 cents to $2.50 each. A glass of the wine of the day for $6, any draft beer or sampler of three for $4, a Spanish bottled beer for $5, a glass of sangria of the day for $6, a glass of red sangria for $5 and a red-sangria pitcher for $16.
The Scene: Located in the Hill neighborhood, Modesto seems unassuming from the outside. Once greeted by a hostess at the entrance, however, visitors get wrapped in the warmth emanating from the foyer's bar and dining room -- a color palette of brick and bright reds, browns and oranges speak to its Spanish roots. This section is where patrons can grab a seat at a pub table or at the bar to partake in the happy-hour selection.
The Food: A placard with pintos especiales, or special snacks, awaits on each table featuring fifteen different items to choose from: fried garlic with aioli, smoked salmon, grilled pork with quince, almond-stuffed olives, chorizo-stuffed artichoke, grilled shrimp, fried chicken thigh, fried goat cheese, a potato omelette, roasted beef and manchego, fried chocolate cake, small bowls of spiced almonds and more.
Did Modesto make the grade? Find out on the next page.