Happy hour: you've just narrowly escaped the oppressive depths of your office and made it to your favorite bar or restaurant to enjoy cheap(er) drinks and bites.
My new favorite spot for this kind of post-work therapy is Black Ant (60 Second Ave., 212-598-0300, blackantnyc.com), a Mexican restaurant from the team behind Ofrenda in the West Village. Their new, dark, shadowy spot in the East Village is a happy hour paradise, with deals on select drinks and bites offered seven days a week from 4-7 p.m.
If you're on your own, grab a seat at the bar (warning: the stools are tiny) and chat with the tall, dark and handsome bartender over a shot of smoky mezcal. Groups can grab a table for prickly pear margaritas or more potent cocktails like the Mayan God Remedy, comprised of tequila, crème yvette, ginger, pitiona, lemon, pineapple and agave. For those who would prefer a beer, you can grab popular South of the Border brews like a Modelo Especial at just $4 a bottle. Margaritas and wine are also $6.
To pair with your drinks, Black Ant offers a $7 happy hour menu. The most popular item by far is the guacamole with fresh corn chips. There are also the Baja-style oyster tacos topped with chilpaya aioli and mango slaw and Mexican-style gougeres, or cheese puffs, with Colima salt and mole negro.
And if you're feeling exceptionally adventurous, why not try a grasshopper? No, not that minty green martini, but a real grasshopper. Salty as a caper, fiery like a dried chile and bizarrely crunchy, they'll add some pep to your party. Or at least make a good story to tell your coworkers at the water cooler the next day.
Ariel Kanter is an editor at Gilt City.