In my seven plus years in New York, I’ve been to 1851 happy hours at 1153 different venues (give or take a few hundred on both counts), yet, somehow, Sotto 13 slipped under my radar. After just one evening with their new Happy Hour Bar Menu, I can confidently say – welcome to my happy hour rotation, Sotto 13.
The Happy Hour
The thing about happy hour is finding that perfect balance of booze, bites, and budget. Sotto 13 has achieved balance perfection, with a convenient location to boot! Cocktails and wine are 2 for $13, beer is 2 for $10, and all dishes are $5 or $10, including a selection of shareable sliders and panini that Executive Chef Ed Cotton created specifically for the Happy Hour Bar Menu.
One of the new additions is the Tuna Club Slider, which is about as simple and delicious as its name suggests. Everything you look for in a classic club sandwich, plus some Sotto 13 flair – crispy pancetta, seared tuna, spicy arugula, and chipotle mayo on a tiny, sweet brioche bun. The flavor combination boasts a subtle kick that washes down beautifully with a sip of their Spicy Cucumber Martini (with homemade cucumber-infused vodka!).
From Chef Cotton, to our lovely waitress, to Giuseppe the GM, everyone at Sotto 13 is in agreement that the Arancini can’t be missed. And for good reason. The happy hour portion comes with five golden, golf ball-sized rice balls filled with smoked mozzarella, a hint of saffron, and a bit of lemon for a bright finish. The richness of the flavors and the warm, creamy texture pairs perfectly with a glass of red wine or cold Peroni.
Since it’s a bit blasphemous to visit an Italian restaurant and not eat some pizza, we ate some pizza. Some White Pizza. Though I typically prefer a saucy slice, my photographer had a rare, white craving. I’ve never tasted a lighter and brighter slice of pizza! It was zesty and creamy and all about the toppings. A blend of spinach, lemon, thyme, and parmesan that left me craving a Mediterraneo cocktail.
Honestly, to give my inner fat kid the mic for a moment, I’d suggest going to Sotto 13 with no fewer than three people. There are just too many delicious bar snacks and cocktails to try and I’d hate for you to have to make those sort of difficult decisions during what is intended to be the happiest hour of your day! Gather a group and order several of each.
Sotto 13 Details
Happy Hour: M-F, 5-7:30pm
Sunday: 11 am-10pm
140 West 13th Street; 212.647.1001; www.sotto13.com
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