What: Duo Restaurant

Where: 2413 West 32nd Ave Denver, CO 80211

When: Happy Hour is available everyday from 5:00 to 6:30 pm

Don’t Miss: $6.00 cocktails, wines by the glass, and appetizers. Cocktail drinkers will like the Lavender Collins and the Blueberry Mint. For food, try the Baked Meyer Lemon Gnocchi and the Florida Wild Prawns

English Pea Bruschetta

English Pea Bruschetta

Duo Restaurant has been a staple in the Lower Highlands neighborhood for years now. Crowds flock to the cozy spot at 32nd and Zuni for scrumptious dinner and brunch. However owners Keith Arnold and Stephanie Bonin understand the importance of keeping things fresh. Late this spring they rolled out new happy hour specials to entice their loyal clientele to stop by before dinner. And whether or not you are fortunate enough to live in the Highlands neighborhood, Duo’s happy hour is definitely worth a drive.

Diners can now enjoy happy hour every night of the week at Duo from 5:00 to 6:30 pm. That’s a welcome change from the previous format, which excluded Friday and Saturday nights. Adding weekends to the happy hour lineup makes Duo the perfect place to grab drinks and appetizers before a movie or a concert. The space is small but inviting, with nine seats at the bar and three other tables for larger groups. I prefer sitting at the bar, chatting with the staff about everything from the local food scene to our weekend plans. The entire restaurant oozes comfort and friendliness, making for an exceedingly pleasant after-work destination.

While dining the friendly bartender, Brett, was happy to recommend drinks. He did not disappoint. I sampled the Lavender Collins, a perfectly balanced gin cocktail with hints of lavender and lemon. My guest wanted a whiskey drink and ordered the Blueberry Mint, a cocktail with High West Double Rye, Carpano Antico, bitters and just the right amount of blueberries. Both drinks hit the spot on a hot Colorado day. Priced at $6.00, they aren’t necessarily the cheapest happy hour cocktails in town, but their taste and the atmosphere more than made up for it. Duo also offers all of their wines by the glass (including champagne) for $6.00. If you are in the mood for red, a glass of the Clos la Coutale, Malbec/Merlot blend from Cahors (normally $11.50 per glass) is a steal of a deal. Beer drinkers might be disappointed that Duo has no beers on tap, but a solid selection of bottles (like Great Divide’s Hoss) will satisfy anyone at $3.00 each.

Baked Meyer Lemon Gnocchi

Baked Meyer Lemon Gnocchi

Sipping happily on my drink, I quickly discovered that the best part about Duo’s happy hour is the food. Many restaurants in town put two or maybe three items on their happy hour list. But not Duo. Fortunately for the aspiring gourmands out there, Duo’s happy hour includes ALL of their appetizers, soups, and salads for $6.00. I love happy hour concepts that are simple and easy to remember. Best of all, $6.00 is a fantastic value for some of the tastiest food in Denver!

On my visit I sampled three different appetizers from their spring menu. Normally priced at $12.00, the Florida Wild Prawns were served with a creole potato salad, Old Bay aioli and tasty pickled peppers that provided a nice complement to the prawns. As a devoted cheese addict, my favorite dish was the Baked Meyer Lemon Gnocchi. I could have bathed in the taleggio fonduta that covered the gnocchi. It was that good. And the English Pea Bruschetta was the essence of spring, from the delicate pea shoots to the soft boiled egg.Duo’s menu changes seasonally so be prepared for different offerings. But what remains the same is the high caliber of the food and an attention to detail that won’t disappoint. The portions are a healthy size and pairing one or two appetizers with a salad would make a full dinner.

Whether you stop by for just a drink or linger over a few appetizers, Duo is perfect if you are tired of the happy hour “scene.” Sometimes I’m not up for a huge bar where the masses wait in lines for their drinks and it takes 20 minutes to flag a server. Duo is a neighborhood joint. A place where you’ll see the same friendly bartender and the hostess will learn your name. Combine this with the truly stellar food and expanded happy hour offerings and I just might not go anywhere else. Walk, bike, or drive over to Duo to find out how it can become your local spot.