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Aperitivo Travel: How Italians Do Happy Hour
Northern Italy's recipe for happy hour has us wondering how we ever coped with deep-fried Buffalo Wings and 2-for-1 Buds. Here's how to aperitivo: Go to an Italian lounge or restaurant at about 6 pm and pay the cashier $8-$12, depending on how posh the place. You get a ticket good for any drink, but wine and beverages like Campari or Martini are much preferred over brewskies.
For the cost of one drink you get snacks, cheeses, meats, breads and often a full buffet of hot dishes. Seconds and thirds are acceptable so, in essence, it's dinner. The absence of bikini-clad bartenders, Beirut tables and Big Buck Hunter make for a, dare we say, civilized social hour that will leave you satisfied--and with some euros to spare.
A few discerning New York restaurateurs also like the idea of aperitivo. On weekday afternoons, Aroma Kitchen and Wine Bar (36 E. 4th St.) has three wine tastes and a fresh and seasonal array of antipasti for an affordable $15 . At Piola (48 E. 12th St.), free pizza and appetizers come with the discounted Italian and South American cocktails during happy hour. And Dell'Anima (38 Eighth Ave.) also does an aperitivo al italiano.