Bravo Cucina’s happy hour worth a round of applause

Bravo Cucina’s happy hour worth a round of applause

At Bravo! Cucina Italiana at Jordan Creek Town Center, they call Happy Hour “Bravo! Hours.” The exclamatory tone of the name notwithstanding, happy hour at the restaurant proved a great time to visit and indulge in small plates and cocktails.

Bravo! Hours run from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the bar. My dining partner and I visited on a Tuesday afternoon at about 5 p.m., and there were two other couples in the bar area. I liked the quiet, intimate atmosphere. Though there were two TVs near the ceiling, the sound was off and the only noises were hushed conversation and clicking silverware. Dim lighting, white placemats at the bar, cloth napkins and quick service added to the tasteful atmosphere.

The menu for Bravo! Hours featured a number of small plates divided into $4, $5 and $6 categories, as well as cocktails in the same price ranges. We chose three items to share: pepperoni stuffed flatbread for $4, pulled pork sliders for $5 and crispy shrimp Napoli for $6. The food arrived quickly and every dish was larger than I expected. While happy hour dishes can sometimes be more like snacks, each of the items we ordered could almost have been a meal in itself.

Cut into five pieces, the hearty pepperoni stuffed flatbread came with a side of salad made up of spinach and romaine lettuce and drizzled with balsamic. The flatbread itself was crisp on the outside and full of gooey cheese, banana peppers, pizza sauce and bits of pepperoni.

Our plate of pulled pork sliders held four medium-sized sandwiches. The warm buns were brushed with Sriracha mayonnaise and topped with pork and pickled red onions. The mayonnaise added a welcome kick of spice.

My favorite of the three dishes was the crispy shrimp Napoli. It arrived as a large portion of breaded and fried shrimp on a platter topped with a fresh-tasting tomato and green onion mixture. Each dish provided plenty of food to share, and our three choices made for a filling dinner that was almost too much food for two people.

The cocktail side of the menu offered everything from white peach sangria to a vodka martini. The Manhattan ($6), made with Maker’s Mark bourbon, had an appropriately smoky bourbon flavor without being too sweet.

In addition to Bravo! Hours, the restaurant also offers $5 Martini Wednesdays and $5 Wine Thursdays, when a selection of drinks are available for the stated price. The drinks specials combined with the generous and tasty small plates make for a nice interlude during the work week.

Bravo! Cucina Italiana

Find it: 120 South Jordan Creek Pkwy., West Des Moines

Happy hour: 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.n. Monday through Friday

When else to go: $5 Martini Wednesday and $5 Wine Thursday

Info: 515-225-0660, bravoitalian.com


About the Author

Laura is contributor to Juice Magazine.



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