1. Via ViteVia Vite's Executive Chef Cristian Pietoso has created a Happy Hour menu of small plates, per-person meat and cheese selections, and something called a “hand-held mini,” which we can only assume is a sandwich. Whatever it is, it has veal and ricotta meatballs. 3-7 pm, weekdays, bar and lounge only. Via Vite, 520 Vine St., downtown, (513) 721-8483, viaviterestaurant.com
2. The Bar at Palm Court (Hilton Cincinnati Netherland)There’s just no classier place to have a cocktail in Cincinnati. This opulent hotel bar and restaurant has plush seating, glowing lights, and a gorgeous setting for some after-work downtime. The restaurant brings out a special menu for the bar: We love the honey-sriracha chicken wings and the fried Brussels sprouts served with red cabbage, a few hefty Gulf shrimp, and a tart Vietnamese vinaigrette. Half-price appetizers, Monday–Friday, 4 pm–7 pm. 35 West Fifth Street, downtown, (513) 421-9100, orchidsatpalmcourt.com
3. Jean-Robert’s Table JR’s Vine Street eatery features a gorgeous new weeknight prix fixe menu: Four seasonal courses for just $45, plus a special split of Perrier Jouet Grand Brut for $12. Did somebody say date night? Prix Fixe menu available Monday–Thursdays; drink specials available Monday–Friday, 4–7 pm. 713 Vine St., downtown, (513) 621-4777, jrtable.com
4. FBThis flamboyant lounge-style bar has recently rolled out an impressive new handcrafted burger menu to fill out their “Quality Bar Grub” offerings (Bison burger? Yes, please). Grab dinner after work and sip on reduced-price beer and wine in a cushy oversized club chair. Tuesday through Friday, 4-8 pm. 126 West Sixth St., downtown, (513) 246-4333, fb-cincy.com
5. NadaNada’s calling card is its colorful, clubby vibe and amazing menu by Executive Chef Jeremy Lieb. His take on classic Mexican dishes includes an impossibly creamy Mexican mac ‘n cheese (that’s also muy picante, thanks to jalapeño and roasted poblano); rich and fragrant short rib sopes with crema, cotija cheese, and pickled onions; and crispy, melt-in-your-mouth chicken taquitos with asadero cheese and tomatillo. Half-price appetizers and drink specials at the bar, Monday–Friday, 4–6 pm. 600 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 721-6232, eatdrinknada.com
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