Pomodoro East has a modern rustic vibe. Most items are made out of dark wood and the lighting is low. While the restaurant is dark and somewhat cave-like, they do it in a romantic way, not in a "trapped in a stranger's car trunk" kind of way. It plays off the hip rustic-reclaimed-barnwood phenomenon that is all the rage these days. The best part of the restaurant has to be their beautiful outdoor patio. This is the selling point of the restaurant and on days with nice weather, this place gets packed.
The Happy Hour menu offers wine and cocktails for $5 and beer for $3. I was in the mood for a summer-y cocktail so I chose the white honey peach sangria. This drink tasted very much like the peach it promised. It had a great flavor overall, but there was just too much ice in the drink. I'm the crazy lady who always asks for water without ice, so any cocktail that is mostly ice just usually isn't my bag. But if you like your drinks fruity and cold, then this is for you. Steve ordered the peppercorn martini, made with peppercorn gin and dry vermouth. This drink is VERY peppery and spicy. If pepper makes you sneeze or tickles your nose, you might want to skip this. Both of us really enjoyed this drink and the unique taste it offers. I have to say that the few other times I've been to Pomodoro for happy hour I've ordered the peppercorn martini.
The happy hour menu has a bunch of snack size appetizer dishes for $5. If you order a few of them, you can make a really great meal out of it. The first to arrive was the spiedini, crisp mozzarella with a lemon butter sauce. This dish is always a good choice because who doesn't love a plate of gooey cheese? It is the king of all "mozzarella sticks" and will make you hate every other imitator that bars try to sell you. I do wish that this was served a tad bit hotter so that the cheese was stringier. Also, there should be a stronger lemon taste to the sauce. I've had this dish a few other times and I always felt the sauce had way more acidity, which I quite enjoyed. The tomato and olive tapenade does well to freshen up what is basically fried cheese, but without the fresh lemon it fell a bit flat.
Our second dish was the fettucini pesto alfredo. The pasta was cooked well and the alfreado sauce had a good start, but I felt that it was missing a little pizzaz and needed a tad bit more salt. If you have read this blog you know that I NEVER really like salt and usually complain that things are too salty. Well, here is the exception. Don't get me wrong, this dish is good and the pesto-cream combination is a winner, but you might need to ask for the salt shaker.
Our final happy hour snack was the pepperoni flat bread, which is basically a super thin crust pizza with a fancy name. I actually quite like that the pizza was cut up into little bite size squares instead of the traditional triangle. I felt that this way of cutting the pizza made it just a bit more "snackable." This pizza did the trick, and it served its purpose, but it isn't my favorite pizza by far. For some odd reason I like the pizza at sister restaurant Eastland Cafe better. But for $5 it's pretty darn good and quite filling. If I didn't share, this could have been my whole dinner.
I'm really happy with Pomodoro's Happy Hour options. We normally go to Eastland Cafe, so it's nice to have another option in the neighborhood, owned by the same people, that also offers good food. Our bartender was friendly and fast, plus we met the nicest couple sitting next to us at the bar! Happy Hour is great for chatting and making new friends, and Pomodoro makes it happen.