The Place: Libby’s Cafe + Bar
1917 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota
The Fare: Expect anything, from a paper cone of to-die-for white truffle Parmesan fries to Libby’s take on veal Marsala accompanied by wild mushroom ravioli to deviled eggs with locally farmed sturgeon caviar.
The Drill: Libby’s boasts some really swell sidewalk tables as well as comfortable dining rooms, but for this Good Deal we’re focusing on the bar at happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. daily.
The Bottom Line: An already well-priced bar menu shifts into overdrive at happy hour with all items half price. “A nice little house salad” of organic greens and more in a lovely balsamic dressing goes for a mere $3, as does a “bratty kid cheeseburger” or a bowl of fried sausage-stuffed green olives with white truffle aioli, a seasoning that also graces a paper cone of Parmesan fries for just $5. Also five bucks are mozzarella-stuffed meatballs, chicken “lollipops” (drumettes) in a zingy citrus chipotle glaze, calamari done Buffalo style with blue cheese and celery sides, or nachos reinvented with bison and black lentil chile. Combine two or three of these small plates with a $3.75 house martini or a $4.50 glass of house wine and head into your evening with your fuel tank topped up and some jingle left in your jeans.