The New Napa Tippling Points

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The Border Michelada.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

Recession-special happy hours are still popping up at a fabulous pace, even though the recession tide has turned and is (officially) over.  Downtown Napa recently added a couple of new and exciting options for happy hour tippling, besides Pica Pica Bar with its fab $3 drinks and ceviche.
Zinsvalley
This beloved local favorite just moved from the Browns Valley neighborhood into the downtown space last occupied by n.v. restaurant. The menu and clientele remain essentially the same, but management has added a discounted happy hour menu on weekdays from 2-6pm. A selection of crowd-pleasing appetizers is on offer for $6-9 (down from the $8-14 range), and yes, the wildly popular fried calamari, onion rings, and flatbreads are all there. House wine and well cocktails are $4, bottled beers are $3, and specialty cocktails only $6. On Tuesdays in the bar, you can score the big grass-fed burger for half-price ($7), and Thursdays you can call your liquor for $6 martinis all night long. Fortunately they've got a pretty big bar space, with a cozy fireplace and quirky rounded banquette seats to lounge upon.

The Border
The Jacinto brothers worked with Cindy Pawlcyn for years and years and helped inspire the legendary Mexican-influenced menu staples in her wine country restaurants and recent cookbook Big Small Plates (rabbit tostada, I mean you). The brothers' new place on the corner of First and Main delivers high quality local ingredients and authentic Mexican flavors--so if you're looking for nachos, look elsewhere. If you want carne asada tacos with salsa fresca for $1 each, though, come to the bar between 3-6pm on weekdays. Fresh lime juice margaritas are also half price ($4), with other discounts lurking in the bartenders' brain. Check out the extensive tequila selection while you're there, or try a michelada for a refreshing change of pace--beer, lime juice, and salt. Yum.

Zinsvalley Restaurant
1106 First Street, Napa
707.224.0695
www.zinsvalley.com

The Border
1005 First Street, Napa
707.258.1000
www.thebordernapa.com

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