Bruschetta

Outdoor Italian Happy Hour: Spaghettini

It’s been a while since I went out to try a new Happy Hour at an actual restaurant instead of at the kitchen table. I ended up going out with my parents to celebrate since we all had our vaccinations and can enjoy some normalcy together. We chose a place that was right across the way from one of my old jobs in Seal Beach.

Spaghettini Entrance

Spaghettini sounds like a place where you might find spaghetti served in a martini glass but they don’t have anything like that here. Although they do serve up a wide variety of martinis, which you can enjoy while eating a bowlful of spaghetti. The facade of the restaurant is covered in brick but they bring on some natural looks with the vines creeping up the side. I love all the pots filled with numerous types of succulents that surround the archway of the restaurant as you enter.

Pizza Kitchen

Although we weren’t eating inside the restaurant I still wanted to grab some pictures of what one may find inside. If you walk past the host stand you will come upon the pizza kitchen where piping hot pizzas come out to bring a smile to your face. I love the sign above saying, “Every family has a story… Welcome to ours”. It makes you feel as if you are about to enjoy a dining experience with an Italian family.

Indoor Dining

The tables inside are pretty spaced out, for the most part, to offer some social distancing for the diners. There weren’t too many people dining inside because most people were enjoying the beautiful weather outside. The restaurant has lighter tones with the whites and greys seen on the walls, bringing about a more calming atmosphere, at least until your eyes drift towards the stage. Colorful light projections shine onto a stage set up for live entertainment which they were getting set up for a show that night. I do miss enjoying a meal and a drink while enjoying some live entertainment to bring all your senses to life.

Outdoor Dining

Now time to show off the outdoor dining experience! It’s wonderful seeing how restaurants have transformed portions of the property that weren’t used for dining into beautiful spaces. I enjoy the look of the outdoor space more than I enjoyed the indoor area. I love the natural looks with the greenery and colorful pops of flowers here and there. The natural wooden tables with pots of succulents just add to the environment. I do hope restaurants keep these expanded outdoor spaces for people to enjoy eating outside.

Happy Hour Food

A picture of a menu? It’s been forever since you’ve seen one of these on my blog. Spaghettini has a single menu for both Happy Hour and their Lounge. It kinda threw me off at first but at second glance you notice that you have the regular price right next to the Happy Hour price in red. Underneath the starters, there is a mix of your typical appetizers but I also spotted items that would be considered meals such as a burger and a french dip sandwich.

Happy Hour Drinks

The drink prices either $8, $11, or $13 which offers a couple of different options for any sized wallet. However, I believe the $11 martinis are what you’ll find yourself ordering. Unless you are looking for sangria but I’d say it’s worth the extra couple dollars for an upscale martini.

Bread and Butter

As with most Italian places, there is typically a bread basket brought out to you to get things started. The one that first pops up out at you is that focaccia bread with a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese baked into the surface. For some herbaceous notes, there is of course a sprinkling of rosemary which works well with the light and airy bread. Then, hiding underneath the focaccia is your typical sourdough roll with a slightly tough exterior, but you get the lighter parts underneath the crust.

Sitting Pretty

Now for the drinks! The first drink that caught my attention was the Sitting Pretty. This lovely cocktail had an intermingling of Tito’s Vodka, Limoncello, pomegranate puree, and some lemon juice. I believe this is the first time where I’ve had a Limoncello cocktail on my Adventures. I have had one before over at Epcot in Walt Disney World during the Food and Wine Festival. It was a Limoncello Margarita! But I digress, this concoction’s ingredients played well with one another with the citrus notes coming from the Limoncello and lemon juice while the pomegranate puree helped bring on the sweetness. I certainly can feel like I’m sitting pretty with a Sitting Pretty in hand as I enjoy the sunny patio.

Hula Hoop

The next cocktail was one called the Hula Hoop which just screamed tropical and you know how much I enjoy my tropical drinks. It had a Real McCoy Rum that was aged in a charred oak barrel for 30 days to add more flavor. Then some dry curacao, lime juice, and citrus agave helped bring on citrus notes. To me, I think the thing that ruined this drink was the Prosecco because there was just too much of it and it masked the flavors of the other wonderful ingredients in this drink. Plus this Prosecco tasted extra bubbly which threw me through a loop. This is a tropical drink that I would pass on next time.

Perfect Pear

The last drink to finish off the night was the Perfect Pear martini which based on all the ingredients had the makings of the famous Pear Martini from Andrea Ristorante. However, I think the one at Andrea’s still takes the number one spot although this one was still excellent. This martini had Absolut Pear, St. Germain, pear puree, lemon juice, and sage syrup. It also had one other ingredient that was new to me called Domaine de Canton which is a ginger liqueur. I could not taste the ginger flavor coming through in this drink because of all the pear flavor coming through from both the vodka and puree.  I felt the unique sage syrup helped to bring both sweetness and a savory component to the drink. However in the end taking a sip of this drink is exactly like taking a bite from a juicy pear.

Calamari

Time for some real food! Look at this mountain of crispy fried calamari with parmesan cheese acting as snow on the tip of it. The batter on this calamari is the epitome of crispiness and seasoning. The squeeze of lemon juice plays well with the squid to express the seafood. The fun doesn’t end there because there are two sauces to accompany this dish for your enjoyment. You have your typical marinara to bring on some sweetness and tanginess. But if your tastebuds want to take you a different route then you have some spicy remoulade sauce. This will lead you on a path of a slight spice but also some creaminess and zest from the vinegar.

Bruschetta

Ah, bruschetta! I used to avoid anything that had tomatoes in their original form because I did not enjoy the taste and texture. However, I have started liking them in certain ways and bruschetta was one of them. Especially this bruschetta because this has got to be one of the best bruschettas I’ve ever had. It was the tomatoes being marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette which pushed the flavor of the cherry tomatoes even further. The basil helps bring in some bright and fresh herb notes while the goat cheese helped with a touch of saltiness and creaminess. Yet what tied everything together was the crisp and toasted baguette slices. It was that bread that added the much-needed crunch to the soft texture of the tomatoes.

New York Steak and Fries

There was no way we were going to pass up on a steak when it was on the Happy Hour menu. The steak was perfectly cooked to a medium-rare all the while having those signature grill marks. You can see the juices of the steak and the bits of salt to help bring on some great flavor. They had told us the sauce was a mushroom demi-glaze although the menu said it was a peppercorn sauce. Either way, the sauce helped to add more flavor to each bite making this a great way to end the meal. Although the steak that my parents had was unfortunately very fatty for them so each experience can be quite different.

The duo team of Robert and Jill helped bring on a great experience at Spaghettini. It was Robert’s last day of training so Jill was there to make sure he did an excellent job. When Robert saw me with my notebook writing notes he was curious as to the reason. That’s when I told him about my Happy Hour Blog. He then went on to show me some of the pictures that he had taken of the food offerings at Spaghettini. It was great to be able to make that connection with him.

Overall I’d say this was a great outing after getting both vaccine shots! I’d say stick with the martinis as those are their specialties. You can’t go wrong with most of the food items on the menu. I would go back again any day of the week but with so many Happy Hours out there to see it may be a while. It is one of the pricier Happy Hours but given the quality of the food and drinks, I’d say it was worth it.

Website: Spaghettini

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Since I didn’t like tomatoes growing up I have this question for you. What is something that you despised eating as a kid that you have now learned to love?

Let me know down below in the comments and be sure to share with friends that would enjoy this Happy Hour.

May the adventures continue! Cheers!

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