The Place: Marché, 86 Pine St., 728-2800, PIKE PLACE MARKET.
Amazing frites and dipping mayo goodness is only $3 during happy hour.
The Hours: 4:30-6 p.m. daily.
The Digs: After quietly opening September 30th of last year, the new and more casual incarnation of Campagne finally offers happy hour! We snagged one of their first seats when they launched what they call The Green Hour--or L'heure Verte if you want to get all fancy French about it--May 28th. Happy hour can be enjoyed in the quaint bar which makes up about 40-percent of the restaurant or in the dining room, which has some of the best views of the city. (Insider tip: Table 11 is known as the best seat in the house). The plus side of sitting at the bar is that it's a little more lively and the bartenders are always super cordial and entertaining to watch. Sitting in the dining room gives you the glorious view, but chances are, if you're at the bistro for happy hour, it will be too early to participate in a boisterous dining room scene. We suggest sticking to the bar.
The Deal: There's a reason Marché calls their happy hour "the green hour." Back in the latter half of the 19th century, when absinthe became a big deal in France, cafes would pour the stuff freely starting at 5 p.m. In honor of this tradition, Marché offers several absinthe-based cocktails for $9 in addition to $5 glasses of red and white wine and $4 draft beers. As for food, there's quite a unique spread. The market tarts are a pretty big deal. Anytime you see flatbread on a happy hour menu, you're inclined to order it because it really feels like you're getting a screaming deal on a mini pizza, right? The toppings on the happy hour tarts ($6-$8) vary. The day we visited, we got some thinly sliced potatoes and cheese on ours. It was good, but not even close to being our favorite.
View from table #11.
What we absolutely could not get enough of was the fried confit duck gizzards with lemon aioli ($5). It was absolutely decadent with what tasted like a hint of nutmeg or five spice or something sweet, but the chef would only tell us it was a secret coating covering the tender gizzards. Our second favorite item was the farmer's board. At $10 and the most expensive thing on the menu, it arrived with an array of morbier cheese, sliced cured meats, grilled potato bread, pickled fennel and stone-ground mustard. Worth every penny. We skipped the oysters, but having had them at Marché previously, we can tell you they're wonderful. And only $2 each during happy hour.
Fried confit duck gizzards with lemon aioli ($5).
The Verdict: Have fun, enjoy the view, share some gizzards and save some green by hitting up Marché's green hour. It's one of the more thoughtfully prepared happy hours in the city.