The Deal: $6 craft cocktails, $5 wells, $7 well martinis; $4 drafts, $4-5 bottled beers, and $6-$8 wines by the glass. Small plates from $4-7 and $1 off all deserts.
The Digs: Stumbling Goat's upscale-casual dining room is the picture of cozy, and its low ceiling and candlelit ambiance cast a warm, inviting glow. Servers are gracious and knowledgeable and never in a hurry, and it feels as though you're a guest at an affluent, though unassuming, friend's house. So when you're herded into the bar for happy hour, don't feel like you're missing out on the whole experience. Happy hour food and drink are just as good, and service is equally hospitable.
Specialty cocktails include classics with a twist. The tonic is housemade, the vodka infused with everything from citrus to rosemary. The lemon drop--with citrus infused vodka, Aperol, Liquor 43, and fresh lemon--was a refreshing and boozy spin on the recipe. The restaurant leans toward seasonal and local, and you'll see that on the happy hour menu too, from Hilliards and and Rogers on tap, to the fantastic artisinal cheese board, which was excellent, including some wonderful candied nuts. Ambiance, value, and quality make this happy hour good, good, good.
The Verdict: Arrive here around 5:30 and dive in for dinner. This is the sweet spot of happy hour: It's technically dinner time, so you're hungry, plus you've got a bartender in waiting because s/he's not slinging drinks for the 7 o'clock dinner rush. Have a cocktail while you look over the menu, order to your heart's content--everything's pretty much half off--and grab another drink right before the clock strikes 6. By the time you're ready to stumble home, the cocktail buzz feels just as nice as knowing your bar top meal cost half as much as what dining-room guests will pay.