Here’s how you do it: Arrive at happy hour. Take the first barstool. You’ll have a front row seat for the oyster shucking and easy access to the bartenders. Order a dozen $1 oysters to start, and take advantage of the $4 cocktail special and $2 PBR drafts, as you please.
Appetize Again and Again
The fried shishito peppers with house made chile sauce are one of my favorite ways to get started. And they’re $3 during happy hour. Pair the smokey peppers with the Cinder cocktail, a jalapeno-infused mezcal drink with a smoked salt rim. Now you’re cooking.
Make Big Meals with Small Plates
The porchetta sliders are fantastic, and can stand in as a main course. Fill up on the Momofuku-style brussel sprouts with bacon and sriracha — just a knockout dish, and easy to make at home with some salt and lime. I also recommend the buffalo cucumbers and fish tacos, as well as the smoked oxtail pierogi.
The Cinder, previously mentioned, is good for spicy dishes. The old fashioned with Wild Turkey Rye and brandied cherries is perfect for tying one on. There’s also a small but solid selection of Michigan draft and bottled beer.
The Best Seat in Town… Any Town
During recent travels to New York, Chicago and Baltimore I found myself thinking, “I wish this city had a restaurant as good as Sardine Room.” Metro Detroit has quite a gem on its hands. For 40 bucks, give or take, during happy hour (4-6pm)… shucks, you can’t beat it.