October 2, 2018
This past Friday I experienced a new and very enjoyable Friday Happy Hour experience in West Hartford when I ventured into The Blue Elephant Trail at 7 S. Main Street. Not exactly sure what to expect, I arrived at the start (4 PM) of Happy Hour to find a nice little bar tucked into the long narrow confines of the restaurant. There was a couple in discussion at the near end of the bar, so I selected a seat (they get a plus for some of the most comfortable bar stools I’ve run across) at the far (a relative term in this case) end of the bar. Just as soon as I appeared situated, Sean the bartender came over with the Happy Hour menu and a very nice smile.
Adventure By The Glass:
Putting The Happy In Happy Hour
The cocktails section of the menu offered a list of intriguing possibilities (all at only $5 each) to tempt me, especially the Asian Pear martini, which I ordered for my first libation. (I love pear-flavored martinis.) Noticing that Sean tested my drink with a short straw to make sure it was right before serving it was a good indication that this Happy Hour experience was going to be a bit different.
After sampling the Asian Pear martini (which consists of Ginger Vodka, Pear Vodka and White Cranberry) and finding it to be a taste-tempting treat that was spot on for smoothness and flavor, I engaged Sean in conversation about the brand of pear vodka he used. This led into a very interesting exchange after I mentioned I was a mixologist and he explained about his bartender training (apparently, he had an excellent teacher). It is always a pleasure to meet a bartender who truly takes pride in the mixology aspect of their craft.
Although I would have thoroughly enjoyed having a second Asian Pear, my work as a reviewer requires that I experiment with as much of the menu as possible. Since several of the other drinks looked to be quite interesting, I asked Sean for his suggestion. He immediately recommended the Spiked Thai Iced Tea (made with an international list of ingredients: Thai Iced Tea, Spiced Rum, Bourbon and Irish Cream), so I agreed to give it a try. It was amazing! A creamy delight that I can only describe as unexpectedly tasting a bit like an Asian eggnog, it proved to be totally irresistible.
Their drink offerings definitely brought an enjoyable sense of adventure to Happy Hour!
Food Earns Good F’s:
Fast, Fun and Flavorful
The Blue Elephant Trail Happy Hour food menu Thai’s together (a bad pun, but it’s fun) familiar aspects of Asian appetizers with a Thai twist, which makes it all the more enjoyable. While Sean highly recommended the Thai wings and wraps, which I’m sure were delicious, I opted for something a little less messy to eat, starting with the Satay Chicken ($3). It consisted of two decent-sized skewers of grilled marinated chicken served with a peanut curry sauce and cucumber relish. I have had variations of this at other places before and it has often been dry and chewy. Fortunately, however, this was moist, tender and very tasty with just the right amount of spice to tingle the taste buds.
For my second choice, I picked the Spring Rolls ($2). Small, but packed with flavor, these crisp rolls had a nice crunch and a delicious vegetable filling.
I can easily recommend both the Satay Chicken and Spring Rolls as perfect choices that arrived quickly and tasted great. And you definitely can’t argue with the prices! One other food-related note: you can stop by Happy Hour and also get take-out for dinner.
A Decidedly Different Ambiance:
Intimately Inviting yet Comfortably Exotic
Here In Connecticut, as most places in America, Asian restaurants run the gamut from hole-in-the-wall takeout places to fine (and expensive) dining establishments. The Blue Elephant Trail has carved out an interesting niche with a tastefully done interior featuring an attractive, modern bar with just enough Asian touches to make it feel a bit out of the ordinary and just small enough to feel warmly welcoming. They also have a sidewalk patio that should offer a beautiful view of the fall leaves on the trees lining South Main Street.
By now, I’m sure you’ve already figured out that The Blue Elephant Trail has earned my highest rating of ***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED*** for Friday Happy Hour! The ambiance, the drink selection, and the food choices together with Sean’s friendly, outgoing personality and pride in his craft behind the bar make The Blue Elephant Trail worth a try.
Check them out online at blueelephanttrail.com for hours, directions and more.
Tell them the Dark Diva sent you!
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