Happy Hour Hunter: Ocean Prime

Head to Ocean Prime for one of Denver's best happy hours.

Courtesy Ocean Prime

HOURS: 3:30 to 6 p.m., Mon. through Fri.

THE SCENE: The lounge at Ocean Prime’s swanky Larimer Square location is bigger than most neighborhood restaurants. It has a bar, of course, with TVs. But it also has low couch seating, booths, and high tables. The vibe is elegant and sexy.

WHAT TO DRINK: Select wines, all beers, and four cocktails are half-price. Try the “Grinch Gimlet,” Ocean Prime’s beautifully balanced cucumber gimlet renamed for the holidays ($6.50). And we loved the gorgeous Black Orchid ($7), a longtime house favorite made with wildberry vodka, St. Germain, and lemon and cranberry juices, served martini-style with an ice-cube-encased orchid.

WHAT TO EAT: All of the appetizers on the lounge menu, as well as the oysters and the sushi rolls, are half off during happy hour. Portions are so big that two selections could make dinner for two, especially if one is the prime or crab cake sliders ($9/$10). The jumbo lump crab cake alone ($10.50), made of Dutch Harbor king crab and minimal filler, was a star, as was the Point Judith calamari ($9.50), fried and dressed with a sweet chili sauce. Next time we’ll save room for the sushi Lobster Roll ($10), containing a poached lobster tail, and stay for the post-happy- hour piano music.

Ocean Prime
1465 Larimer St.