Tucked into the heart of the Casas Adobes Plaza on the southwest corner of Ina and Oracle is Bluefin Seafood Bistro, which hosts a happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Featuring a spacious indoor and outdoor seating area and bar that extends into both sections, Bluefin can accommodate a large crowd, which it frequently attracts with its fresh seafood, delivered six days per week, as well as a wide array of appetizers and drink selection.
Bluefin’s happy hour boasts $2 off all alcoholic drinks.
Upon our arrival, we were immediately greeted and told to take a seat of our choice. We elected to sit outside given the pleasant weather and amount of available seating, which proved to be a wise decision as members of the community trickled in to converse and share their thoughts about the newspaper.
Between conversations, we browsed the drink menu, my coworker Randy Metcalf and I each chose to start off with a draft beer.
I went with the Sam Adams Summer Ale ($4), a light, seasonal beer available from March through July. At 5.3 percent alcohol by volume, this beer was immediately refreshing, and presented with hints of lemon peel and pepper – a lively, very drinkable brew that was thirst-quenching and will undoubtedly get a second try as the days continue to warm up leading into summer.
Randy selected Kingfisher Lager ($4), which also proved refreshing, though it didn’t present with a very strong flavor. Nonetheless, the brew was crisp and clean and light enough to leave room for our first appetizer, the steamed clams.
Delivered in a one-pound serving, the clams were brightened up with a squeeze of lemon and saturated in herb broth.
As we finished up the clams, our eyes returned to the drink menu, and we opted to each try a mixed drink.
I tried the Nolet’s Sunrise, a combination of Nolet’s Gin, orange juice, club soda, and a splash of Campari. The drink definitely had a kick to it that took some getting used to, but the alcohol was not so overpowering that it took away from the blend of flavors that made this drink sweet, tasty and worth trying.
Randy’s second drink was a Summer Mint Julep, which consists of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, mint, sugar, and soda. The ingredients blended well to make for a unique and refreshing drink, the Bourbon of which was lightened up by the soda and sugar.
Our second appetizer was the Fried Blue Cheese Olives, which are stuffed with blue cheese, panko-dusted, and fried, and served with pesto.
The pesto did a good job of mellowing what was otherwise a very salty appetizer – one that is best enjoyed with a drink to avoid becoming parched.
Located at 7053 N. Oracle Road, Bluefin Seafood Bistro is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The Explorer staff will get together again on May 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Finis Landing, at 5689 N. Swan Road.