Happy Hour Test Drive: DoveCote

Happy Hour Test Drive: DoveCote

From the artful décor and intimate dining nooks to the delectable menu and recently upgraded outdoor courtyard, everything about DoveCote screams date night. Ever since my boyfriend, John, and I tried DoveCote’s brunch several years ago, it’s been in our heavy rotation for date night. It truly holds a special place in our hearts and is our go-to for everything from a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner to an impromptu brunch whenever the craving strikes, which, for us, is quite often. If you’ve had DoveCote’s fine herb omelet, you’ll understand.

So, as a continuation of my love affair, I couldn’t resist the invitation to stop in for the weekday happy hour during a hosted visit.

Served at the bar Monday-Friday from 2:30-6pm, happy hour includes a robust selection of beer, wine and cocktails for $4-$7, plus hearty sliders, oysters and light bites, all under $11 each.

DRINKS

Select wines by the glass are $6 and select beers are $4, but the real reason to visit happy hour is the $7 cocktails. DoveCote has an excellent cocktail program full of classics with an original spin, some of which you can try at reduced prices during happy hour.

DoveCote’s Paloma is so popular it’s served on tap. A zesty and bright mix of tequila, grapefruit soda, agave and lime add up to a fizzy concoction that goes down easy and pairs well with the Florida sunshine.

Dovecote Paloma cocktail
Paloma

I especially loved the DC Mule, a classic Moscow Mule with vodka, lime, ginger beer (DoveCote uses the new-to-me Q ginger beer) and black raspberry for extra pizzazz.

Other cocktail offerings include:

  • G & T: gin, tonic and pear liqueur
  • Boulevardier: rye, rouge vermouth, campari
  • DC Old Fashioned
  • Daiquiri: rum, banana, lime, sugar

Oh, and don’t forget to caffeinate with something from the coffee bar, helmed by local coffee chain Foxtail Coffee Co. Try a dirty matcha (so good!) for something different.

DC Mule

FOOD

Most of DoveCote’s happy hour bites are in the $4-$7 range making this an extra affordable happy hour. And thanks to the huge selection of menu items, happy hour can easily serve as an early dinner.

The menu includes a half dozen oysters ($12), plus 8 bar snacks, 5 slider varieties and two paninis.

SNACKS:

  • Chips and caramelized onion dip ($4)
  • DC popcorn ($5)
  • Smoked eggplant dip ($5)
  • Fromage frites ($6)
  • Confit chicken leg ($6)
  • Dry rubbed and grilled wings ($6)
  • Beer steamed mussels ($8)
  • Cheese plate ($11)
DoveCote happy hour cheese plate
The cheese plate features a rotating selection of three cheeses plus nuts, jam and a side of crackers.
Fromage frites at DoveCote
The shareable fromage frites are fancy cheese fries topped with mornay sauce, bacon bits, and chives. These are a must order.

SLIDER + PANINI VARIETIES INCLUDE:

  • DC Reuben ($5)
  • Fried Chicken ($5)
  • Pulled Pork ($5)
  • Croque Monsieur ($7)
  • DC Burger ($7)
  • Turkey & Brie ($6)
  • French Cuban ($5)

For a filling feast, order one slider each plus a dip and fromage frites to share. Paired with 2 cocktails each, your total will be right around $50 plus tax and tip. Or, order a few things to share as an appetizer before cozying up at a table for two for dinner.

Delicious, tender fried chicken, hot honey, and house garlic aioli are the stars of the Fried Chicken slider, a miniature rendition of the full-size sandwich served at lunch.
The pulled pork slider is a new addition, stuffed with savory pulled pork covered in house BBQ sauce
On the indulgent side, the Croque Monsieur slider is covered in mornay sauce and filled with ham and gruyere.

THE GRADE

Drinks: Any happy hour that includes cocktails gets automatic bonus points. DoveCote’s classic concoctions are certainly worth sipping and the $7 price tag is more than reasonable.

Food: I absolutely love the sliders, some of which are mini versions of sandwiches from the lunch menu. The menu works as a dinner on its own, or as a prelude to dinner in the main dining area.

Setting: Happy hour is only served at the bar, but it’s an open, L-shaped bar with plenty of space. Get there on the earlier side just to be safe, as it does fill up quickly. The bar is also separated nicely from the main dining rooms and the noise level is low, perfect for conversation.

DoveCote scores an A. The offerings are plentiful and the options are balanced to suit a wide variety of tastes. As always, the food is delicious, even in bite-sized form. My only complaint is that the end time may be a tad early if you’re trying to make it there after work from outside of downtown Orlando. For the downtown crowd or SunRail commuters, it’s perfect.

DETAILS

Happy hour is served at the bar Monday-Friday from 2:30-6pm.

Check out the full menu here. (Subject to change.)

DoveCote
390 North Orange Avenue, Suite 110
Orlando, Florida 32801
407-930-1700
https://www.dovecoteorlando.com

Want more happy hour info? Check out our guide to Orlando Happy Hours.

Disclosure: DoveCote is one of our valued advertising partners. This meal was provided by DoveCote at no cost to the writer.

Florida food and travel photographer and writer Stephanie Patterson

About the Author/Photographer:
Stephanie Patterson is the editor of Orlando Date Night Guide. She’s a talented professional food and travel photographer and writer with a passion for creativity, the beach and great eats. When she’s not taking photos or writing, you can find her exploring the state for her Florida travel blog, Travel Taste Click. Find her online at www.spattersoncreative.com and www.traveltasteclick.com.

All photos by Stephanie Patterson


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