Springfield, IL 62711
Parking: Free Parking, but of course!
Days: Monday Night
Times: All Night Long
Drink Deals: $5 Martinis
Food Deals: $5 Appetizers
I guess you can just call my hometown of Springfield, Illinois the “Martini Monday Capital of the World!” Or not :)… but since Illinois outlaws any daily deals that encourage excess drinking within a specific timeframe, Springfield has embraced the Martini Monday, where, apparently, you’re just encouraged to drink all night instead!
I’d been to Osaka’s Martini Monday and hope to visit Ross Isaacs on my next visit, but for this April 2012 trip – with my ma-n-pa and sister-in-law, KB, in tow (brother PB had to stay home with the baby, sorry brother - though he did get to go to Green Bay happy hours, that lucky duck), we headed West to visit Bella Milano, a semi-upscale Italian restaurant offering a selection of ten $5 Martinis and six $5 appetizers all (Monday) night long – in the bar side of the restaurant.
Harry Potter and the Goblets of ... Martini!
It must be popular with the locals because when we arrived, they were out of martini glasses, so our first round was served in wine goblets. For that first round, our gang tried the Dirty Martini, the Dewberry Martini (like a purple Cosmopolitan), and for me – the Wild Tea Cosmopolitan with Absolut Wild Tea Vodka, triple sec, and cranberry juice. We also quickly set about ordering – sampling the following during the course of our 2 rounds of drinks:
Calamari Fritti ($5)
Zucchini Sticks ($5)
Baked Stuffed Mushrooms ($5) – with a crabcake stuffing, topped with a house red sauce and a special blend of cheeses. Even KB, who normally doesn’t like mushrooms enjoyed these.
Bagna Cauda ($5) – Northern Italian dipping sauce served with bread and cabbage. According to Wikipedia, it’s from the Piedmonte (where some of my fam is originally from) area in Italy and is made with garlic, anchovies, olive, oil, and butter
All of the food was tasty, though we really enjoyed the Bagna Cauda. With so many Happy Hours offering the standard bar fare, it’s always a treat to try something new and different! KB commented that it would have been nice if the bread had been freshly made on site – I concur, a housemade foccacia bread would have been a perfect addition to our selection and complement to the Bagna Cauda.
For our 2nd round of cocktails (now served in martini glasses :), Pa went with a glass of red wine, Ma switched to the Wild Tea Cosmo, KB kept it Dirty, and I tried the unfortunately named Hello Kitty with Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Cranberry juice with a hint of lime. The name says “I’m a teenage girl and this is my first cocktail,” but the drink was phenomenal and I’d highly recommend it to friends in Springfield!
It looks like Bella Milano has a handful of other Martinis that aren’t on the Martini Monday list and might be fun to try, but 8 is still a pretty good number of offerings for Martini Monday!
Some regular old Happy Hour Tourists!
Rating: 4 Martinis