The Brigantine Happy Hour Is A Sure Bet - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Home And Business

The Brigantine Happy Hour Is A Sure Bet

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Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 4:43 pm

For those of us who have lived in Coronado for a long time or grew up here, the Brigantine has been a fixture in the community and their happy hour always a tradition.

Over the years my husband Dan and I have ordered fish tacos during Happy Hour many times as well as celebrated special dinners there. We liked the intimate feel of the booths of the restaurant and like many we were surprised and unsure of what the place would look like after the remodel almost three years ago. But I have to say we were pleasantly surprised when we went back to the Brigantine and got to see and experience the new look and feel.

On a recent Saturday afternoon Dan and I with friend and co-worker Susie Clifford and her husband Mark decided to go the Brigantine Happy Hour. I was a bit worried it would be too crowded but we lucked out and not only did we find a parking space in the lot next to the restaurant we got a table right away in the Oyster Bar. The Oyster Bar has a casual feel with patrons allowed to seat themselves either at regular size tables, the wrap around bar or the family style tables which reminded me of our visit to Florence where it’s normal to sit with total strangers and inevitably start a conversation.

The new look of the restaurant features grey tones, beige and brown touches and windows everywhere - an improvement of the remodel. The openness of the restaurant gives a feeling of the outdoors even if you are sitting inside. The outdoor seating area is still in the same spot as in the past for those who prefer to eat alfresco. The eatery has a nautical theme with the hull of a boat coming through the ceiling of an area over the bar and some octopus pictures.

Unlike other restaurants the Brigantine has a Happy Hour every day with appetizing specials. We were quick to order drinks, Susie had a glass of Pinot Noir, I ordered a Brigantine Margarita and Mark has a Carl Strauss Amber lager while Dan chose a coke. We perused the menu but we already had a good idea of what to order. Fish tacos, of course, which come with the best ranch sauce. But first we shared Artichoke Fritters ($7) and Classic Calamari Strips ($7) which came with two dipping sauces. Mark and Dan had Clam Chowder ($4.75) which they both enjoyed. Dan thought the creamy chowder had fresh ingredients and nice seasoning. The calamari were tender and the two contrasting sauces were tasty. It was the first time I tried the artichoke fritters and I will order them again. Mark had the Brig Fish Taco made with fried fish while the rest of the group had Swordfish Tacos. We were all happy with our choices. The fish was tasty, fresh and filling. I loved the combination of cabbage, cheddar and ranch dressing, which was amazing as usual.

A few other items on the menu include Spinach or Caesar Salad, Brig Shrimp Cocktail, Oysters on the Half Shell and Buffalo Chicken Taco.

Drinks include all draft beer ($1 off,) a featured wine ($1off by the glass,) a sparkling wine, Brigantine Margarita, Skinny Milagro Margarita and Crown City Mule.

As we looked around we noticed as many diners were leaving as were coming. The atmosphere was friendly starting with our waitress and the people sitting at nearby tables seemed to be enjoying themselves. While chatting with Susie, she said she and Mark have headed to the restaurant over the years specifically to have fish tacos. “Fried or a healthier version, they are delicious and very tasty. They are a big draw,” she said. “The restaurant has a neighborhood atmosphere and friendly service.”

The Brigantine first opened in 1969 in Shelter Island and over the years more locations were added to reach the current eight. The Coronado location opened in 1973 and some dishes have been a tradition at the restaurant like the clam chowder. Originally the restaurant was known for its fresh caught swordfish although steak also had a presence on the menu. As times have changed the Brigantine restaurants continue to be known for their seafood, great atmosphere, local craft beer and regionally inspired dishes.

Brigantine, 1333 Orange Avenue. Happy Hour: Monday 3 to 10 p.m., Tuesday - Sunday 3 to 6 p.m. Call (619) 435-4166

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