Editor's note: Intern Linnea Covington proves her Serious Eats (and drinks) cred by finding bars with cheap bites and booze. She'll be chiming in regularly with intel on where to find a happy hour. Or many happy hours. Take it away, Linnea! —Erin
Common Ground is a welcome retreat from the cold wind numbing your nose. Inside the bar/bistro hang antique chandeliers, which give off a soft white light in the otherwise dark bar. It proves the perfect touch of class to accent the rich chocolaty wooden bar that stretches at least 20 feet in the large space. Across from the bar, tall two-seater tables line mahogany shelves filled with board games and books. By 7 p.m. on a Tuesday night, most of the seating had been taken.
The Happy Deal: Two-for-one appetizers and paninis, $5 apple martinis and cosmos, and $2 Yuengling and Miller Lite, Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. I am not a sweet beverage girl so I got a pint of Yuengling and ordered a few appetizers: brie and apricot grain mustard crostinis ($8), french bread pizza with artichoke hearts and prosciutto ($10), hot feta pita crisps with olive relish ($8), and crushed chickpea bruschetta ($8).
I refrained from a panini only because I had one for lunch. But I did see other people ordering them, and the sandwiches appeared fairly hearty with combos like shrimp dip and cheddar, turkey club, mozzarella and tomato, and smoked chicken with brie.
In Conclusion: The food was decent, not amazing (save for the chickpea bruschetta, which was so wonderfully garlicky that I tasted it for the rest of the night). Definitely right for the price and great for bar fare. If you and a date order a panini and appetizer, a couple beers, and maybe a cosmo, you can walk away full and rosy-cheeked for less then $20 each. A very happy hour(s) indeed.
206 Avenue A, Manhattan NY 10009 (b/n 12th and 13th Streets; map)