Last week prior to dusk I visited a new happy hour being hosted by an old friend. That friend would be Icebox Cafe on Purdy Ave in South Beach.http://iceboxcafe.com/ I have been a big fan of this place for years at their old location off of Lincoln Road. I love their relatively new location even more. One thing they never had at either was a happy hour. That has recently changed. Happy hour usually means microwaved frozen wings and cheap beer. Not so at Icebox Cafe. For a restaurant named “ICEBOX” I was dumbfounded when Debbie the manager advised me that “we do not even have an actual freezer in our restaurant”. Everything that comes out of their kitchen is FRESH NOT FROZEN..ever. What an interesting repudiation of their name ! In the processed frozen food world we now live in, this is a refreshing change.
Their happy hour menu is drawn and sourced from their actual mainline menu. Happy hour can be enjoyed inside their decidedly beautiful Martha’s Vineyard-ish decorated interior at the bar or outside at one of the high top tables. We tried the Mini Mushroom Sopes and the Homemade Flatbread with Chicken. Both were top notch examples of how happy hour food can be creative and delicious when a restaurant decides taste and quality trump cheap ingredients for a higher profit margin. The veggie potstickers were also delicious. What can one choose as the side lubricant to all of this good food ? How about one of their many hand crafted cocktails for $7. No plastic bottles of syrup mixers either. The “chocolate delight” martini is a chocolate lovers dream come true. The “Cosmo Not” is their creative take on the old standby Cosmopolitan. Only better since they use my favorite high end liqueur, St Germain as one of the ingredients. They also have 2-4-1 well cocktails and draft beers. Debbie also had me try something not on the happy hour menu but is a bit of a bar secret. Homemade Limoncello. Made with fresh lemon juice on the premises. It tasted like lemon sunshine. The Cucumber Margarita was exquisite. Perfect balance of Tequilla, Triple Sec and fresh lime juice.
If you’re looking for a slushy drink out of a machine with a white handle than hit Ocean Drive. Do you want a laid back happy hour with a sophisticated vibe with hand crafted drinks and food ? Icebox Cafe is your new happy hour friend. They will also be opening up a new outpost in South Florida in the not so distant future. Stay tuned and keep your eyes/ears open . You don’t want to miss it. Cheers !
Oh, by the way. You cannot leave Icebox Cafe without a slice of one of their iconic cakes or bakery item. I decided on the most famous of them all. The Chocolate Delight. Take a look at the last picture. It is truly worth a MILLION words !