Thanks to those who made suggestions. I would have gone to the Abbey, but we ended up at French 75 because two people work near there and couldn't get off work early enough to travel far.
4-7 p.m. happy hour includes $5.50 champagne cocktails, two $7 fruity martini choices, and a carafe (three glasses) of wine for the price of one glass ($10-30).
Free food floated by very rarely, but the quiche that came by twice was DELICIOUS. Light, fluffy, and full of smokey ham. Some baguette rounds with bland brie but great caramelized onions also came by, as did homemade potato chips. Not bad, maybe more food comes by earlier in happy hour.
Yes, the champagne cocktails are made with cheap bubbly (didn't have the courage to ask what), but when can you get even cheap bubbly for under $10 a glass in this town?
We sampled 9 drinks, so in order of general preference:
Wild Peach champagne cocktail: very nicely flavored with liquer that tastes like real fruit.
Chanel: Oh my gosh, I can't remember why I liked this. I just remember my friend and I repeatedly saying it was better than the French Revolution. It has cognac and lemon juice in it, perhaps I just liked that combo.
French 75 and French Revolution: these tied for me. I've never had a French 75 elsewhere though. They were fine, dry champagne cocktails for someone who prefers the taste of bubbly to a fruity concoction.
Pomegranate champagne cocktail: again, light, fruity, a pretty pink color.
Pineapple martini: I could make a better pineapple infused vodka, but then I'd have to wait a month to drink it.
Parisian Blonde: fairly forgettable.
Mango martini: AWFUL. My friend was lured by the idea of having a whole slice of mango in her drink, but it was a vodka soaked mango and inedible. The vodka itself tasted like it'd been infused with underripe mangos. No one was willing to finish that drink.
We shared an order of French sliders off the lounge menu. $13.75 for three mini burgers and a side of skinny fries. The burgers were fine. A little overcooked, but just the right size for a snack. Three would have been more than a meal for me. I, of course, wondered why they couldn't have given us more fries. They were hot and crispy though.
Service couldn't have been sweeter. The hostess was friendly, our server was smiley and energetic without being overly talkative, and the manager(?) working the lounge was very helpful finding us extra chairs and making sure our drink orders came out. The one tiny misstep was that usually the server will come by right before 7 to see if you want to get another drink order in, but our server didn't and our watches were a little off so when We tried to get our order in right under the wire it was already past 7.
I've bookmarked the original post so I can work through those suggestions. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...