Went to 35th Bistro in Fremont yesterday (in the old Still Life space) for a quick cocktail and bite to eat. Ended up staying 90 min for dinner. Their happy hour runs from 5-7pm (much more practical than the average 4-6pm timeframe) and includes a good selection of cocktails for $3.50 and a nicely edited range of appetizers for $1.00 that can easily be combined to make a light dinner.
My dining companion and I made a meal out of three appetizers + the cheese plate (from their regular menu and priced at $2.50/oz.). I'm a bit of a cheese nerd and was pretty impressed by the options. Of the six cheeses available, we chose Sally Jackson chestnut-wrapped aged sheep's milk cheese, an amazingly powerful blue that I can't remember the name of, a nice blob of Explorateur and a fairly unremarkable cow's milk. Laura Chenel chevre was one of the other choices...the sixth and final option escapes me. The cheese (in respectable size pieces) was served on a massive wood platter of sorts that also included fresh strawberries, sliced green apples, quince paste, some sweet type of chutney, and those small roasted spanish (?) almonds that everyone seems to be serving at dinner parties. I've had many a cheese plate and this was a pretty impressive presentation.
Appetizer portions are fairly small but for $1, I suppose that shouldn't come as a surprise. We had a plate of fries that were sprinkled with herbs and garlic (I think) and drizzled with creme fraiche -- really tasty. Somehow they managed to remain a bit crispy despite the creme fraiche. We also had a small salad of organic greens and an order of calamari that, oddly, came in a bowl of broth. I didn't try it...dining companion said it was good but completely not what he was expecting. Other appetizer options included steamed clams, a chicken item (a middle-eastern inspired skewer thing, i think) and grilled scallops with some sort of bacon sauce drizzled over.
Service was a bit slow but quite pleasant and the place filled up extremely quickly at about 6pm. Seems the word is out about this place. I, for one, was thrilled with the happy hour discovery that we stumbled upon and will definitely be back. We scooted out of there spending a total of $40 for three cocktails, a glass of wine and the nibbles listed above -- pretty good deal, actually.
Supposedly they serve brunch starting at 8am on weekends...