Il Bistro

After work, hide away from bosses, the weather, prying eyes . . .

When you need a subtle, out-of-the-way spot to rendezvous and escape the weather, Il Bistro is there. Tucked just down from the international newspaper stand at the corner of Pike Street and First Avenue, the bistro has subdued lighting and orangey warmth that provide comforting respite from the cold November rain. The bar is set down a few steps from the intimate dining area, through the smooth archway. Meet your honey here for happy hour (5– 6:30 p.m., Monday–Friday)—you have your choice of discounted drafts, well cocktails, or select wines. At $3 apiece, you can hardly go wrong. Or, order a full-price, full-bodied scotch or bourbon. The personable staff can certainly recommend the right one. Then try the goat cheese crostini ($5), warm and creamy with garlicky goodness, and the tender pollo Siciliano ($5) with rich tomato sauce and olives. Lean in close across your marble tabletop and share garlic-olive oil bruschetta ($5), tasty even with the tomatoes falling every which way. Later, sit back and enjoy the classic jazz in the background as you avoid the gritty weather a while longer. With this type of atmosphere, that certain someone will no doubt smile with clandestine delight when you say, "Meet me at Il Bistro after work." NEIL CORCORAN

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