Timo: Happy Hour Report Card
The Spot: Timo, 8801 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, 602-354-3846, www.timocentral.com.
Nikki Buchanan Brussels sprout salad
The Hours: Happy Hour is offered from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Nikki Buchanan Timo's very cool patio
The Interior: Housed in the space that once held the Sunnyslope fire station, stylish Timo ("thyme" in Italian) offers up cozy wine bar atmosphere, thanks to retractable glass garage doors, a flickering wood-burning oven and upholstered furniture, just right for settling in for a long talk with a friend. But this time of year, it's the mesquite tree-shaded, dog-friendly patio that appeals, especially when the nights get cool enough to fire up the enormous fire pit. Like the inside, it's sleek but comfortable. Unlike the inside, it's quiet.
The Food: Almost everything on the happy hour menu reads much better than it actually is. Best of the lot are moist corn cakes topped with crème fraiche, salmon, capers and a sprig of fresh dill ($5).
Buchanan Corn cakes with salmon and creme fraiche
Wood-fired wings with tamarind barbecue sauce sound promising, but they're so soupy with sauce we can't really discern a smoky flavor. And I'm not sure what a tiny bowl of sweet Thai chile sauce is supposed to provide, but it surely isn't contrast ($5).
Buchanan Wood-fired wings