After getting off work, you’re not the only one craving happy hour drinks and bites. Cleo’s two-tone design, vintage chandeliers and stately brick-covered oven create an inviting setting for the daily Social Hour (5-7 p.m.) at the classic-made-contemporary Mediterranean restaurant and bar.
Social Hour dishes are too delicious to not share. $2 Pacific Northwest oysters come dressed with chili-lime mignonette and chilled over St. Germain and lime-flavored granite (fancy shaved ice) strewn with delicate seaweed. Brussels sprouts leaves lightly fried with capers and sprinkled with sliced almonds and vinaigrette also whet the appetite ($8). And, of course, there’s Cleo’s house-made hummus garnished with whole chick peas, olive oil and fresh chermoula and served with their trademark laffa, baked fresh to order ($7).
Of the specialty cocktails ($8), the Lotus Flower refreshes with crushed blackberries, vodka, St-Germain elderflower liqueur and fresh lemon. If you’re going for that second drink and want something more filling to hang out with it, the quinoa and roasted vegetable dish is a substantial salad with nutty quinoa, frisee, purple and white cauliflower, finished with fragrant cumin and sliced almonds ($8).
Meat-lovers shouldn’t pass up the lamb shawarma ($9), served on a duo of grilled laffa, each spread with homemade labne kefir cheese and spicy harissa, then stuffed with juicy, slow-roasted lamb and topped with caramelized onions and a pepperoncini—a masterful balance of flavors you might wish you kept to yourself.
The smell of flatbreads (also $9) wafting from the central oven lures socialites to SLS. An easy drive from Interstate 15 or Paradise Road and free parking and valet tips the scale for locals, who make up about half of the people who take advantage of the reasonably priced items that would satisfy Cleopatra herself. Whether you’re tying up loose ends from work over a specialty cocktail or catching up with friends over shared plates, Social Hour offers affordable Strip dining so there’s more to go around.
Cleo Social Hour
Inside SLS Las Vegas, 5-7 p.m. daily, $40–$50 for two, slslasvegas.com/restaurants-bars/cleo, @cleorestaurant