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A misleading sign outside Troiani Ristorante Italiano reads that happy hour starts at 3 p.m. But my companion and I know a little secret shared by word of mouth amongst the sharply-dressed, iPhone addicted crowd: The $5 martinis and house wines actually began flowing two hours ago. "We're here for the stockbroker happy hour," I chirp to a dubious hostess, who glances at our casual attire but points us in the direction of the bar anyway. Conveniently located in the center of Seattle's financial district, Troiani offers an under wraps (until now) "Closing Bell" happy hour from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. every weekday to console beleaguered stockbrokers working on East Coast time. (And perhaps provide complimentary suicide watch as our economy dips into recession.) We seat ourselves next to some old white men dressed like Andre 3000 in plaid suspenders and bowties. They sip on well-aged scotch and swap business talk that we attempt to eavesdrop on, but fail to really understand. Never mind it, we street rats are happy to just sink into our comfy chairs and feast on $5 mussels and clams, and $6 penne macaroni with provolone cheese. (Even Bill Clinton has stopped in for the calorific latter.) Those that prefer their meals liquefied can consume the "Bloody Italian," a fresh take on the Bloody Mary made of garlic infused gin and rosemary thyme. Brokers and pseudo brokers alike can appreciate Troiani's sophisticated decor, hearty pastas, and most important: lofty drink selection. Had its happy hour been around on Black Tuesday, some folks might have dealt with their woes a little differently.
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