The upside of recession: Steak houses around the country are rolling out special deals to lure new customers and reward the old. The "Power Hour" at Morton's, one of our poshest chophouses, almost defies logic. How they scrape out a profit serving "bar bites" for $5 each and a limited menu of cocktails at half-price is their problem, not yours. Every night from 5 to 6:30 and then again from 9 until they close at 11, you can hang out in Morton's ritzy Bar 12-21 and order any plate from an extensive menu for a fiver: cheeseburger sliders, sirloin tip sandwiches, warm crab and artichoke dip with buttery rounds of toast, crab cakes; or raw oysters at $1 each and jumbo shrimp at $2.50 each. The famous Morton's Prime Sirloin burger, a three-quarter-pounder topped with cheese, bacon, or mushrooms and served with fries, is also available for $15; pair it with a $5 glass of wine and you're in bargainland. Fancy signature cocktails served during Power Hour include the Morton's Fizz ($6), a bittersweet refresher that combines Prosecco, Aperol, and fresh orange juice; the Palm Beacher ($7), made from Skye vodka infused with fresh pineapple and mint; and martinis ($7) poured with Finlandia vodka and garnished with blue-cheese-stuffed olives. We made a scrumptious dinner recently on three bar plates plus cocktails and got out for under $30. The food's delicious, the servings are liberal (three burger sliders or four mini steak sandwiches per plate), and the hospitality is extragracious: Here's a time and place the tightest cheapskate can feel like a high roller.
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