HAPPIEST HOUR… The art of sipping an umbrella-laden, low-cost drink in the afternoon was almost lost to us due to the pandemic, but happy hours are coming back! Check out Bistro Giovanni, where $5 glasses include a Coastal Vines white Zinfandel and a sparkling from Italy. Have some calamari or prawns alongside. Happy hour is 3-5pm daily. San Carlos between Fifth and Sixth, Carmel. 626-6003.
TEED UP… A new golf-centric bar has the local golfing community seeing birdies. The Links Club doesn’t just throw up some Caddyshack posters and call it a day. It’s a full-fledged golf training facility where you can go virtual golfing and get tips from pros before sidling up to the bar to try a few local beers and nab a bite to eat. They also offer private rooms for group golf-togethers. Ocean and Mission, Suite 101, Carmel. 250-7816, linksclubgolf.com.
BUN FUN… Marina couple Iris and Ryan Rosten have introduced something unique to Monterey County, making panden and ube buns – technicolor dessert buns originating from Southeast Asia. They make the buns under the name Irube and sell them by the half-dozen starting at $10. Order at instagram.com/Irube831—but you'll have to wait a few weeks. They announced April 8 they're taking off the rest of the month of April, but check back in May.
COOKIE CRUMBLE… Monterey is known for good Italian food, but Tutto Buono Eataliano may have a trump card (too soon?): They bake their biscotti fresh in-house. The crunchy cookies are great for dipping in a doppio espresso. Also, try one of their flatbread sandwiches filled to the brim with Italian delights like the chicken Milanese, or the Providenza with roasted eggplant, goat cheese and tomato-basil sauce. 598 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. 920-1940.
WOMEN WHO BREW… Brew-n-Krew Ale House in Salinas has teamed up with Fruition Brewing and Brew Cruz to make Pink Boots unfiltered extra pale ale. For every can sold, a dollar goes to the nonprofit Pink Boots Society which supports women working in the brewing industry. Get some at Fruition Brewing, 918 East Lake Village, Watsonville; and read more at Chill this week
COLOR CODED… The restaurant industry is keeping up with the latest in Monterey County’s reopening status, currently the Orange Tier (50-percent capacity indoors). That’s as of April 7, meaning a doubling of allowable indoor seating is now in effect. Keep up at covid19.ca.gov.