Before the booty-shaking gets into gear, Easton's trendy nightclub relaxes with discounted cocktails and apps

Before the booty-shaking gets into gear, Easton's trendy nightclub relaxes with discounted cocktails and apps

Taking a detour for afternoon cocktails is one of the great guilty pleasures of shopping at the mall. Actually, it may be the only pleasure of shopping at the mall. Fortunately for weary Easton patrons, Martini Park starts shaking up discounted drinks at 4 p.m. - even on Saturdays!

Martini Park is a big place, with three separate sipping areas: The cushy round room, a dance floor bar beneath the stage, and another large bar area that opens onto the patio.

During happy hour, the otherwise high-energy club is a nice place to chill out. We sat at the patio bar and enjoyed chatting with the friendly bartender. (We were also mesmerized by the translucent lighted bar top, but that was after the first round of generous pours.)

The Booze:

The $5 cocktail list (about $4 cheaper than regular prices) features old faves like a gimlet and a mojito and newer flavors like the Strawberry Basil Martini.

The New "Old Fashioned," made with mandarin vodka, cherries and oranges, was a little too sweet to carry that classic moniker. It's OK, but more like an orangey mai tai.

Much better was the Cucumber Martini, made with cuke-infused vodka, cucumber essence and fresh lime. This was a true joy, crisp and refreshing with a kick of real cucumber flavor. It tasted like a picnic in a spring garden that's been fertilized with liquor.

The Food:

The app lineup ranges from bar fare like bacony kettle chips to the more substantial trio of fancy sliders.

We tried the Goat Cheese Fritters ($4), four golf-ball-sized bites attractively plated as a pyramid of golden-fried dairy delights. A crisp panko crust cuddled the salty, creamy cheese, while a bed of sauteed onions added some pleasantly crunchy sweetness. Perfect for soaking up a little afternoon vodka at the mall.