Looking for a happy hour to start the weekend? Try this 4-star Sacramento gem

The $8 “market crostini” plate at The Waterboy, part of its new “patio plates” menu.
The $8 “market crostini” plate at The Waterboy, part of its new “patio plates” menu. Carla Meyer

In helping compile The Bee’s guide to high-end happy hours last year, my only regret was I could not include my all-time favorite Sacramento restaurant, The Waterboy, because it did not offer a happy hour at the time.

This has changed, at least to a degree. Waterboy is not explicitly saying “happy hour,” but from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, it offers a very happy-hour-like “patio plates” menu with $8-$12 small plates, $6 craft cocktails and an $8.50 glass of Domaine Poli Rosé.

This menu shows off the culinary prowess for which Waterboy’s is known as well as the restaurant’s newly refurbished patio. Dark wood now lines the perimeter, giving the space at the corner of 20th Street and Capitol Avenue a more intimate feel. New banquette seating enhances the cozy effect.

We thought the best deal on the special menu was the $8 “market crostini” plate, which holds toast with hearty yet refreshing herbed ricotta and intensely flavorful preserved tomato. Next time we visit, we will order Waterboy’s famous deviled eggs, available at $1.75 a pop on the patio menu.

In case a patio visit sounds daunting on this warm day, patio plates also are available inside at the bar. You might want to stay for dinner, since Waterboy drew The Bee’s highest rating of four stars when I reviewed it this past fall, in honor of its 20th anniversary.