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Looking for casual dining in the city center? Take a break at Simon 7-84

Jackie and I joined another couple looking for a convenient place for a late-night snack and some drinks in a pleasant atmosphere. We weren’t interested in the usual loud bar scene, so we decided to give Simon 7-84 a try. It turned out to be a good choice.

Simon 7-84 is located, conveniently enough, at Simon Bolivar 7-84 and Luis Cordero, only a couple doors east of Parque Calderon. The restaurant and bar are in a good-sized courtyard, with ample seating and sufficient space to avoid feeling crowded. The décor is modern with clean lines, and there are several tables and a few booths. The four of us fit comfortably into a  booth that gave us a good view of the rest of the restaurant and bar. The ceiling was covered with fabric squares which muted the ambient noise, a welcome touch for us old gringos who were getting hard of hearing.

Most of the seating at Simon is in the central courtyard.

Several strategically placed heaters provided a whisper of warmth, just enough to chase away the night chill.

A well-stocked bar was on the south end of the courtyard, and supplied the usual array of adult beverages, though Simon is best known for their pisco sours. They also had more adventurous cocktails, such as a melon martini, which Jackie raved about. I stuck with the tried and true mojitos.

The menu is quite extensive and reasonably-priced, including several varieties of ceviche, homestyle soups, meat and vegetarian dishes,  sandwiches, crepes, and a plentiful selection of desserts. Coffee drinks are a specialty.

Drinks at Simon are potent and colorful.

The service was efficient and polite. Rather than ordering full meals from the dining room menu, we decided on the appetizer/tapas menu and were not disappointed. We ordered the “food for four” special, expensive at first blush ($26), but reasonable considering we were all satiated, yet not full.

Our platter consisted of fried shrimp coated with a tempura-like batter, some braised short ribs, a row of excellent hot wings and a reasonable serving of fries. All were delicious, and the hot wings were almost as good as the ones I make at home with honey and sriracha sauce. Not quite, but almost.

The only drawback was knowing I had to write Susan Burke March and promise to order vegetables next time.

All-in-all, we had a very enjoyable evening.

Simon’s is a fine choice for out-of-town guests to grab a simple, yet satisfactory bite between people-watching in Parque Calderon, or shopping in El Centro.
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Simon 7-84, Simon Bolivar 7-84 and Luis Cordero; Hours: Mon.- Wed. 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Major credit cards:  accepted; Notes: Restaurant is disabled accessible. Reviewer’s comment: Recommended.