First off: just know we're happy that we never have to go to Monte Carlo again. We salute the maiden voyage of Noche -- the newest player on the Tabard date party block.

Not a newcomer on the Philly restaurant circuit, owner Avram Hornik is the proud founder of Lucy's Hat Shop, SoMa and Loie. The first thing you'll notice as you mount Noche's stairs (above the Snow White Market) are the unfortunate remains of oversized livestock carpeting the walls. Don't worry about it, it's the new shag rug. Just ask Mr. Ed. You won't be disappointed once you get inside -- there are more hides to follow, in addition to uberhip lighting, a pool table and (hooray!) a cigarette machine. Lookin' to dance? The juke box stocks Beyonce for the bootylicious and Modest Mouse for the mod-in-training.

So pizza didn't come from Latin America, but we're not complaining -- the Ayo Y Chorizo ($9), featuring two types of sausage, is enough to make anyone scream "Ole!" And yes, we know tapas are a must for any hipster eatery, but Noche keeps it simple with fantastic empanadas ($8 for three) and salads ($7-8). And let's face it: everyone loves saying "empanadas."

Not so comfortable pronouncing empanadas? Try a caiparhina or a batida, and then try walking home in a straight line. Happy hour is from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will satisfy your addiction and your sweet tooth. Each caiparhina's got at least a cane of sugar, which conveniently masks the handle of Cachaca 51, a Brazillian rum featured in each drink.

We know you're all looking to warm up and get laid, so why not just head down to Noche? You'll feel like you're in Rio, minus the prostitutes and vaginal plastic surgery.


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