HAPPY hour has always been popular in the United States and it is comforting to know the pleasurable ritual is currently catching on in Hong Kong, with two for the price of one drinks now being poured all over town. From time to time I'll keep you posted on participating establishments. Cheers. And cheers again! The Jump (Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay) 5-8 pm daily. Harry Ramsden's (Queen's Road East, Wan Chai) 4-7 pm daily. La Rose Noire (Pacific Place) 5.30-7.30 pm and 10-11 pm daily. Spanish Wok (Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui) 3-7 pm daily. Tables 88 (Stanley) 4.30-7 pm Monday-Friday. Park Inn (in Hong Kong Park) 3-7 pm and 9-10.30 pm daily. California (Lan Kwai Fong) 5-8 pm daily. FOR a taste of Italy that's closer to home, just take the jetfoil to Macau. There you can sample the modern Italian fare at the Mandarin Oriental's snazzy new Mezzaluna (named after an Italian kitchen utensil in the shape of a half moon). Chic, airy with an open show kitchen, soporific water views and stylishly garbed waiters, Mezzaluna will wine you with the best of regional Italian reds and whites and dine you with designer pizzas, succulent char-grilled specialities, lots of fresh greens with lashings ofbalsamic vinegar and liberal use of garden-fresh aromatic herbs. To book, call 567-888. Or perhaps you prefer dining al fresco on more traditional peasant-style cooking? You'll find what you're after on the water's edge on Coloane at Luca Marchetti's authentic Ristorante La Torre. Generous portions of homemade pasta dishes, thick slices of wild boar, and drizzles of truffle oil are only a tantalising hint of what's in store. Call for directions and reservations on 880-156. IF YOU have sampled roasted peppers in a restaurant, you were probably captivated by their soft, velvety texture and tartly sweet flavour. Well, it's easy to impress friends at your next dinner party with this colourful Mediterranean veg. Place red or yellow whole peppers on a broiler rack, as close to the flame as possible. Rotate every five minutes until all sides are totally black and charred. Place peppers in a Baggie and seal. Fifteen minutes later, the outer black peel will slip right off. Discard tops and seeds, put peppers in a shallow bowl (retaining as much of the juice as possible) and slice lengthways into four. Drizzle over with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with oregano before serving. DON'T make the trip specially, but if you're going to one of the following places, don't miss out on these: the crisply crunchy perfectly produced Caesar at China Max (Times Square, Causeway Bay); the slow-baked tart with homemade mascarpone at the Mediterranean Bacchus (Wan Chai); the yummy cheese polenta at Nicholini's at the Conrad (Pacific Place); the sensational wide noodles with chicken and basil either at the Chili Club (Wan Chai) or the Shek O Thai (in Shek O village); the different but idyllic extra dry Martinis at Jimmy's Kitchen (Central) and The Ritz Bar (third floor at the Ritz-Carlton); the huge textbook-perfect Bloody Marys complete with prawn at Dan Ryan's (Pacific Place and Ocean Terminal, Kowloon); the luscious little caviar-filled cones atthe Chinnery Bar (the Mandarin Oriental); and the paper-thin, sesame-seeded cracker-bread at the Harbourside (Regent Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui).