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Friday, October 28, 2011

Celebrating Champagne Day

Friday was International Champagne Day!

Last night I'd gone to my first ever pumpkin-carving party. I arrived with three bottles of bubbly in tow, but didn't know that I was supposed to arrive with a pumpkin (as well). Luckily, my dear friend, Karen, came to the rescue and walked the pair of us to a local deli where we picked out two impromptu pumpkins.

Bushwickian Jack-o'-Lanterns

DANNY suitably arrived with a bottle of Moët; unbeknownst to us, in less than three hours it would be National Champagne Day! The following day, I decided I just had to meet up with Danny for (at least) a fluteful of bubbly. Being in midtown already, I texted him to meet me at The Plaza Food Hall. (ristotto tater tots and a glassful of sparkling did sound quite nice!)

sparkling rosé at The Plaza Food Hall

Somewhat taken aback by the Food Hall's $28 price tag for a bona fide glass of champagne, I allowed Danny to select a bottle. He chose Poema, brut rosé cava. (about $45) Now I'm usually not a fan of sparkling rosés, but this one managed to tickle my fancy: clean and crisp as a sparkling white; fruity on the the nose, but not too heavy on the palate.

perhaps the only sparkling rosé I'll spring for

For "brunch" (it was my first meal of the day), I decided to try two things I'd never before had at the Food Hall: grilled chorizo and brandade fritters. ($24 for the pair)

- click to enlarge -

I tasted the fritters first. Pleasant enough and quite different than I'd expected. (I think I was expecting more cod taste, but instead ended up with more fried taste) Next, I tried the grilled chorizo with cippolini onions and a salsa verde-topped crostino. The chorizo, as well, was tasty enough and quite filling. I don't recommend ordering it along with a heavy entrée--I think what I'd selected made for a near-perfect meal.

Plaza Food Hall's pumpkin cheesecake

With Halloween just three days away and our settings aptly decorated with pumpkins, how could we not end our meal with a slice of pumpkin cheesecake to share? (I'd never been that much of cheesecake fan, but in accordance with my server's suggestion, I'd enjoyed this slice on a previous visit) When our server came around for his final check in, I'd told him that that would be all, unless he had any special offerings for "Champagne Day." Shortly thereafter, he returned with two glasses of bubbly, 'on the house.' It never can hurt to ask!
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