#LocalFoodieFriday: The Champagnery
If there’s one thing in life that I absolutely love, it’s being fancier than I actually am. If you ever need a friend to dress up with you and pretend that we’re heirs to some kind of fortune, I’m your guy! I also love all kinds of food, and all kinds of experiences. So while you may find me at a small ethnic eatery like 4 Seasons or Vietnam Kitchen nine times out of ten, if someone invites me to a high-class establishment like The Champagnery, I won’t say no! (After consulting my bank account and having a stern talk with myself about saving money in the future, of course.)
And so it was that I found myself at The Champagnery one night, celebrating two birthdays and one new job amongst my friends. A triple celebration is reason enough to drop some money on bubbly and small plates, right? I went into the experience with high hopes, as the concept was such a novel idea to me and my bourbon-obsessed city. A bar specializing entirely in champagne? With a focus on art? Is it possible to design a whole concept around a drink that most people only have on special occasions?
It turns out that not only is it possible, it makes for a refreshing respite from all of the bourbon-focused discussion that we have in Louisville. Going to The Champagnery is a full-fledged experience. The décor is modern and upscale, and sends the message that you’re in a place that is serious about its craft. The seating is arranged in a comfortable way that encourages conversation among small groups of friends – if you have a larger party, you can reserve one of their spaces that can accommodate more people. The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about what they serve. Our waiter helped the indecisive members of our group by listening to their tastes and recommending champagnes that might accommodate them. It’s safe to say that when you’re here, you’re in good hands!
While you can certainly go for a full flute of whatever suits your fancy, I have never been one to keep my options limited. I want my whole life to be a buffet, in which I can taste everything on offer (and avoid having to make a decision, of course). Therefore, whenever there is a flight option, I take it. Beer? Classic flight for me. Ice cream? A flight of that is man’s greatest invention. A flight of champagne? The Champagnery is talking my language. Not only do they have a flight on the menu, the have several – and they’re all themed. I chose the Old World flight, which was a selection of bubbly wines from Europe. You can also choose classic champagne, champagne prestige, rosé, and other themed flights. I love when my options aren’t limited, and The Champagnery kept them wide open with these flights!
If champagne isn’t your thing, don’t worry: the options continue with a selection of still wine, beer, and craft cocktails. They can even make some of their cocktails non-alcoholic to cater to sober members of your group, if you’re nice and give them some time. These cocktails are not to be missed. Not only were the options on the main menu fantastic (try the Airmail and thank me later), they had a special seasonal menu featuring flavors that complemented the season. We went when it was still cold outside, so think apples, cinnamon, and cloves as driving flavor profiles. I can’t wait to go back and see what they’ve thought up for spring!
With all of the great choices they have to drink, you’re going to want something to nibble on as well. The Champagnery has you covered with tempting small plates, both savory and sweet. My personal favorite was the bread and olive oil, because I’m all about carbs and the bread is baked fresh by nearby Blue Dog Bakery. But the sweet options, such as chocolate-covered strawberries or champagne cake, are not to be ignored! All of the small plates pair well with some of the wines that are on offer – ask your server for help if you’re looking for your perfect pairing.
While I may not always have the time or money for a nice night out with my friends, I absolutely love getting the chance to celebrate special occasions in a special kind of place. The Champagnery reflects its name well. It’s effervescent, yet refined; crisp, but indulgent. When you walk in, you know that you are going to have an enjoyable time with good food, good company, good service, and good drinks. Next time you’re looking for an excuse to have a celebration – or just looking for an upscale place to catch up with someone – make sure to drop by The Champagnery and get a taste of the bubbly side of life!