Champagne on Wheels

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
May 27, 2008

Eleven Madison Park Restaurant
11 Madison Ave
@ 24th St
New York, NY 10010

For my pre-birthday lunch, my friend Alexa took me to Eleven Madison. I had noticed on my last visit that they were offering several champagnes by the glass. But this time, I discovered their champagne cart that the wait staff wheel around offering diners an apértif. The work of wine director John Ragan — formerly of San Francisco’s Campton Place (known for its champagne program) — the cart selection ranges from a 1998 Dom ($44) to the vastly popular NV rosé from Billecart-Salmon ($29).

The best surprise was a blanc de blancs by a producer I didn’t know: Claude Genet ($18). Minerally with layers of ripe yellow fruits, crisp and clean with a long finish, it comes from my choice village in the Côte des Blancs: Chouilly. We don’t see a lot of producers from this grand cru village available outside of France, especially not by the glass, but if you have a chance to taste my favorite, R. & L. Legras, don’t miss it!

What a superb pre-birthday lunch!

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