I must be in the “way back machine” from my childhood, as I have been thinking of some of the old restaurants that used to cater to “foodies” before there was “foodies.” I guess I just happened to discover wine and food at the right time, before it became an arm and a leg to go out on a date, even though it was still expensive as a student, but I guess a good time was worth an extravagance now and then. There used to be a restaurant called Bijou and it was rather campy even then. There was a neon nude depicted over the bar, and there were move star portraits on the walls. After all, when you are called the Bijou what else would the theme be?
I remember having an avocado and crabmeat appetizer, and this may have been the start of my favoring this, at the time, exotic green plant, which was far out of the realm of my customary dishes. The other dish I remember having there was a chicken dish, but it was served with a Champagne Sauce with grapes. Now up to that time, I had been raised on roasted chicken, barbequed chicken and even boiled chicken (when there was chicken soup being made); so when I saw this dish, it intrigued me and I had to forgo my customary red meat entrée that I was so accustomed to. Even though I thought I was adventurous, I discovered afterwards that I thought this dish was a little sweeter then I had anticipated, but when I had limited knowledge of food that is to be expected at times.
I also had a bottle of Champagne for dinner, as I thought it was the proper wine to go with the entrée. The bottle that I had was a non-vintage Ruinart Pere & Fils from Reims in the Champagne district. Legend has it, that it was the first actual Champagne house though it was originally in Epernay and then they moved to Reims. Their classic brut wine is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes. I have often read and heard that the public likes a “Brut” designation, but the houses make it a little sweeter especially for their classic non-vintage wines that they try to maintain a “taste” year after year after year. Whether this is true or not, it makes a great conversation while having a flute of Champagne, or maybe more.