The Best Thing I Drank All Week

Pat Bradley |

Okay, so I am borrowing from Zagat's "The Best Thing" for the title of my latest post--but it truly was the best thing I drank all week (or perhaps in two weeks)...



With all the recent buzz surrounding the newly-opened Piora, I thought it might be worth my while to pop in and give the place a try. My first visit was last week, when I was placed in charge of organizing some early birthday cocktails for a fellow colleague; I recommended Piora to which he readily and most eagerly agreed upon. Being the host, I simply could not arrive late and--alas--was the first to arrive for some time. Being that it would be my first meal of the day (this blogger likes to work at night), I was feeling somewhat "brunchy" and decided to begin with a cup of earl grey and a glass of champagne. (Piora does not serve tea, but the bartender was happy to acquiesce; how he procured my tea, I do not know.)

At first sip, the champagne was the best I'd ever tasted (even better than the Dom I'd tasted earlier this year). As friends and associates began to trickle in, we began tasting--one by one--nearly every cocktail on the menu. In my opinion, the winner was the "wear and tear" with rye, Aperol, chartreuse, vermouth and bitters. I ordered it for all the late-comers.

Finding myself with a free afternoon this week, I decided to make another trip to Piora for some more of that delectable champagne... Piora's "house" champagne is a non-vintage Vergnon "Conversation" grand cru champagne ($29/gl.). I'm not ashamed to say that I'd never heard of the champagne before, but I do love a good boutique wine every now and again. As I examined the bottle's labels (Shinya, the head bartender, was kind enough to allow me to snap some photos) I'd noticed that the champagne listed its disgorgement date on the rear (a recent trend in finer champagnes). More and more, it seemed like all signs were pointing to "Conversation" being quite the special bottle of wine. Perhaps you'll see me at Piora again during 'low tea.'