We are the first patrons on a Wednesday night at Ouisie's Table [3939 San Felipe, (713)528-2264]. Our seats at the shiny stainless-steel bar face a well-lighted oil painting of a nude girl -- or is she a midget? This question is debated at length over an excellent happy-hour feast of chunky house pâté, crunchy cornichons and bellini martinis. My girlfriend observes that the nude girl's legs seem to taper oddly at the knees. Perhaps the model was a dwarf? I see a prurient gleam in her expression, but I keep my opinion to myself; I have trouble pronouncing "prurient" even when I'm not drinking.
Ouisie's Table's bellini martini: This is a much simplified version of the often overwrought Italian champagne cocktail. It has a crisp flavor and a pleasant effervescence. Of course it tastes best with the highest-quality champagne you can afford.
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1 shot Grey Goose vodka
Dash of DeKuyper peach schnapps
1 shot Veuve Clicquot
Orange Label champagne
In a shaker with a half-cup of ice, mix the vodka and peach schnapps and shake to blend well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Add the champagne. Drop in the cherry. Makes one.