Stirred and Shaken

With its glittering mosaics and oversize artworks, the place looks like an art gallery when empty. Wedged into a corner of a red leatherette banquette, my date and I are doing dessert while supervising the closing ritual at La Griglia [2002 West Gray, (713)526-4700]. The chairs are all unoccupied, and somebody's pushing a broom as we sip our champagne cocktails and nibble at a slice of flourless chocolate cake. I want to stick a lit match in it and blow it out. It's my birthday.

La Griglia's champagne cocktail: After a wonderful bottle of Clicquot with dinner, we didn't want to switch to something else. But we didn't want to open another big bottle of champagne, either. So we ordered champagne cocktails, an excellent compromise. With a dash of bitters and some sugar, even inexpensive bar champagne tastes good. This is also a great alternative to mimosas, if you're looking for something to do with bubbly left over from New Year's.

1 teaspoon sugar
1 dash Angostura bitters
A cherry

Put the sugar in the bottom of a champagne flute. Add the bitters and fill the glass with champagne. Add the cherry. Serves one.


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