Fanciful Feasting at Cha Champagne Bar

Cha (810 Waugh - yes, it rhymes) is the kind of wine bar that makes even people who don't particularly enjoy wine like wine bars because it does a great job of being both fancy and laid back. It can be economical or extravagant.

They have excellent food and great wines all at reasonable prices and it isn't just champagne, but a good selection of reds and whites as well. I was thrilled when I found a gift certificate on idinedeals.com offering over $60 worth of food for only $30. It was a treasure trove of gourmet foods for two people including caviar, foie gras, assorted cheeses and dessert.

I went on a weekday night and the place had a nice crowd of well dressed young professionals. The staff at Cha was welcoming and delightful. I told them about my voucher and they immediately got to work preparing my feast. Jackie, the uber-helpful manager, helped me select a nice bottle of $25 Spanish Cuvee to pair with my food and it indeed was the perfect complement.

The first course was caviar, a delightful assortment of three different types of roe: paddlefish, caspian coral and avruga. It was colorful and beautifully plated with crème fraiche, pickled onions and flatbread.

Next, foie gras served with quince jam. The sweetness of the jam was perfect with the dense meatiness of the foie gras. We practically licked every morsel off the plate. Being a cheese lover, I was excited about the cheese plate and it did not disappoint. Four types of cheese, including a wonderful gouda and a double cream brie, were served alongside honey drizzled dried fruit, tangy olives and salty marcona almonds. My entire palate was happily awakened by the intense flavor combination.

For dessert, I chose a piece of chocolate flan cake over their new dessert, a summery peach bread pudding. Jackie had been kind enough to explain every dish to me and was honest enough to admit that the dessert was from The Chocolate Bar. I couldn't care less. It was decadently perfect ending to a fabulous meal.

Gift certificate or no, this is the perfect date night spot to relax with a nice bottle of wine and some excellent gourmet food. Try the Blanca flatbread pizza ($10) made simply with white truffle oil, sea salt and fresh mozzarella. It is truly mouthwatering.

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