The Best Champagne Pairings
"We created this dish as an homage to Jay-Z. He inspires us," says Mario Carbone about the rapper and cofounder of the Roc-A-Fella record label. "The original dish was named for John D. Rockefeller. He was money back then, and to us, Jay-Z is money in New York City now." Carbone tops the oysters with a tangy vinegar-shallot mignonette, plus a Champagne-infused foam and frozen Champagne grapes.
Pairing: NV Moët & Chandon Impérial
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Grapefruit Glaze
Simply prepared yet special, these chicken breasts are grilled and basted with a bitter, tart, and sweet glaze.
Pairing: NV Pol Roger Brut Réserve
Poached Eggs with Parmesan and Smoked Salmon Toasts
Dipping a crispy toast finger (the French call it a mouillette) in a soft egg yolk has to be one of life's great pleasures. "When I was a kid, I loved it," says Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Evidently, he's still fond of it because he has created an adult version that's elegant enough to serve as a first course at a dinner party: He wraps smoked salmon around half of the toasts and sprinkles the rest with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, so it melts and forms a salty crust when baked.
Pairing: 1998 Krug Brut
Chilled Peach Soup with Fresh Goat Cheese
Chef Jason Franey makes this sweet and tangy summer soup by marinating fresh peaches overnight with dried apricots, honey, vinegar and olive oil and then pureeing the mixture. Since peaches can vary in flavor, Franey suggests seasoning with vinegar to taste as you puree.
Pairing: NV Taittinger la Française
To intensify the flavor of boiled beets and form a rich glaze, chef David Hawksworth cooks them a second time in sherry vinegar and sugar.
Pairing: NV Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé
Hush Puppies with Remoulade
F&W's Emily Kaiser created these crispy hush puppies—cornmeal dumplings—by adapting a recipe from chef Susan McCreight Lindeborg. Emily serves them with a version of the creamy French sauce remoulade, which she spikes with Tabasco and a little ketchup.
Pairing: NV Laurent-Perrier Brut LP
Sriracha-and-Wasabi Deviled Eggs
Joanne Chang's mother used to make hard-boiled eggs for dinner: She would add them to the beef or chicken she was braising in soy. This is Joanne's riff on those eggs, made spicy with hot sauce and wasabi.
Pairing: NV Bollinger Special Cuvée
Mustard-Glazed Black Cod with Fingerlings and Chive Puree
Chef Jason Franey uses small Yukon Gold potatoes in this dish, but sliced fingerlings are great, too.
Pairing: NV Charles Heidsieck Brut
Inspired by the classic combination of bagels with lox and cream cheese, Tory Miller devised this variation using smoked, locally raised trout and homemade English muffins. It would be equally good on other breads, such as a baguette, or even the bagel that inspired it.
Pairing: 2002 Dom Pérignon
Crispy Udon Noodles with Nori Salt
Inspired by a snack served at Japanese restaurants, Marcia Kiesel boils udon noodles until they are just al dente, then ties them into small bundles and quickly fries them in a shallow layer of vegetable oil. They are addictively crunchy.
Pairing: NV Veuve Clicquot Brut