Editors' pick

Champagne Happy Hour

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Editorial Review

Happy Hour of the Week: Champagne and a sharp object
By - Fritz Hahn
Friday, Nov 18, 2011

The perfect end-of-the-workday happy hour should always include champagne. But swords? That's something you don't see every day - unless you hang out in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel.

Every day at 6 p.m., wine director Brent Kroll wheels a champagne cart out of Adour restaurant and into the opulent lobby. He plays four notes on a small xylophone, welcomes all the guests, reaches into a wooden box and removes a small saber. He holds a bottle of champagne in one hand, the sword in the other, and with a hard thwack, the champagne bottle is cleanly decapitated; the top of the bottle's neck flies across the room, cork intact.

Then Kroll, as cool as you please, moves around the room and pours free champagne from the freshly opened bottle for the assembled viewers.

You never know what you're going to get; On a recent Friday, it was a delicious dry sparkling wine from Pfalz, in Germany.

It's free. And you just watched a guy open a bottle of champagne with a sword. Win-win all around.