Champagne is the unequivocal celebratory drink! And, lets face it- during the not so celebratory times, a Champagne-filled flute, somehow makes everything better.
New York City is the one city in the world where you can find any kind of specialty. You like macaroons? There’s a bakery just for that. Are bagels your thing? You can find virtually any flavor at a specialty bagel shop. Amused with the science behind sex? There is a museum dedicated to that too! Is Bourbon your drink of choice? There are Bourbon bars galore. Cocktail bars? One on every street corner. But a space solely dedicated to the tasting, enjoyment and (education) of my favorite drink: Champagne? Genius!
Naturally, when I heard such a whimsical place existed, I knew I had to check it out. At Air’s Champagne Parlor, you can pop bottles from across the globe, without ever leaving their adorable spot in the West Village.
Air’s Champagne Parlor is dedicated to people like me, the ones that enjoy indulging in a glass of Champagne (or a bottle), nibbling on some perfectly paired bites and kicking back to great beats with even better conversation.
The charming salon is just like stepping into your shabby-chic girlfriend’s living room, and cozying up on her couch.And that’s exactly what 29-year-old New York native, Ariel Arce was going for when she created Air’s Champagne Lounge. Starting with the music, a nostalgic mix of funk, blues, jazz, disco (and I heard a little salsa in there too), to a dope Art Deco design. The place is decorated with white marble tabletops, palm trees and draped walls.
One last note on decor- I was obsessed with the bathroom wallpaper!
Ariel curated a Champagne and sparkling wine list that educates by offering background on Champagne, the wine and the region, while keeping things fun. She takes education seriously. If you don’t believe me, check out the first page of the menu:
Air’s features 125 Champagne and sparkling wines with 50 bottles under $50. Champagne is also offered by the glass, alongside a selection of cocktails, still wines and beer. But, CHAMPAGNE.
Are you adventurous? Air’s offers personalized flights. You’ll be asked a series of three questions and a flight of three Champagnes are selected based on your answers because, in Arce’s opinion, the type of Champagne you drink is a reflection of who you are. And, we agree. Obviously.
Air’s takes food seriously, as Arce understands that food is meant to complement Champagne and sparkling wine. You’ll find light bites including Oysters By The Half Dozen, served with cocktail mignonette and Meyer lemon, Hamachi Tartare with cucumber and oil and Garam Masala Scallops, seared and paired with snow peas, cilantro and yogurt. A Market Basket of farmer’s market summer vegetables comes with three vibrant dips (beet tahini, carrot romesco, nettle labneh) while a Tuna Conserva poached in olive oil is served in a tin with fennel salad and bitter greens. Three tiers of caviar (Roe, Grinnell, American Sturgeon) are offered by the half-ounce (at a very affordable price) and presented in a cloche with smoked crème fraîche and house made chive potato chips. Cheese is given special treatment, either baked in pastry (my favorite) and served warm, or served by the piece, chosen tableside from a seasonal selection presented from a cheese cart.
You’d think an evening sipping on bubbles would break the bank, right? Not so much. Air’s features Parlor Hour, every day from 5-7pm. Join fellow "Bubble Bosses" for a unique tasting that changes daily. 3 glasses of bubbly + Snacks = 30 bucks! During Parlor Hour, you’ll learn about the different types of champagne, depending on the day of the week. Tuesdays feature Rose, Wednesdays you’ll sample bubbles made by female winemakers (love that). On Thursdays, take a trip to Spain and sample the Spaniard’s best bubbles. Fridays feature bubbles from Italy, Saturday features a variety of unique grapes and Sundays are HOLY- of course. Stop in for DROPS OF GOD.
Arce is no stranger to the industry. She’s been passionate about Champagne for a long time! It started with a sip of Jacques Selosse while working at The Office, the speakeasy below the Aviary in Chicago, which led her to a position at Pops for Champagne, Chicago’s premier destination for sparkling wine and the oldest family operated Champagne bar in America. During her two-year tenure at Pops she was able to study and taste a broad range of Champagnes and sparkling wines under the tutelage of Beverage Director, Craig Cooper, and began the first of many pilgrimages to the region of Champagne where, over the past five years, she has established close relationships with growers and producers. My favorite part? Ariel is working her hustle. She ‘s always there, making sure everyone is enjoying their bubbles, in fact- she personally walked us through each flight. She is definitely a BUBBLES BOSS BABE!
What's your fav spot to sip some bubbly? Leave us a comment below- and Santé!