POPS for Champagne in Chicago

“Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!”
Dom Perignon, at the moment I discovered champagne.

It was a day to celebrate love.  Allan, Brenna and I had attended our friend Qadree’s wedding.  After the touching ceremony, there was time for a little something before the suburban reception.  On Brenna’s recommendation, we popped into Pops for Champagne.

Brenna and I had a glass of light effervescent Ruinard Rose.  The sun was streaming in and hitting those dancing bubbles. I did not envision how entertaining it would be to watch those bubbles. It was a cirque du soleil performance! Allan ordered a full bodied glass of red “Chateau Jura-Plaisance 2000 Montagne St Emilion.”  I actually did not remember that, but wrote it down on the menu I took with me!  But a sip told me that it’s definitely okay to be a wine drinker at Pops.  If you are in the mood for beer, champagne cocktails (Bellini anyone?), Sake or Cognac – Pops can accommodate.



“I only drink Champagne…when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone.  When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it…unless I’m thirsty.”  Lily Bollinger “Quotation from Daily Mail” 17th of October 1961


Executive chef Andre Christopher has gone to great lengths to create a tantalizing menu of light fare to accompany any flute of the bubbly. We reviewed the chef’s summer menu.  Savory choices include something from the raw bar (Kobe style Beef Carpaccio, Kumamoto Oysters or Tuna Ceviche with avocado, mango and cilantro to name a few.)  On the recommendation of our “very personable” bartender, we tried the Spicy Tuna Roll with cucumber, shallot and wasabi mayo.  This was a party for my mouth!   I am sure they had a live tuna in the kitchen carved up and pared with fresh wasabi.  I am not a fan of chopsticks (I don’t want to have to work to eat), so I ignored that option.  The tuna plate was nicely presented and was just enough food to balance our drinks.

At Pops, you can also choose from a selection of bar plates (edamame, marcona almonds, or marinated olives.)  Their small plates selection includes King Crab Roll, Scallop Risotto, Asparagus Tempura or Baked Goat Cheese to name a few.  Move on and add a few cheese selections – some more than a little eclectic.  Choices include Bucherolle goat’s milk cheese from France, Blueberry Stilton from the UK, or Chatham Hudson Valley Camembert from New York, actually.

If your sweet tooth has been activated – try Strawberries and Chocolate, Vanilla-Sour Cream Cheese Cake or a Turtle Brownie Torte with candied orange, caramel sauce and pineapple.

As with Nomi – I think Pops is a great place to embark on or kindle romance.  If you and your date like Jazz – they offer live jazz five nights a week starting at 9 pm.  There is a modest cover and no reservations are taken for the jazz club.

So pop in for a little bubbly, tap your foot and have a nibble.





The Bellini cocktail is as refreshing as it is simple. And while a Bellini cocktail takes longer than the average cocktail to create, the results of a carefully followed frozen Bellini recipe far outweigh the work involved.

As a mixed drink, the Bellini is one of the more docile you’ll find. Yet docility and blandness should not be confused, as the flavor and aroma of fresh peaches in a Bellini cocktail put the senses into overdrive.


4 oz prosecco (Italian sparkling wine)

1 oz simple syrup

4 white peaches


Peel and puree the white peaches; mix nectar with simple syrup. Strain through coarse cheesecloth; refrigerate until chilled. Pour 1 ounce of puree into a frosted champagne flute; top with prosecco. Serve the Bellini cocktail in a flute glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Recipe courtesy of BAR TV


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