What kind of champagne does a celebrity chef like Wolfgang Puck who has a restaurant empire that includes the famous Spago in Beverly Hills drink? I had never given it much thought or for that matter eaten at Spago in Beverly Hills. Until Monday. And the experience didn’t disappoint in the least.
It was the kind of scene that one might imagine goes on every day at Spago. I walked in, looked to my right and there was actor Dennis Farina holding court at a prominent table on the patio. The hostess saw me to the table where friends Lana and Barbara aka The Luscious Ladies Who Lunch were ensconced; I look up and there’s Skeet Ulrich sitting opposite. And in the quiet booths in back along the kitchen, chef Wolfgang Puck sat eating with a friend.
After we polish off celery root agnolotti in black truffle sauce, lobster Cobb salad and Asian style flat-iron steak from Chef de Cuisine Lee Hefter’s menu and wonderful lemon sabayon and cheese cake by Sherry Yard, Chef Puck comes over to say hello. We talk about the neighborhood, his latest projects; I told him about my new champagne cocktail book The Bubbly Bar that comes out in August.
“I love champagne,” Puck says with his characteristic grin.”My house champagne is Krug.” When I politely point out that I didn’t notice it on the Spago menu, he clarifies, “No, at my house!”
Puck explains that he stocks his home cellar with both Krug and the Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé — also one of my favorites. But now that his wife Gelila Assefa Puck has developed a taste for Krug, that’s all she drinks.
I wonder if the Pucks will be splurging this Valentine’s Day on the Krug Rosé half bottle, which comes in a gorgeous pearlized pink box with an interior embossed with curling silver vines. Like the Krug Grande Cuvée, the rosé has a unique richness that’s offset by notes of wild strawberry and spices. It’s just the sort of luxurious drink that romance deserves.