This week, critic Helen Freund pops into Effervence, the marble-laden, sparkling wine house on Rampart serving bubbles (over 17 bubbles by the glass) and small plates. Though it’s primarily a Champagne bar, it isn’t limited to wine bubbles. Decent selections of beer, liquor, and other wines dot the menu.
Freund marvels at the tasteful decor — marble countertops, dim lighting, tall ceilings, and crown molding. The “the attention to detail is striking. The Champagne theme extends beyond the drink list, from the cork menu design to the napkin holders — featuring a muselet, the wire cage that holds a cork on a bottle of sparkling wine.”
The tiny kitchen, led by chefs Evan Ingram and Brenna Sanders, puts out carefully considered small plates (something the critic would like more of). Castelvetrano olive oil laces popcorn. Caviar ranges from $35 (Cajun bowfin) to $95 and comes with “spicy” potato chips, creme fraiche, and chives. There is creamy cheese from Burgundy and a “standout” salad of “sweet heirloom tomato pieces served with avocado on a bed of lemony and lighter-than-air sheep's milk feta,” topped with “crispy sprouted lentils, sorrel leaves, and a bright yuzu dashi vinaigrette.” Freund also enjoys what seems “like a deconstructed beef Wellington but smarter.” [GAMBIT]