New word: Champajama. The mashup is of our own making, in order to sum up the spirit of the New Yearâ€™s Day brunch party at R.M. Champagne Salon, a brick facade bar, hung with tea lights, in Chicagoâ€™s West Loop neighborhood. With brunch kicking off at 10 a.m., it seems only polite to permit attendees the option of arriving with bedhead and flannels (although to be clear, jimjams are not a mandatory dress code).
Thereâ€™s a lot to like about a salon that cleverly hangs gilded antique mirrors and framed photos of vestiges past and lights up the fireplace with dozens of candles. Because from what we know about champagne, the attitude could have gone in another direction completely. The list features roughly 16 bubblies by the glass, ranging from Cava and Prosecco to Sparklers and real-deal Champagnes, thereâ€™s always the celebratory sound of a cork popping. The other part of R.M. thatâ€™s easy to fall for is the food. Itâ€™s so well paired that youâ€™re not sure which idea came first, the deep champagne list or the down-to-earth fancy foods such as lobster deviled eggs, steamed mussels in Pernod, wild-mushroom flatbread and steak frites. And, for one second, if you think champagne is a magnet for snotty maitre dâ€™s, equally crabby patrons, and age-old traditions, stop thinking and hoof it to Tuesdayâ€™s $1 oyster happy hour (from 5 till 8) or come out when thereâ€™s a DJ spinning indie tunes. Itâ€™s not the easiest bar to locate but Gwen Stefani had no problem.
Photos courtesy R.M. Champagne Salon