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Order champagne to toast before or after placing meal orders?

For my bf's birthday, I'd like to start off with a standard champagne toast. Do I request the glasses of champagne when the waiter first comes to our table/gives us our menus, so that once we place our orders for food/wine and take the menus away, they can subsequently bring us the champagne to drink while we wait for our first course/first glasses of wine? Or is that too hasty, and should I just wait to request the champagne at the same time that we order everything else?

I know I sound a little compulsive but I rarely ever am "in charge" when fine dining, and I unfortunately never paid much attention to these little details to rely on my past experiences! I would just like everything to go as smoothly and timely as possible!

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Bouley
163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. here's an idea - how about arranging it ahead of time? call the restaurant and tell them what you're planning, and ask them to have someone bring over the champagne as soon as you're seated. that way you can kick off the evening with the toast and have an intimate moment together before you get caught up in menus, ordering food and discussing the wine with the sommelier.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Absolutely. Check the wine list on line and call to make sure a note is made on your reservation.

    2. You simply order two glasses of champagne when your waiter first comes to the table.

      1. I would order it after a succinct look at the available Champagnes, but before looking at the menu and placing food orders.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jaykayen

          It looks like I'll have to look at the menu first - Bouley apparently doesn't distribute its wine list online or through fax. And I would really rather not request champagne beforehand if they're going to give me an incredibly expensive one without my say!

          1. re: stah00

            They won't fax you their winelist? That's odd.

        2. I did something similar years ago. So, I called ahead to the restaurant and ordered a half bottle of champagne for the waiter to bring when we sat down at the table. Made a toast, drank it all, and then ordered wine with dinner..... he was very impressed

          3 Replies
          1. re: taboo

            Did you specify the champagne you wanted or talk to the sommelier over the phone? I'd love to do the same but I'm on a budget and don't want them to surprise me with an unaffordable bottle!

            1. re: stah00

              since you can't get it online or by FAX, if you have time, you could stop into the restaurant beforehand and pick one out. if you definitely just want to have the toast before the menus get going...

              1. re: stah00

                I looked at the wine list a day before and picked out the bottles. I called the manager and told him what I wanted to do. He was very accomodating.

            2. Order champage before you order food.

              It usually goes that way,

              - you get seated.
              - people are offered menus (wine and/or food).
              - waiter ask if you want a drink before ordering food or you tell him : "we will have - champagne to start".
              - you look at the wine list, get the champagne, toast/drink it while choosing and ordering the food. (normally a good waiter will at least wait until the toast is made and people start to drink and settle down).
              - eat, drink and be merry!

              M

              1 Reply
              1. re: Maximilien

                This is the perfect solution if you are not going to order the Champagne ahead of time. Either way, you should enjoy the bottle and conversation before even thinking about looking at the menu. Enjoy the special occasion on your terms. Have fun!