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nibbles for champagne ideas needed

I would like to start my dinner party tonight with champagne and would like to serve a few light nibbles to go with the bubbles.

I am not really a smoked salmon lover so that is out. One of my guests does not like foie gras so that is out (which is really a shame as I just returned from Gascony and have some in the fridge). I am a bit tired of the ubiquitous cashews and flute that you see here.

So I need some inspiration.... It should be something light as we have a full dinner and I want to keep them hungry.

The rest of my menu is as follows:

Starter of steamed asparagus with vinegarette
Main of potatoes roasted in goose fat with rosemary and garlic, cote de bouef, and medley of spring green vegetables with garlic sprouts.
Dessert will most likely be tarte tatin

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  1. raw oysters
    crunchy savory bread twists
    chilled crab or lobster

    1. Raw Oysters-try out Lucky Limes, Beausoleil, or Kumamoto- don't use tabasco or lemon

      Gougères- simply a 'pâte à choux' with Gruyère cheese added

      Home-made graavlax on mini toasts with creme fraiche

      Raw sliced scallops with vanilla infused oil

      Chicken liver mousse on brioche

      1 Reply
      1. re: hypomyces

        I vote for the Gougeres if you can serve them warm. I think fresh out of the oven is best.

      2. Why.... canapes with caviar, of course. Also, I don't see why your other guests should suffer because one doesn't eat foie gras. He/she can continue to not eat it while the other guests enjoy it....no problem.

        1. Great question!- one I'm facing myself for tomorrow's dinner. I need something simple (no baking, so gougeres are out). Do you all think little mini "cheese balls" with walnuts, parsley, dates and goat cheese would be too heavy for champagne? FWIW I'm actually serving a sparkling rose. Thanks!

          1 Reply
          1. re: mjhals

            Also...potato chips with smoked salmon and a dab of lemon zest creme fraiche.
            Homemade is great....but I've also used salt & pepper kettle chips.
            And I've served them a few times with sparkling rose.
            Also a thai crab salad on endive as well.

          2. a little crab salad on endive
            mini crab cakes
            homemade potato chip topped with a dab of creme frachie and caviar

            2 Replies
            1. re: LaLa

              All those sound just lovely. I have some tobiko (wasabi flavor) that I may just steal the idea of the potato chip. Already have the creme fraiche.

              1. re: c oliver

                Caution, c: use heavy-duty chips for this.....
                wonder how it would be with wasabi kettle chips? overkill? or no?

            2. While gougeres woud be wonderful, something light and quick that goes really well with Champagne is buttered popcorn.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jmnewel

                Especially if you use truffle butter or truffle salt or both.

              2. Pissaladière and champagne are a natural combination.

                3 Replies
                1. re: alanbarnes

                  Thank you for all of the lovely suggestions - while I absolutely love caviar and oysters they are not so easy to source around these parts (and very expensive when you do get them). And I do love pissaladière with champagne and it is a standard go-to for me. However, as I was serving tarte tatin for dessert I thought it would be a little overkill.

                  In the end I made croustni from some of the lovely bread from my favorite local bakery that was still poking around. I also had brought back duck rillettes from Gascony so those went out along with tapenade, sun dried tomato paste (from Pain Quotidienne for those of you who know this wonderful place) as well as a red pepper paste. A few fresh radishes and we were go!

                  1. re: marsprincess

                    I adore rillettes and the radishes were a terrific idea. Good thread.

                    1. re: marsprincess

                      Very nice ending, marsprincess. I'm glad your celebration was a good one, and much happy cooking to you. Oh, and? Your dinner menu was just a celebration in salivation! So beautiful!