When Eric Chiappinelli and Amanda Hale found out their favorite bar in Chicago—Pops for Champagne—had been sold, the sparkling wine enthusiasts were inspired to uncork their own. Coupes, a bar dedicated to bubbly, quietly opened in December on Oak Lawn at The Shops of Highland Park.
“So many people in Dallas are so cosmopolitan,” says Chiappinelli, a law professor at Texas Tech. (Hale, his co-owner, is an oil and gas lawyer in Dallas.) “They travel; they’re sophisticated. They like things that are French. They like things that are international.”
Dallas-based Coevál Studio and Autumn Cooper Interiors outfitted Coupes with millennial pink loungers, baby blue accent chairs, and brushed gold decor. The debut food menu, created in consultation with French chef Bruno Davaillon (formerly creative adviser of Bullion and currently chef-partner of Knox Bistro), includes foie gras and gougères filled with Gruyère crème. They pair perfectly with a glass of bubbles, of which Coupes is not in short supply.
Offerings include 15 Champagnes and sparkling wines by the glass and 50 labels by the half or full bottle, including Perrier-Jouët and Veuve Clicquot. A menu of signature cocktails is also available. Chiappinelli says he enjoys a glass of the Perrier-Jouët—a light, everyday Champagne—or Egly-Ouriet for something a little higher end. Hale prefers Lanson Green Label, a biodynamic Champagne made with organically farmed grapes.
Although most people find that popping a bottle or two is reserved for celebrations, Chiappinelli naturally disagrees. “If you want to meet friends and catch up, having a bottle of Champagne is perfect,” he says. “If you want to come and indulge yourself over a glass or two or a half bottle, you can do that, too. That’s what we’re about.”
What are the bubbles you’re drinking called? It depends on where the bottle is from.
Champagne is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, which means it is a controlled designation of origin that only applies to sparkling wines from the Champagne region in northeast France. Sparkling wines from Italy are spumante; from Germany they are sekt; from Spain they are cava; and from California they are, well, sparkling wines. The Champagne label lets you know the level of sweetness: brut is bone dry to almost dry, with less than 1.5 percent sugar; extra sec or extra dry is a smidge sweeter; sec is medium sweet with 1.7 to 3.5 percent sugar; demi-sec bumps it up to as much as 5 percent sugar; and doux is basically a drinkable dessert.
This story originally appeared in the March issue of D Magazine with the headline, “Raise a Glass!” Write to [email protected].