For some people, nothing says brunch like a bloody Mary. However, that’s not true in Paris, where bartender Frank Meier supposedly created the mimosa at the Hotel Ritz in 1925, combining equal parts Champagne and orange juice. That’s also not true at restaurants that only carry beer and wine licenses, like Cooks County. One of my favorite L.A. restaurants features the collective talents of Daniel Mattern and Roxana Jullapat in the kitchen, and vaunted wine professional Claudio Blotta out front. Blotta doesn’t typically stick to a tattered script. After all, he’s one of the first people to turn me on to lesser known Croatian and Slovenian wines. He also doesn’t use classic Champagne when prescribing a Mimosa.
At Cooks County, their Mimosa ($12) contains fresh orange juice and Bartolotti prosecco, a dry sparkling wine from Umberto Bortolotti Winery, which the man on the label founded in Valdobbiadene, a small town in the Italian province of Treviso, in 1947. Believe me, after taking a single sip, you won’t question the choice of Italian bubbly in a classic French beverage.