It's Balthazar's birthday today and like the good friend we are, we dropped by. Well, like an acquaintance, really, we crashed the party, assured that our presence would be much appreciated. To celebrate his baby turning 10, Kieth McNally is giving away free champagne. a fact that all but ensured that the place would be fully booked through the day into the night and stuffed with tipsy giddy diners.

Indeed by 1 pm, any visitors seeking shelter from the sweltering midday heat were assaulted by great waves of noise and an onslaught of good cheer. A small bevy of black-clad McNally hostesses manned the maitre d' station, one clutching a unopened bottle of Champagne Gardet Premier Cru in her graceful fingers. Champagne corks popping rapped a joyous tattoo. As of press time, no one had been injured.

As the day progresses, one must assume the level of revelry will as increase, crescendoing with a delirious bacchanal unseen since the time of Euripides' tragic mad celebration at the temple of Demeter at Eleusis. The suffused light filtering through the windows illuminated the coruscating champagne flutes. I am a little drunk. The tintinnabulations of glasses clinking and laughter ringing rose into a roar. Okay more than a little. One could have been in the Goncourts' Paris or Isherwood's Berlin but let's hope this party ends better, or better yet, never ends at all.—Josh