Friday, September 3, 2010

Cheese Please

I'm sharing a lot of my favorites things, but what is a blog if you can't tell people about what you love. And I love cheese. Not the gross romantic kind of cheese where you rub your noses together while grinning and staring deeply into each others eyes. I mean cheese, the delicious "milk-based food product". I didn't always love cheese the way I love cheese now. I used to be an "only if it is orange" cheese eater. I slowly grew into a swiss fan (which is very mild) and in just the last 5 years have decided I love all cheeses. The moldier and stronger the better. Despite my love for all things cheese—I HATE ricotta cheese. Often used in lasagna or manicotti, ricotta cheese has a grainy texture I can't stand. But after that I don't think I have met a cheese I didn't at least enjoy a little.

Lately, I have been even more crazed. I called up my friend a week ago to go to dinner just so I could order the cheese platter. The funny part was that I didn't know that she didn't like cheese until after we arrived. Don't worry, I finished the entire platter on my own. Just a few nights ago I went out with friends and ordered another cheese platter. This platter was much less enjoyable (although the cheeses were still good). So here I am writing about these 2 cheese platters and what I liked and didn't like and offering you my recommendations on where to go for a good cheese platter.

A Winner
Wild Grape

Cost: Market (which was $14)
Cheese: Beehive Espresso Lavender Cheddar, Point Reyes Bleu Cheese,
Baby Bleu Swiss, Goat Cheese rolled in Pistachio

Why It Won?! You get a lot of great cheese for your money—four types of cheeses with healthy portions. And it is good cheese. My personal favorite was the Pistachio Goat Cheese. A variety of fruits including strawberries, grapes, prunes and apple finish the plate. Soft bread was served with it which I prefer to crackers or hard crunchy bread that might as well be a cracker. A must get appetizer in my humble cheese loving opinion.

A Non-winner

Cost: Market (which was $14)
Cheese: Honey Glazed White Cheddar, Brie, Bleu Cheese (drizzled with balsamic vinegar)

No Dice. Although the cheese were good there was little of it and nothing exciting about the variety. We shared it between two people (it wouldn't go much beyond that if you both like cheese). The plate was huge, but there was very little on there. You could tell their focus was on presentation. I loved the thinly sliced apples, but the bowl of grapes was cheesy (the bad kind of cheese) and extinguished any appeal of the presentation.
The cheese was served with only a few baked slices of baguette bread. It was very tough to eat and I was self conscious of how much noise my crunching was making.
Maybe I am not used to the small servings that are common at fine dinning restaurants, but I expected to have my taste buds wowed for a $14 appetizer. Good, but I'd pass the cheese platter in favor of trying a different dish.