French Favorites - Cheese Tuesday November at L'espalier

Cheese Tuesday happens monthly at L'espalier, and it's one of my favorite nights of the month! Four courses paired with wine, and each course integrates cheese in some way. This month's theme was French Favorites, so all the cheeses and wines were from France.

Just sitting down at L'espalier feels like a treat; the table settings are gorgeous, and the rosemary focaccia bread will always be one of my favorites.

The first course was the 2011 Mikulski, Bourgogne Aligote, and this wound up being my favorite wine of the night. It was paired excellently with the Sparrow Arc Farms Waldoboro turnip and ginger bisque with Maine mussels. As always, the presentation was amazing, with the bisque being poured from a beautiful silver teapot on top of the mussels. So good.

I had seen L'espalier post about these eclairs filled with gruyere earlier this week, and definitely wanted to try one - and I was fortunate enough that they brought one out for everyone to try!

The second course was a 2009 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret, Chateauneuf-du-Pape paired with acorn squash ravioli with Perigord truffle and lobster American sauce. The Romanesco broccoli was wonderful!

A 2007 Chateau Haut-Monplaisir, "Prestige", Cahors was paired with roasted lamb tenderloin and garlic sausage and a tartiflette with Abbaye de Tamie for the third course. This was great; the lamb was cooked perfectly.

The final course is the L'espalier cheese sampler, paired with a 2010 Domaine de la Bergerie, "Clos de la Girardiere", Coteaux de Layon Rablay, a nice, sweet dessert wine.

Valencay, goat's milk cheese from the Loire Valley, very creamy.

Delice de Poitou, another goat's milk cheese, from Poitou.

Petit Agour, sheep milk cheese from Pays Basque.

Tomme Crayeuse, a cow's milk cheese from Savoie.

Petit Camembert au Calvados, another cow's milk cheese, this time from Normandy.

Brillat Savarin, a cow's milk cheese from Ile de France, one of my favorite cheeses of the night.

Comte (Petit Marcel, aged 15 months), Franche-Comte.

Maroille, a cow's milk cheese from Burgundy.

Delice de Jura, a cow's milk cheese from Jura, and another one of my favorites.

Roquefort, a sheep's milk cheese from Rouerge, full of flavor!

And to finish off the night, L'espalier's afternoon blend, one of the best teas I've ever had. As always, Cheese Tuesday is the best Tuesday of the month!


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