Cheese Tuesday at L'Espalier - Home for the Holidays

Cheese Tuesday in December is always about sharing family traditions. Last Tuesday, everyone eating at L'Espalier was able to share in the culinary traditions of several staff members. 

The night started off wonderfully, as always, with pretzel bread and a fresh roll. Excellent service and attention to detail, of course!

The first course of the night was a classic Italian dish, La Vigilia, the Feast of the Seven Fishes. It had lobster, scallop, monkfish, mussels, baccalá, stuffed squid, and fried sardine. This mini-feast was paired with a nice light Brut, NV Canard-Duchêne "Cuvée Léonie" from Champagne. 

Another traditional Italian dish was up for course two: Judy's baked stuffed shells with spinach and San Marzano tomatoes. These delicious shells were paired with 2011 Travaglini Nebbiolo from Coste della Sesia, Piedmont.

The third course was all about comfort food, so we were served a roast beef dinner with root vegetables, black trumpet mushrooms, and Côtes-du-Rhône-shallot purée. The wine stood up well to the food; we had 2009 Les Hautes de Pez from Saint Estephe, Bordeaux.

I've been starting to enjoy tawny ports more and more, the more I am exposed to them. This month, I tried the 10 Year Tawny from Smith Woodhouse. Very tasty with the Cheese Course. The theme of the cheese plate this month was A Few of Our Favorite Things!

The cheeses shared this month definitely qualify as a few of my favorite things as well. Lake's Edge was first; it's a goat's milk cheese from Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury, Vermont. Pecorino Senesi al Tartufo, a sheep's milk cheese with truffles, was up next. Made in Tuscany, it's nice and savory.

A couple of gooey cheeses very up next: Cloud Nine, a cow's milk cheese from Woodcock Farm in Weston, Vermont, and Taleggio, a cow's milk cheese from Lombardy, Italy. Cloud Nine is amazing, but both were very good.

Tarentaise, a cow's milk cheese from Spring Brook Farm in Reading, Vermont, is one of my favorite cheeses, so it was very appropriate for the theme of this cheese board! Finishing up the cheese plate was Palagiaccio Finocchi, a cow's milk and fennel cheese from Mugello, Tuscany. 

Not content to end there, the wonderful staff at L'Espalier brought out a few more treats: a pizelle and a bit of Stollen bread. On my way out, Louis gave me some more of the Stollen bread, and a s'mores macaron, both of which I've enjoyed over the past week.


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