L'Espalier - Cheese Tuesday - Après Ski
Cheese Tuesday was pretty awesome this month, and not just for the food. Every month, we sing a cheese-themed song after the cheese plate has been explained. This month, I helped out by playing the flute while Kevin played guitar and the restaurant sang along to Louis Risoli's "Let's Go Make Cheese", the first cheese-themed song he ever wrote. It was set to the tune of "I Got You, Babe" by Sonny and Cher.
In appreciation of my musical contributions, I was treated to a glass of champagne. Served shortly after was L'Espalier's amazing pretzel bread and rolls.
The first course paired a 2011 Domaine Sylvain Langoureau from Saint Aubin and Piedmontese beef carpaccio with fried rock shrimp, smoked bone marrow, Woodcock Farm "Weston Wheel", brioche, and confit garlic. Not only did this dish look impressive, it tasted delicious.
2011 Travaglini Nebbiolo from Coste della Sesia, Piedmont was served next, and paired very well with the venison bolognese with potato gnocchi and aged Parmesan. This was my favorite course of the evening!
The third course paired a 2011 La Font de Notre Dame from Gigondas and roasted duck with confit leg and heirloom bean ragout, Jerusalem artichoke, and liver crisp. I've never had liver crisped before, it complemented the rest of the dish very well.
The fourth course at Cheese Tuesday is always an impressive cheese plate, with cheeses selected by the head Cheese Guy, Louis Risoli. The theme this month was Après Ski; I'm not a fan of skiing, but I like the idea of cold-weather cheeses, especially given that the Polar Vortex is set to return soon. Lauren Collins, the Wine Gal, paired the cheeses with a tasty Madeira, 5 Year Bual, Cossart Gordon.
Verano, a sheep's milk cheese from Vermont Shepherd in Putney, Vermont, was up first. It was followed by Barkeater Buche, a goat's milk cheese from Asgaard Farm in Au Sable Forks, New York. Barkeater Buche reminded me very much of Boucheron de Chèvre.
The third cheese was Pyramid Scheme, a cow's milk cheese from Champlain Valley Organic Creamery in Vergennes, Vermont. Inspiration, a cow's milk cheese from Mount Manfield Creamery in Morrisville, Vermont, was next. I've had Inspiration before, and it was even better than I had remembered.
Winnimere, a cow's milk cheese from the excellent Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont was the fifth cheese of the night. Every cheese Jasper Hill Farms produces is amazing, and Winnimere is probably the best of those. Following that level of excellence is difficult, but Ewexcel does have excel right in the name. It was a sheep's milk cheese from Grafton Village Cooperative in Vermont, and was a delicious, sweet Gouda.
Finishing up the cheese plate was Kind of Blue, a cow's milk cheese from Woodcock Farm in Weston, Vermont. It was a great blue, and I loved the name! To give a wonderful ending to the night, a few sweets were brought out, and they were as good as they look. :)