Cheese Tuesday at L'Espalier - The Best of the Best
The American Cheese Society recently ranked the top cheeses in the country, and Louis Risoli at L'Espalier made sure to obtain some of the best cheeses for Cheese Tuesday this month.
The first course featured Bijou, one of many excellent cheeses from Vermont Creamery. I also love their Coupole, Cremont, and Bonne Bouche. The Apple Street Farm heirloom tomato salad with Bijou and lemon cucumber was paired with a tasty Estate Riesling, 2012 Dr. Bürklin-Wolf from Pfalz, Germany.
Up next was a delicious butter poached East Coast halibut with farm fennel, husk cherries, and citrus buerre blanc. It was matched perfectly by the 2012 Porzia "Regillo" Frascati from Lazio, Italy.
Grilled Maine beef rib eye with slow cooked green tomato, Burrata cheese, burnt eggplant purée, and pine nut was up next, served with a full bodied Cabernet and Merlot blend, 2007 Leeuwin Estate from Margaret River, Australia.
And on to the best of the best cheeses in America! The cheese plate was paired with 2011 Zenato, a Valpolicella Superiore from Italy.
Sonnet from Big Picture Farm was first. It's a goats milk cheese from Vermont. Hummingbird was next, a ridiculously good sheep and goats milk cheese from the Farm at Doe Run in Pennsylvania. Finishing out the first third of the cheese plate was Dancing Fern, a cows milk cheese from Sequatchie Cove Creamery in Tennessee.
I've tried Rippleton before; it's a sheep milk cheese from Meadowoods Farm in New York. It was followed by the square cheese- Appalachian, a cows milk cheese from Meadow Creek Dairy in Virginia. Appalachian was a very tasty cheese. Très Bonne, a goats milk cheese from Boston Post Dairy in Vermont, was next, and it had a wonderful texture.
Finishing out the cheese plate were two different ages of Tarentaise and a great blue cheese. Tarentaise is a cows milk cheese from Spring Brook Farm in Vermont. The first cheese was the younger of the two, and the second, Tarentaise Reserve, won first place in the recent competition by the American Cheese Society. Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company's Bay Blue, a cow's milk cheese produced in California that placed in second at the recent competition, finished off the night.