Cheese Tuesday at L'Espalier - Bay Staters

We make a lot of good cheeses here in Massachusetts, so why not create an entire Cheese Tuesday cheese plate featuring the best cheeses from MA? Fortunately, Louis Risoli did just that, and I was able to enjoy all of them this past Tuesday night at L'Espalier.

I started off with an autumn cocktail, the Cranberry Old-Fashioned, featuring bourbon, cranberries, and simple syrup. Quickly, the excellent pretzel bread and rolls came out. I can't get enough of the pretzel bread!

The first course was Sparrow Arc Farm pumpkin bisque with Mozzarella House burrata and toasted banana bread. What a great mix of flavors, particularly the banana bread, and well-matched with the NV Paul Chollet, a brut, Cremant de Bourgogne.

On to the fish course; we enjoyed lightly smoked King salmon with Maine lobster, hay roasted apple jus, crispy kale, and Brussels sprouts. This was paired with 2006 Montinore Estate Pinot Noir Reserve from the Willamette Valley, which was poured from a giant double magnum bottle.

The final course before the cheese plate was a duck cassoulet of Toulouse with house made garlic-herb sausage, served with Maine heirloom beans and Mozzarella House smoked scamorza. The wine, 2010 Tenuta Olim Bauda "Le Rocchette" from Barbera d'Asti Superiore, was perfectly heavy enough to stand up to the excellently cooked duck.

The cheese plate was amazing, and followed the theme of Bay Staters, all cheeses made in Massachusetts. Lauren Dadonna, the resident "wine gal" at L'Espalier, paired the cheeses with 2012 Villa di Corlo "Primevo", a Lambrusco di Sorbara.

Hannahbell was up first, a cow's milk cheese from Shy Brothers Farm in Westport. It's basically a thimbleful of deliciousness. Alpine followed, a cow's milk cheese from Appleton Farm in Ipswich. 

Another cow's milk cheese from Appleton Farm was up next, Sunset Hill. It was perfectly ripe and gooey. Ada's Honor, named after the goat Ada at Ruggles Hill Farm in Hardwick, followed. 

Greta's Fair Haven, another amazing goat's milk cheese from Ruggles Hill Farm, marked the halfway point of the cheese plate. Eidolon, a cow's milk cheese from Grey Barn Farm in Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, was up next. It had a tasty, creamy paste with a very gooey, ripe area under the rind. 

Tabasi, a cow's milk cheese from Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown, was up next, but was eclipsed by A Barn Dance, a cow's milk cheese from Robinson Farm in Hardwick. So good.

The plate ended with a pair of blues: Classic Blue, a goat's milk cheese from Westfield Farm in Hubbardston, and Berkshire Blue, a cow's milk cheese from Berkshire Cheese in Great Barrington.


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