Cheese Tuesday at L'Espalier - Boston Cheese Party
Last night I got to introduce another giant cheese nerd to Cheese Tuesday, which was so fabulous.
We began with a warm farm vegetable salad with house made chorizo, pork jowl, and a green garlic-tomato broth. It paired well with the wine, 2015 Patricia Green Cellars Sauvignon Blanc from Willamette Valley, Oregon. To me, the wine tasted very much like green apples, adding another fruity layer to the salad.
East Coast halibut with native sweet corn and lime was up next, paired with 2014 Kumeau Village Chardonnay from Auckland, New Zealand. The picture does not do this dish justice; it was so good- sweet, yet balanced.
As we moved on to the third course I was excited, as it was the dish that stood out to me from the beginning of dinner, when I checked the menu: beef tenderloin with Sparrow Arc farm new potatoes, Colston Bassett Stilton, smoked egg yolk, and chanterelles. So ridiculously good, and the wine, 2008 Les Chênes de Bouscaut from Pessac-Leognan, France, was definitely able to stand up to the food.
And then we were on to the cheese plate, paired with Offlet Ruby Port from Douro, Portugal. The theme this month was Boston Cheese Party. Louis Risoli picked six cheeses to serve, three from America and three from England. Our job was to figure out which was which and to decide which cheese we preferred, definitely a game made for our table of cheese nerds.
The first round pit Landaff against Caerphilly. Landaff Creamery in Landaff, New Hampshire produces Landaff cheese, which I've had and enjoyed many times, and Duckett Farm in Somerset, England produces Caerphilly, which I have never had before. Probably based on my history of enjoying the cheese, I was able to pick it out easily; Landaff was also my favorite of the two cheeses.
The second round was Cabot Clothbound Cheddar versus Keens Cheddar. Cabot Creamery and Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont work together to create Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, the cheese that was my introduction to seriously good cheeses. Keens Cheddar is produced by the Moorhayes Farm in Wincanton, England, and has a noticeable spiciness to the cheese. Again, because of my experience with the American cheese, I could pick it out easily, and it again wound up being the cheese I preferred.
Bayley Hazen Blue from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont was up next, against Stilton made at Colston Bassett Dairy in Nottingham, England. This was another great round, as Bayley Hazen is a go-to when thinking of blue cheeses to enjoy, so I picked it out based on looks alone.
After enjoying all of that cheese, we sang a British (God Save Our Cheese) and an American (Cheese Anthem) cheese song. I was pretty full at this point, but one of my friends ordered dessert and was kind enough to allow me to enjoy a few bites of his Buttermilk Pie: buttermilk custard topped with lemon-thyme peaches, "honeycomb" marshmallow, burnt honey and sweet tea sorbet.