Cheese for the Holidays - Cheese Tuesday at L'Espalier
Cheese Tuesday this past week was a wonderful mix of chef's family favorites with Lauren Dadonna's wine pairings, topped off with a cheese ball, a tasty mix of cheese favorites by Louis Risoli, and a fun ukulele serenade to the Cheeseball Wizard.
The first course paired 2015 Mérieau "L'Arpent des Vaudons" Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine, Loire, with fried oyster and scallop salad with remoulade. Shortly after this amazing dish was served, hearty bread with both regular and pumpkin butter came out.
Potato gnocchi with Tallegio, black pepper jus, and herbs was up next, with 2010 Giuseppe Mascarello "Scudetto" from Barbera d'Alba in Piedmont. This dish was so ridiculously good!
Things got pretty amazing when they brought out the carving equipment; they carved the roast prime rib of beef right there in the dining room! It was served with Aligot potato and caramelized onion, which was perfect, particularly the potatoes.
We began the cheese course with a tasty cheese ball and crackers, then Louis served up his holiday favorites for the cheese plate, paired with Lauren's 15-year Solera Valdespino, an Oloroso from Pedro Ximenez in Jerez.
Summer Snow, a sheep's milk cheese from Woodcock Farm in Weston, Vermont, was up first, followed by the only cheese I didn't recognize immediately by name, La Roche, a goat's milk cheese from Lazy Lady Farm in Westfield, Vermont. Taleggio (Arrigoni), made with cow's milk in Lombardia, Italy, completed the first half of the holiday favorites.
Tarentaise Reserve, a cow's milk cheese from Spring Brook Farm in Reading, Vermont, began the second half of the cheese plate, followed by the always-yummy Winnimere, a cow's milk cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont. Mad River Blue, a cow's milk cheese from the Von Trapp Family Farm in Waitsfield, Vermont, finished out the plate, a nice mix of cream and spice flavor.
After the cheese plate, I broke out my ukulele and we all rocked out to Cheeseball Wizard. Then it was on to dessert! We were served a chestnut roulade with almond streusel, pine frozen yogurt, and orange snow, as well as a smaller version of the Black Hole: four dimensions of chocolate with black sesame asteroids, and a cranberry-orange sorbet.