Bob's Cheese and Wine Blog

My world of cheese and wine

Archive for the ‘Cheese Shops’ Category

The Cheese Course – Miami’s newest entry on the cheese scene

Posted by fromagebob on December 8, 2009

The Cheese Course, Miami’s newest entry on the cheese scene, is open in Midtown Miami. I visited the establishment today for lunch, and found a very spacious, brightly lit space that was pleasant, comfortable, with a nice menu of sandwiches, salads, and – best of all – cheese plates. There’s also a very good selection of wines, by the glass and by the bottle.

I’ve been to their Weston Town Center location several times for lunch, and to explore their cheese offerings; this location seems to have a wider variety of cheeses and cheese accoutrements. They also have a really nice selection of books on cheese and cheese making.

The food: tasty, freshly made. The ordering process was a little confused; I suspect it is just getting the rhythm down, and “training” the customers as to the process (an “Order Here” sign would help).

Nice touch: when I was looking at the wines to have with my sandwich, the server asked if I wanted to taste first (I had a glass of Eadmeades Zinfandel).

The menu: 19 sandwiches, ranging from a delicious Italian Caprese (tried in Weston) to a sopressata salami, to a herb omlette – and a LOT in between. All are offered with one of their cheeses. My choice today was a Taleggio Cheese Steak, with Taleggio Cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onions, on one of their fresh-baked baguettes. The have a nice selection of salads, quiches, and beverages. Their wine-by-the glass are available at reasonable prices $5.95/$7.45/$9.45.

Their bread: delicious. I’ve purchased the baguettes several times. Nicely crafted and better that a French bakery near my office!

Their cheeses: This is where they shine. I am not sure what their total offerings are – they will vary with season and availability – but they cover the gamut of cheese from soft to stinky and beyond. I spotted a number of personal favorites, including gres de Vosges, delice de cremiers, morbier, and many others. The prices are reasonable, and in looking at the quality, seemed to be well maintained. I only spotted one cheese that was close to or a little over its peak.

One of the great options on the menu are their cheese plates, organized by country (USA, France, Italy, Spain), or by category (Mild, Medium, Bold). Turophiles or adventurous eaters can create their own tasting plate from the cheese in the shop.

The store is located at 3451 NE 1st Avenue, in Miami – on the corner with ample street parking. They’re open for lunch and in the evenings for locals looking for a great place to hang.

You can visit their website for more information, or call them at 786.220.6681


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Amarelo: A Portuguese Cheese

Posted by fromagebob on July 19, 2009

I ran into this cheese at Sunset Corners. By coincidence, I had tried another Portuguese cheese Saturday evening at a friend’s house, and it was quite good. My only other exposure to Portuguese cheese was Azetao, but the portion I got was way past its prime, so I had no way to judge it’s quality. I was at Sunset Corner’s great Saturday tasting (noon – 4 every Saturday!), and spotted this cheese in the case. I’m still trying to pick the cheeses and wines for the first Cheese Class, so I thought I would give it a try.

It’s quite good. The paste is off-white, with a creamline tending towards a dark ivory. The aroma is of fresh cream, with notes of straw and earth. On the tongue, it’s got a pretty distinctive flavor that reminded me of clotted cream, with brown butter and grassy notes. It paired quite nicely with a Cline Viognier and St. Francis’ Red.

This is a raw milk cheese, with sheep and goats milk. It’s a semi-firm cheese; some of the references I found noted that was pretty aggressive, but I didn’t find it so. It was somewhat intense, but not unpleasantly so.

Posted in Cheese Shops, Miami Cheese Scene, Mixed Milk Cheese, Portuguese Cheese, Wine & Cheese Paring | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Le Jardin Fromager

Posted by fromagebob on May 18, 2009

We hit the cheese shop on Thursday, the day before we were to leave, and loaded up on a selection of cheeses that aren’t readily available in the US (or don’t taste like they should!). The cheese shop near my Uncle’s home is in the 11th Arrondissement. It’s called Le Jardin Fromager, which I think translates into the Cheese Garden, or the Cheese Gardner. It’s a neighborhood shop with an OK selection of cheeses. I had wanted to go to one of the larger shops in Paris, but just did not have the time.

They have a nice selection nonetheless, and my mouth just watered standing there looking.

Le Jardin Fromager

In the front case, they have all the soft cheeses – bries, camemberts, cabecou’s and more. It’s just a delight to see them, especially since they’re properly presented and all look properly aged. In the back, they have the aged cheeses – the Pyrénées, the large wheels, and other hard and semi-hard cheeses. Along the top at the left, you can see the Mimolette. They also have wine and sausages for sale. The smell when you walk in the door is just heaven – fresh, luscious cheeses!

I looked at what they had to offer, and decided on the following cheeses, which I will write about one at a time:

Abbaye de Belloc, an ancient Pyrénées sheeps milk cheese
Beaufort d’été, a Gruyère cow’s milk cheese
Laguiole, a cow’s milk cheese
Vieux Salers, an ancient cow’s milk cheese
Bethmale, a Pyrénées cow’s milk cheese
Tomme Corse, a artisanal sheeps milk cheese from Corse

We had friends over on Sunday to try these cheeses and some wines that I brought back, along with some Terrine de Canard. Yum!

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