What to Eat This Weekend: Cheese Plates
Whether you like it mild, stinky, local or imported from across the sea, there’s a restaurant in Philly that’s putting together a cheese plate that you’ll love. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite cheese plates around town that you might want to try this weekend.
Chester County’s Italian BYOB restaurant, Avalon, offers cheese and charcuterie plates each day. You can build your own with three, five, or seven cheeses and/or charcuterie items on a plate. Pick from sweet and creamy gorgonzola dolce or mild pecorino sardo accompanied by a wide assortment of jams, mostardas, and marmalades, all made in-house.
Avalon, 312 South High Street, West Chester, 610-436-4100
This rustic Spanish tapas restaurant in Northern Liberties serves its “Plato de Queso” seven days a week. All cheeses are from Spain and are subject to change almost daily. Accompaniments vary based on the type of cheese being served. Softer cheeses are served with almond brittle, goat cheese with sangria jelly, firmer cheeses are served with an olive tapenade, and blue cheese with a quince paste. Wash down the Iberian selection with a glass of Spanish wine.
Bar Ferdinand, 1030 North 2nd Street, 215-923-1313
Chef Jim Burke offers patrons a five-piece platter using domestically produced cheeses at his Bella Vista restaurant. Try the largo, a triple crème cow’s milk cheese made with crème fraiche accompanied by a spicy fennel mostarda, or the limited edition Sally Jackson Renata, named after the one cow used for this particular type of cheese, served with dried fruit chutney.
James, 824 South 8th Street, 215-629-4980
Master chef Georges Perrier’s monumental cheese cart at Le Bec-Fin is a cheese-enthusiast’s nirvana. Lucky for us, he offers five or ten piece samplers of his cheese cart at both Le Bec and Le Bar Lyonnais. Popular selections include tomme de Savoie, made from cow’s milk in the French Alps and moliterno di Sarda, a sheep’s milk cheese from Sardinia. Bonus cheese-lover alert!: On the second Tuesday of every month Le Bec-Fin partners with DiBruno Brothers for a wine and cheese tasting event featuring three different wines and six different cheeses. Each event starts at approximately 6 p.m. and costs $35 per person.
Le Bec-Fin, 1523 Walnut Street, 215-567-1000
Styer’s Garden Café at Terrain
This garden oasis dishes up four varieties on their cheese plate. The broad spectrum of flavors includes sharp tangy chevre, a lemon-scented Bon Bouche, Smokey blue cheese from Oregon, and a sweet and salty p’tit Basque, all served alongside honeycomb and an ever-changing and creative variety house-made preserves, like smoked strawberry and beet.
Styer’s Garden Café at Terrain, 914 Baltimore Pike, Concordville, 610-459-2400
Northern Liberties grub and pub spot Swift Half, located within the Piazza at Schmidt’s, offers five cheeses to tantalize your tastebuds for a mix-and-match cheese plate. Diners can order Old Chatham camembert, sheep’s milk serpa, Colston Basset stilton, Leonora goat cheese from Spain, or super aged gouda. You pick four from the cheese and/or charcuterie menu, then sit back and relax. Once your Stilton with homemade blueberry agrodolce or gouda with red pepper marmalade hits the table, it’s every man for himself.
Swift Half, 1001 North 2nd Street, 215-923-4600
White Dog Café
University City’s White Dog Café offers up a cheese plate that you’ll want to get your paws on. Offered daily for lunch and dinner, this plate contains three variations of cheeses; Birchrun Hills’ farm blue, Pennsylvania Noble cave-aged Cheddar, and Shellbark Farms’ blooming rind goat cheese. All cheeses are made locally and accompanied by house-made items like honey roasted pecans and apricot mostarda. Slather it on top of sourdough raisin bread delivered each morning by Metropolitan Bakery for a howling combination.
White Dog Café, 3420 Sansom Street, 215-386-9224