Monday, August 27, 2012


What do you get when you cross a fancy cheese store with a restaurant/wine bar?  Awesomeness.  Cheesetique in Del Ray (second location in Shirlington) is unadulterated awesomeness.

Cheesetique is sort of like a restaurant mullet: business in the front and party in the back.  First, the serious part: the cheese shop/gourmet grocery store.
They have a huge selection of cheese and accompaniments (jams, jellies, chocolate, wine, etc.).  We had a blast browsing while waiting for our table in the back of the restaurant.

That brings me to the party half of the restaurant mullet: the wine bar/cafe behind the cheese shop.  They have a full menu of cheeselicious goodies from grilled cheese to cheese plates and everything in between. With the help of our friendly waitress, we ordered a bottle of wine and a sampling of plates to share with our friends.  We ended up ordering nearly everything on the small plates menu (burrata, carpaccio, caprese, crostini, flat bread), a grilled cheese, and a cheese plate with figs, honey, and six different cheeses.

I remember talking to one of my coworkers a few years ago and telling her I didn't like cheese that much.  She was outraged.  I explained that I thought adding cheese to burgers, sandwiches, etc. rarely enhanced the flavor and I'd rather save the calories for something else... like more dessert.  Well, turns out I'm an idiot.  I was a picky eater as a kid and rarely ventured beyond Kraft singles.  Over the years I've learned that I actually like cheeses of all sorts.  Soft to firm, stinky to mild.  Cheese is fun! 

We're officially putting Cheesetique in our "definitely going back" category of restaurants.  They've got a list of 7 grilled cheese sandwiches and 4 mac n' cheeses that I plan on working my way through.

Second Thoughts from B

J's "restaurant mullet" tag is genius.  I guess it makes up for her dedication to Kraft singles for way too long...

Having a dinner of wine and cheese sounds pretentious or at least very European. I know we aren't European, and I'd like to think we're not pretentious.  So what gives?

You can blame my lifelong love of bleu cheese that I stubbornly got J to adopt while we were first dating.  You can blame CityZen's eye-opening cheese plate that was part of a set chef's menu many years ago.  You can blame ecstasy-inducing burrata in Rome. You can blame our friends M and A who have some of the more sophisticated palates around, and help introduce us to new flavors every time we eat out with them.

Regardless, our love of cheese is alive and well, and each of our favorites can be found under one roof.  Sophisticated and high-end cheeses you've never heard of and childhood comfort foods all on one menu.  It may initially sound elitist, but I'd simply call it delicious.. and the true restaurant mullet. Cheesetique Cheese & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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