Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pastoral Artisan Cheeses featured on Chicago Restaurant Cheese Plates

Many of Chicagoland's finest restaurants offer cheeses supplied by Pastoral on their cheese plates.

We thought it was about time to tell you about some of of valued restaurant customers and the ways they feature artisan cheeses.

Lula Cafe offers an artisan cheese plate with two cheeses that changes weekly according to the season.

Atwood Cafe chooses regional cheeses for their three cheese selections. Currently Wisconsin cheeses are highlighted, including Carr Valley Marisa, Marieke Gouda, and Baba Blue.

Avec showcases cheeses from around the Mediterranean, including Nisa, a Portugese raw sheep milk cheese that is made with thistle rennet.

Naperville's Sugar Toad presents domestic cheeses exclusively, in keeping with Chef Jimmy Sneed's American artisan cuisine.  Our lovely Nebraskan, Lancaster Duet, sits with three other fine cheeses on the plate.

Head to a tasting at the West Loop's  Perman Wine and you will find the best international artisan cheeses paired with Craig's carefully chosen wines.

Hit the roof at C-House and C-View this summer for a great view of the Mag Mile and and artisan cheese featuring Prairie Fruits Ewe Bloom from Champaign IL.

one sixtyblue Pastry Chef Steph Prida offers four American artisan cheeses in an a la carte format, including Prairie Fruits Farms unique Huckleberry Blue.

Next week we'll post about more of our favorite restaurant cheese programs, including  info on what's up at Blackbird, Corner Cooks, and the Bristol.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Weekend Pairing 5/7/09

In keeping with out theme this month we are going local. Pairing Indiana, Michigan and Illinois.

The cheese this week is Old Kentucky Tomme. It comes to us from Judy at Capriole in Greenville, Indiana.  This is a raw goat's milk cheese aged for five to six months.  It has a very clean slightly sharp acidity to it, and is creamy on the tongue.  Capriole is a farmsteading company.  Their goats are raised there, milked there, and the cheese is all made on-site.  A lot of care goes into the goat's livelihood, and into the cheese.

We're pairing an apple wine from Hickory Creek with the cheese.   Apple wine is an old time Michigan treat, made from heirloom apples, but don't confuse this with a cider.  There is a slight sweetness to the wine without being cloying.  It is well balanced with flavors of juicy apple and a slight spiciness.

To make the pairing complete is a little bit of honey from Blooming Tree farmstead honey from St. Joseph.  Honey loves goat cheese, and gives the apple wine a great kick!  Come in this weekend and give them a taste then take some to enjoy on your picnic.