Denver’s cheese community knows one thing for certain when it comes to cheese: There is always more to learn. Making cheese is a labor of love, and these local businesses take that to heart with a passionate desire to educate people on its many wonders. With so few ingredients going into making cheese it’s remarkable that so many unique combinations and varieties exist today. There are over thousands of different styles to choose from worldwide, and with a wonderful selection available here in Denver, these cheesemongers want us to know that there is definitely something out there for everyone. So prep that palate, because here’s three of our favorite places to eat and learn about cheese in Denver:
Where: 2556 15th St., Denver
What: Cheese provider to all, this cheese bar and restaurant offers 30 rotation cheese selections, wines and fine meats in a great welcoming and romantic atmosphere.
The Low Down: Elegant, classy delicious edible art is what you can expect from the Truffle Table’s cheese bar in Denver’s LOHI neighborhood. Its Instagram feed is filled with its seasonally selected goat, cow and sheep’s milk cheeses from around the world. All artfully presented on a board turned palette, these selections are bound to get noticed. No filter is necessary. By using 30 rotating cheeses and complementing them with wine and beers along with slices of sopressata piccante and bresaola picante from the world renowned Salumieria Biellese in Manhattan, the talented staff at the Truffle Table redefines the dinner experience. Owners Rob and Karin Lawler’s hope is to educate cheese lovers that an aged artisanal avalanche goat cheddar sourced locally from Basalt, Colorado can stand alone as a dinner centerpiece, or share the spotlight with a cheddar from England and a cured salumi ensemble. With so many delicious options to choose from, many of their customers (now turned regulars), seem to be proving them right: Cheese is what’s for dinner.
No reservations are required, so gather the girls and gossip over Gouda, impress a date with a cultured Camembert while sharing a secret du couvent, or rent out the whole space and indulge in custom cheese plates sure to impress on any occasion. Join in the Truffle Table’s labor of love on Wednesday nights for all you can eat reclette including dessert for $40 per couple, or stop in the retail shop, The Truffle Cheese Shop in Cherry Creek and roll home a whole wheel of their finest selection.
Where: 1884 S. Pearl St. Denver
Neighborhood: Platt Park
What: Boutique cheese bar and adjoining wine shop providing artisanal lunch, dinner and picnic options at affordable prices in Denver’s Platt Park Neighborhood.
The Low Down: Fine dining and casual bistro combine to form Bin 1884, a boutique cheese bar in Denver’s Platt Park neighborhood. With the feel of a family run European bistro, the warm welcoming and friendly staff at Bin 1884 provides customers the opportunity to enjoy a fine dining experience in a causal comfortable environment. Fully customizable cheese and meat plates along with half or full glass wine flights allows customers to educate themselves while picking and choosing their new favorite combinations. With wines and cheeses available for sale at some of the most affordable prices in Denver, and the adjoining wine shop The Empty Bottle complementing its cheese selection, Bin 1884 makes in home elegant fine dining a reality sure to impress friends and family.
Looking for a lunch or dinner option to enjoy during a beautiful Colorado day? Its unique ‘picnic to-go’ cheese and meat plates are the must have food item for the spring and summer park season. Options include a $25 lunch option of three cheeses and one meat selection, or a $35 dinner portion of three cheese and three meats both including all the accompaniments are wrapped up in a tablecloth and tied with a French baguette. This picnic selection is sure to make the music at Denver’s Jazz at the Park all the sweeter. Also don’t forget to grab a bottle of wine at the The Empty Bottle next door and round out what is sure to a memorable and delicious picnic experience any day of the week.
Mercantile Dining & Provision
Where: 1701 Wynkoop St. Denver
What: An amazing open kitchen concept combining a high end yet comfortable restaurant and market at Denver’s Union Station.
The Low Down: Mercantile cheese program began around eight years ago when chef Alex Seidel started Fruition Restaurant here in Denver. The family grew again when Fruition Farms was born in Larkspur, Colorado and then again when this farm to table restaurant family opened Mercantile Dining and Provision’s: an open kitchen restaurant and market located in Denver’s newly renovated Union Station. Today, this family of chefs, restaurants and cheese makers understand the importance and value in a family driven relationship approach to sourcing cheese. Mercantile’s knowledgeable staff understands the value in knowing the who and the why behind the cheese making process — insuring to provide only the finest products.
Looking at the cheese case on the market side of the restaurant, guests can expect an educational experience of international and domestic cheeses, along with a few farmstead cheeses sourced locally from Colorado’s very first sheep’s milk dairy and Mercantile’s own Fruition Farms. The restaurants relationship to cheesemaker and shepherd, Jimmy Warren of Fruition Farms, embodies the understanding that when making cheese, passion and care create quality. On the farm, Warren embraces the romance in making cheese, from caring for the animals to occasionally stirring a fresh batch of cheese with his bare hands. The pride, care and passion in the family process are evident in the aromas and flavors of the seasonal ricotta, cacio percora and Shepherd’s Halo cheeses produced on the farm and shared in Mercantile’s market. Join the family and follow the food from the farm and get your cheese from the source by visiting FruitionFarmsDairy.com for information about farm tours and cheese making classes.