Benjamin and I went to a dinner at the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills last weekend. There were just a handful of people there and the special guest was Ed Behr, the publisher of The Art of Eating magazine. (can you tell I just figured out how to include links in my blog posts??!) This magazine has no advertisements and features commentaries on food from around the world, written by reviewers who really know how to bring you into their world with words.
The dinner was lovely – six small courses, wines paired with each course – and much of the food was made right before our eyes. Eric, one of the Cheese Store employees who is a tremendous cook, made mozzarella and ricotta cheeses right in front of us! The ricotta was served on figs in a delicious herb salad, and the mozzarella was served with a fresh rigatoni, tomatoes and basil. Nothing fancy, just real food done really well.
There were two dessert courses – Eric made some blini (sort of like a light pancake or a heavy crepe) and topped them with ricotta and sauteed huckleberries. There was no sugar in the batter, nor did he add sugar to the berries, so the dish was just a bit tart. I have sauteed berries before to use as a topping for dessert, but I usually add sugar – next time I won’t!
The final course was a selection of handmade Swiss chocolates, including a ganache truffle, a chocolate covered hazelnut crisp topped with an almond, and a chocolate cookie with a thick raspberry paste, all covered in chocolate. These chocolates were made by a woman who attended the dinner – she is Swiss but lives in LA and imports Swiss chocolate to make these wonderful handmade creations. You can buy these chocolates at the Cheese Store, and apparently soon in a few other local gourmet shops. I will report back on this!
Take a look at the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills – they have monthly tastings where they pair wine with cheeses. These tastings are educational – and yummy! You always leave knowing more than you knew when you came – and the prices are reasonable for the high quality foods you will taste. The next tastings are this Wednesday and Thursday – take a look and see if you want to join us there!
p.s. I just added a new button to my blog – you can tweet about this blog post by clicking the “Tweet This” button. You can add your own comment and a shortened link to my blog will be added to your tweet. Please tweet this!