By Cassandra VanKeuren Special to The Herald
What a delight and wonderful find the Cheesemonger’s Table has been for me. My family and I went recently and we all were completely surprised by how yummy the food was.
The Cheesemonger’s Table in downtown Edmonds is a gourmet cheese, meat and specialty-items shop that also serves lunch and dinner.
For all of us, I ordered the ploughman’s platter. Individually, my husband ordered the turkey and brie sandwich, I ordered the cheese and onion pie. and my son ordered the macaroni and cheese. For dessert, we shared the black and blue chocolate cake.
While we were waiting for our food, I had a lot of fun browsing the items they offer: cheese boards, chutneys, different salts, fresh pastas, artisan crackers, make-your-own-cheese kits, olive oils, eggs, spices and, of course, a wide selection of cheeses from around the world, as well as local and imported salami and hams.
Our meal began with the ploughman’s platter ($12). There was good quality ham, slices of crusty bread, English cheddar, onion chutney, sliced apple and pate.
I was dubious to try the pate at first because I didn’t know what kind of meat it contained. The waiter helped me quickly, telling me it was pork. It had a peppercorn topping, a very mild flavor and a velvety consistency. It was enjoyable with whole grain mustard.
The English cheddar was a real treat! I could tell it was well-aged by the presence of little salt crystals in the cheddar. I really loved it and thought it was the perfect pairing with the green apple.
The onion chutney had a little spice to it and complemented all the items on the platter. I was glad I ordered it to accompany our meal.
My son’s macaroni and cheese ($6) arrived and he was more than pleased. The pasta were shells in a very thick white cheddar sauce. We all enjoyed a little bite. Normally, I would have encouraged my son to order something more adventurous but I have begun to understand that macaroni and cheese is a great way to gauge the chef’s skills and the level of importance he puts into his food. Also, this is the Cheesemonger’s Table, after all.
My cheese and onion pie ($8) was outstanding — to die for. The pie itself is a slice taken from a larger pie and then reheated. I usually don’t like savory pies served in this fashion because they are not heated through, but this slice was the exception. Everything was reheated beautifully.
The pie had soft, lightly sweet onions as the filling topped with English cheddar and then covered with a wonderfully flaky crust. I had to make myself slow down and savor it. It was that good. The piece of pie itself was a little on the small side: a good portion for lunch but not for dinner.
My pint of American Brewing blond ale ($5) was the perfect pairing for my meal. The pie was served with a small mixed green salad. The chef dressed it simply and it was a nice way to round out my meal.
My husband’s turkey and brie sandwich ($8.50) was equally amazing. You might guess that the brie was spectacular, an excellent complement to the turkey by Zoe’s, a West Coast producer of artisan meats. The sandwich was dressed with spinach and basil mayo on a crisp ciabatta roll.
Truffle popcorn was served as a side. This was a real revelation. I didn’t know popcorn could taste that good. The chef shared his secret on how to make truffle popcorn with me. He sells most of the ingredients in his shop so I could go home and make it myself.
Now here comes the truly unique and kinda cool part of our meal: The black and blue cake ($6).
Guess what is in it? Chocolate and Gorgonzola! It was such a strange item, I had to try it. The frosting is Gorgonzola dolce buttercream. The cake itself is chocolate with layers of Gorgonzola and chocolate ganache. A small serving of Gorgonzola came with it.
Maybe that sounds weird to you but trust me, it worked.
The saltiness complements the rich chocolate perfectly. The Gorgonzola “funk” is very minimal. My husband and I really enjoyed putting a crumble of Gorgonzola on our forks with the cake. It’s like when my mom used to put a few grains of salt on her chocolate ice cream to make it more chocolatey. The portion is huge — big enough for the three of us to share.
Bottom line: Our meal at the Cheesemonger’s Table was fabulous. Though the portions are a little small for a dinner entree, the pricing is such that you could order a few items for your meal. I am OK with that because I got to try more amazing food that way.
I also appreciated the commitment to artisan food and to sourcing local producers when possible. It also seemed that the chef changes the menu a bit every now and then to make room for a new find or what is in season.
The Cheesemonger’s Table is a wonderful place you can take your family for an amazing meal.
The Cheesemonger’s Table
203 Fifth Ave. S., No.1, Edmonds; 425-640-8949; cheesemongerstable.com.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Vegetarian options: Yes; no vegan options.