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Best Cheese Course?

I'm in the process of working my way through Jenkins' Cheese Primer with regular visits to Cowgirl Cremery and the Cheese Board for research materials.

If I wanted to enjoy a great cheese course at a San Francisco restaurant (after eating a meal that would be a kind of amuse bouche to the cheese) where would I go?


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  1. I was really pleased with the cheese selection at Tablespoon -- they have a cheese menu with about a dozen items. The cheeses are displayed on the bar so you can check them out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Agreed. I was introduced to some new favorites at a Tablespoon dinner a couple of years ago.

    2. Gary Danko has a great cheese course. Getting a reservation is another story, but you can probably drop in and sit and the bar and get the cheese cart wheeled up to you.

      1. I adore the blue cheese and raw honeycomb plate at Samovar Tea Lounge. It's definitely a must have for brunch (trying pairing it with their salmon blini scramble). It comes with a lot of fruit and can easily satisfy two to four people.

        1. Capannina's cheese plate is good. One of the owners is the best local Italian cheese importer.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Could you tell me more about this restaurant? I just tried a search and didn't find anything on CH. Thanks! Always interested in Italian recs.

            1. re: chaddict

              Oops, I misspelled it. Try it again with the correct spelling.

          2. Cav has been on my cheese plate list, but I haven't tried it yet. I've also enjoyed good cheese plates at Foreign Cinema.

            http://www.cavwinebar.com/cav_menu.pdf Scroll down, cheese menu at the end.

            1. I like Jardiniere for a beautiful cheese course at the lovely bar. You can stop and eat at the bar post-9:30pm almost any night and get a couple seat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: celeste

                Yes, Jardiniere has some great, carefully matured cheeses. I like checking out the selection in the cheese window.

              2. I will strongly second Gary Danko's cheese course. These other locales do indeed have cheese, but they do not hold a candle to the cheese knowledge, presentation or theatre that accompanies the cheese course at Gary Danko.

                1. I will third Danko's for the cheese. I am not a huge fan of anything else there though. But the cheese cart (at least on my last visit over a year ago) was amazing.

                  Tablespoon's co-owner worked as a maitre d'/floor manager at Danko's and he has maintained a respectable cheese selection for such a little restaurant. I remember he had very good descriptions of the cheeses and the variety was far more interesting than Cav's.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chaddict

                    Thanks for the additional info about Tablespoon, chaddict! I'm sure Gary Danko and Jardiniere have lovely cheese plates, but Tablespoon is a bit more accessible, both in style and price.

                  2. I really enjoyed the cheese offerings at Masa's. We came across some unexpected finds here. This, however, is not part of their tasting menu...you'll need to ask for this a separate course and billed accordingly. Not cheap but a great experience nonetheless.