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Cheese Shops in Connecticut

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politico Sep 29, 2007 07:09 PM

What do people have to say about where to buy cheese in CT?

Avoiding Whole Foods and Stop & Shop, and aside from Say Cheese in Simsbury, which I've heard about but haven't been to, by far the best cheese I've seen in CT is at Son of the Moon, on South Main St in Middletown.

They stock 100+ different kinds of cheese and other raw-milk dairy products, some of it local (i.e. New England) and a lot imported. The cheese-lady there sold me a rather-fantastic Norwegian cheese last week really unlike anything I've ever seen or tasted... called "Gjetost" and made out of caramelized (!) whey. It's extremely bizarre to eat a cheese that tastes like toffee... let me assure you.

Any other suggestions?

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    ElizabethHenton RE: politico Sep 30, 2007 07:36 AM

    Frommage in Old Saybrook is great. Has a vast selection.

    Bishops in Guilford. Aside from being an orchard, they have a terrific cheese selection. I tried a cheese called pleasant cow last week and it was out of this world. Mild, creamy. Almost like a soft manchengo.

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      NE_Elaine RE: politico Sep 30, 2007 07:46 AM

      There is a cheese shop in West Hartford Center, I forget the new name of it. It used to be owned by the same people as Say Cheese in Simsbury, but was sold a couple years ago. I went to Say Cheese a month ago and there was a sign on the door that said "closed until further notice". I was very sorry to see that. I hope they will open up again.

      I will have to check out some of the other shops listed here.

      2 Replies
      1. re: NE_Elaine
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        jimn01 RE: NE_Elaine Jan 1, 2008 04:13 PM

        The off shoot of Say Cheese in West Hartford closed over a year ago. Sadly the original owner Say Cheese in Simsbury closed this fall but has reopened in a new location by new owners. The new shop is a cheese shop. Mostly cheese, some coffee and few other gourmet items. Cheese is it!

        1. re: jimn01
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          joaniebaby RE: jimn01 Jan 9, 2008 01:16 PM

          I stopped in to the new Say Cheese before Christmas to get my daughter some Humbolt Fog (which she loves). It is located downstairs and was cold and damp; like being in a basement. Cheese was ridiculoulsy overpriced. The HF was $8 more a pound than Wild Raspberry and $6 a lb more than Whole Foods and the same stuff. Many of the cheese selections I saw could be purchased at any Stop & Shop. Not a shop I'll return to.

      2. j
        joaniebaby RE: politico Sep 30, 2007 11:41 AM

        Try The Wild Raspberry in Cromwell. It is a gourmet gift shop with the cheeses in the back. They used to have an almost exclusively cheese store in West Hartford, but the competition from Whole Foods was too much for them. Jill, the Cheese Monger is now in Cromwell. She is so knowledgable, enthusiastic, and fun that trying cheese with her is just a great experience.

        They do wine and cheese tastings every month and they are only $20 if you reserve early. It sounds like you might be fairly close since you shop in Middletown, so I would definitely give it a try.

        http://thewildraspberry.com/

        4 Replies
        1. re: joaniebaby
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          ctbrit RE: joaniebaby Oct 1, 2007 06:29 AM

          I second Wild Raspberry - the cheese selection is excellent - lots of artisan stuff from the NE & a good selection of imported cheeses. They'll let you try anything & are always ready with a good recommendation. Like joaniebaby said Jill and Josh are really knowledgable - it's a family run operation with mom, son & daughter in law -usually one of them are in there. The wine & cheese classes are also a lot of fun.

          I'm not really into all of the gift stuff, but I think that probably makes the overall store more viable & the cheese really is top notch!

          While you're there you could also check out Fils deli in the same plaza - it's polish with great kielbasa & perogies..

          1. re: ctbrit
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            vino5150 RE: ctbrit Feb 21, 2008 03:08 PM

            I agree....Jill is another great and honest chheese monger. I trustthem 100%

          2. re: joaniebaby
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            politico RE: joaniebaby Oct 27, 2007 03:43 PM

            Oh, I've been to the Wild Rasberry, and Son of the Moon in Middletown is FAR superior... with a significantly better selection, and a much more pleasant store.

            I'm going to try to get down to the places recc'd in New London and North Haven when I get a chance...

            1. re: politico
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              ctbrit RE: politico Oct 30, 2007 05:30 AM

              Is that the small shop front near the Wesleyan Potters? We went in there on a whim a couple of months ago & I didn't feel very comfortable - it felt small & a lot of stuff seemed to be in the back, didn't feel like I could browse for long. I really like the service & cheese I get at Wild Raspberry but everyone has different perspectives - that's what makes chowhound interesting!

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            cheesey RE: politico Sep 30, 2007 11:50 AM

            Brie and Blue - Bank Street, New London. Small but quality selections of cheeses - also has kitchen - you can order salads, bruchettas - www.brieandblue.com

            Great wine shop next door - they do free wine and cheese tastings on Friday night.

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              chefstu RE: politico Sep 30, 2007 01:34 PM

              IMHO one of the best cheese shops around is Liuzzi's Cheese on State Street in North Haven. Lou the head cheesemonger is extremely knowledgable. Aside from great house made Mozz., Ricotta, Buratta and Basket cheeses, their selection of Domestic and Imported cheese's is very large and ever changing. Wonderful ripe Italian and French cheeses, ready to eat with crusty bread and a pear.

              9 Replies
              1. re: chefstu
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                gardencub RE: chefstu Nov 16, 2008 06:37 AM

                I have not been to The Son of the Moon or Wild Raspberries but I go to Liuzzis several times a month. Domenic and family do a great job. Their store made cheese is excellent and the selection of imported and domestic cheeses is great. The store also has a huge selection of italian imports, great olives, deli meats, etc.

                Saddly, with the economy the way it is, even a place like this has had to cut back slightly on some of the more expensive imported cheeses. Still a great selection, but the very top shelf selections are a tiny bit slim these days.

                Worth the trip though!

                1. re: gardencub
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                  spork5150 RE: gardencub Nov 17, 2008 08:19 AM

                  First off...it's the staff that does a great job, not Domenic. Domenic and his family make absolutely the greatest domestic fresh mozz and ricotta. Second, they don't sell the top end cheese any more because the Lou and Chris are not there any more. You can't have people with no passion or knowledge selling a blue chees that cost $30/lb. Brooklyn Vinny can't do it and neither can anyone else in that place. When you lose key people in your business, don't blame the economy, look at what's going on within.

                  1. re: spork5150
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                    gardencub RE: spork5150 Nov 23, 2008 11:51 AM

                    well, I respectifully disagree. Domenic and his family are doing a good job, and good news, Lou has been back for a few weeks. I bought cheese there from him yesterday.

                    1. re: gardencub
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                      spork5150 RE: gardencub Nov 24, 2008 03:32 PM

                      of course..it's the holiday. Why would you not bring in your "A" team at the biggest time of the year. And it wasn't a shot at the family. They've built a business literally from their own sweat and blood that is unmatched by anyone else in this state although others seem to try and duplicate it. The father, uncle and now the sons put every once of energy into that cheese. The finished product, no matter which one you get, is easy to say one of the best on the east coast and far superior than the operation in the midwest who is considered to be the best in this country. You get a newby on the block like Caseus that some pitch as the "Temple of New Haven cheese". I mean, come on. What I am commenting on is that one person is not responsible for the entire operation. They surrounded themselves with very talented and passionate people. Louie would have to be the top one and Leo, although he is not there anymore, would have to be another one. That is what I am speaking of.

                      1. re: spork5150
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                        chefstu RE: spork5150 Nov 24, 2008 03:53 PM

                        Lou is at Liuzzi's on Monday and Tuesday's. He has been training Robert to take over for him.
                        Robert is very nice with good taste in cheese and steadily learning from Lou.

                        1. re: chefstu
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                          spork5150 RE: chefstu Nov 24, 2008 03:59 PM

                          Good to hear. I would still rather make the trip to Darien. Teaching someone 2 days a week doesn't amount to 25 years of knowledge.

                          1. re: spork5150
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                            gardencub RE: spork5150 Nov 24, 2008 05:23 PM

                            While it is great to work with someone with that kind of knowledge, not all of us have the time or money to drive two hours to get cheese. Knowing that someone is spending the time and money to train a new cheese guy is good news for all of us.

                          2. re: chefstu
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                            spork5150 RE: chefstu Nov 27, 2008 02:32 PM

                            One of the best memories of Lou is the time he threw an arrogant sales guy out. I believe the guy was from Beaver Brook Farms and on his way out the door his last words were, "We don't need you to sell our cheese." Lou could sell ice to eskimos. Great guy to talk to about everything and anything.

                  2. re: chefstu
                    ElsieB RE: chefstu Jan 21, 2011 05:23 PM

                    +++for the Liuzzi's rec!

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                    Noank Native RE: politico Oct 29, 2007 10:50 AM

                    I want to second the suggestion of Brie and Blue in New London. If you haven't been to Bank Street in New London lately, you'll find it upscaling and with some good food destinations. Brie and Blue is one of the best. Its' sister business, next door, is the Thames River Winery. You can buy a bottle or a half bottle of wine, and bring it next door to Brie and Blue--sit on their patio overlooking the river, drinking wine, have a lunch with their excellent cheeses. It's a small place and a limited menu, but everything is good. Then buy some cheese to take home.

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                      NE_Elaine RE: politico Nov 2, 2007 03:16 AM

                      I am very happy to report there was an ad in the local paper that Say Cheese was re-opening in November under new management. I can't wait! I was getting worried about what I was going to put into my holiday gift baskets.

                      I will have to check out some of these other suggestions as well.

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                        Leeannaray RE: politico Dec 27, 2007 06:08 AM

                        Fromage in Old Saybrook. They do have other things, but as the name suggests, cheese is their focus.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Leeannaray
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                          bvpusa RE: Leeannaray Jan 20, 2011 09:38 AM

                          I second Formage the gal that runs it is very knowledgeable and friendly and remembers you and what you like. Great pate'!

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                          JRW RE: politico Dec 28, 2007 08:05 AM

                          I, too, like The Wild Raspberry in West Hartford. Also, check out Villa Gourmet in Milford. They have a small but decent selection of cheese. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff. There are descriptions of cheeses on their website: http://www.thevillagourmet.com/home

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                            weberd10 RE: politico Dec 29, 2007 11:10 AM

                            Just popped into the recently opened Caseus in New Haven (http://www.caseusnewhaven.com/index.html). Looks like it's going to be a winner. They already have dozens of cheeses on hand, a good variety of old world classics with an eclectic selection of funky American offerings. They will also be serving food upstairs in the bistro with a liquor license to come...

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                              DLCK RE: politico Jan 1, 2008 04:21 PM

                              I just recently went to the cheese shop in New Haven called Caseus to get my holiday cheese...they have a wonderful selection...i think they said they have over 100 cheeses now and will have more soon...I agree, looks like a winner

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: DLCK
                                geminigirl RE: DLCK Jan 1, 2008 09:11 PM

                                where is it? I couldn't get into the link above, thanks

                                1. re: geminigirl
                                  sonofoodie RE: geminigirl Jan 2, 2008 03:09 AM

                                  try this one...

                                  http://www.caseusnewhaven.com/index.html
                                  (the web address should end with "html" only
                                  )BTW, looks good.
                                  There are a couple of decent cheese shops in the Fairfield County area. There is the Darien Cheese Shop and Westport's Mirabelle. Both shop owners seem very knowledgeable and helpful.

                                  1. re: sonofoodie
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                                    vino5150 RE: sonofoodie Feb 21, 2008 03:22 PM

                                    If you are in New haven then just do yourself the favor and go to the original...Liuzzi's. Lou has been the resident cheese monger for over 20 years. 100 cheeses...last I counted Liuzzi had over 300 imported, domestic, artisan and some of the best raw milk selection I've seen. If you happen to go be prepared on 1.) waiting and 2.) a schooling. Lou is not only knowledgable, but passionate aboout his job. Get there quick because he is retiring this summer 2008 which will be a loss to this store and his following of customers like myself. fads come and go, but here is one constant that New Haven has counted on for over 20 years before gourmet was "gourmet".
                                    But yeas...when in Darien...Ken is the best by far for the enitre state!

                                    1. re: vino5150
                                      Scargod RE: vino5150 Nov 16, 2008 02:54 AM

                                      I just came from Liuzzi's and purchased a Spanish cheese, El Pastor de Santa Cristina, from the Zamora region. It's not unlike Manchego, but seemed more flavorful and crumbly.
                                      I wished I were closer to good cheese shop and knew of something similar in a NE-US cheese. I also bought a beautiful piece of stilton. You not only get a good cheeses at Liuzzi's but the Italian food and Italian specialties, steaks, sausages.... I could go on!

                                      1. re: Scargod
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                                        danieljdwyer RE: Scargod Feb 12, 2009 11:21 AM

                                        I am not familiar with the exact cheese you're referring to, but if you're looking for a local cheese that is similar to, but more flavorful than, Manchego, try Cato Corner's "Wise Womanchego". There's at least a decent chance it is somewhat similar to what you're looking for.

                                        1. re: danieljdwyer
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                                          triggs73 RE: danieljdwyer Mar 20, 2009 09:12 AM

                                          Zamorano is stricly sheep's milk cheese made in the same fashioon as Manchego. Cato Corner uses cow's milk in the Womanchego.

                                          1. re: triggs73
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                                            danieljdwyer RE: triggs73 Mar 20, 2009 09:54 AM

                                            Manchego is also a sheep's milk cheese, so neither Womanchego nor Wise Womanchego is an authentic Manchego either (not that you could make an authentic Manchego in Connecticut, as sheep raised in different parts of the world will produce quite different milk). I still think it might be the closest thing one could find being produced in New England. I know Vermont has a decent number of sheep dairies, but I haven't found much sheep's milk cheese in Connecticut. This has always puzzled me, as, traditionally, Connecticut, and New England generally, tended more towards raising sheep than raising cows. The terrain and climate are more suitable for sheep and goats, and they're easier to keep for the smaller farms you usually find in the state.

                                            1. re: danieljdwyer
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                                              triggs73 RE: danieljdwyer Mar 21, 2009 07:00 AM

                                              Beaver Brook (Old Lyme, CT) uses sheep's milk in a few of their cheeses. Still not the same as a Manchego or Zamorano. But the same reason that you don't get the same flavor from a Parm made in Italy and one you get made in Wisconsin.

                                          2. re: danieljdwyer
                                            kubasd RE: danieljdwyer Mar 20, 2009 11:39 AM

                                            while they're not entirely authentic, I do love Cato Corner Cheeses.... It also helps that they're right by my house, lol

                                            1. re: kubasd
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                                              danieljdwyer RE: kubasd Mar 20, 2009 12:08 PM

                                              Then you must have more self control than I. If I lived right by Cato Corner, I'd be fat. And broke.

                                              1. re: danieljdwyer
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                                                triggs73 RE: danieljdwyer Apr 2, 2009 02:34 PM

                                                Actually just had some Pleasant Valley from Beaver Brook and it was pretty damn good for Ct made sheep milk cheese.

                                              2. re: kubasd
                                                Pipenta RE: kubasd Aug 3, 2010 06:36 PM

                                                I was driving by today, doing some work in that area. Saw a sign that read FARM CHEESE. What can I say? The wheel spun in my hand. I did not notice the sign that said OPEN SAT SUN, but saw a bunch of cars, so assumed they were open. Strolling into the shop, I blundered into a cheese packing session.

                                                I used to be the "cheese girl" at Derose's, back when they were on State Street, before they moved to Orange Street. So I know what a pretty cheese looks like. These, my friends, were very pretty cheeses.

                                                -----
                                                State Street Cafe
                                                342 State St, North Haven, CT 06473

                                                1. re: kubasd
                                                  DavidA06488 RE: kubasd Sep 19, 2011 09:20 AM

                                                  I love their cheeses, and I don't know what kind of authentic they're not. they are their own kinds of cheeses. When I go visit my brother in that part of the state, I drive by the road to their farm. I'm teasing myself with the anticipation about when I will drive in. As it is, I can get the cheese at my local cheese shop - Artisan Food Store in Southbury.

                                      2. re: DLCK
                                        Scargod RE: DLCK Jul 17, 2008 09:26 AM

                                        Three of us had lunch at Caseus Fromagerie and Bistro yesterday.
                                        Had some French wine, cold tomato bisque soup, fried oysters, salami and gouda cheese sandwich, and fries and hanger steak. Everything was quite good. The soup had some significant thyme stems in it. A little loud downstairs becase it was fairly full. Might seem a little claustrophobic for some.
                                        The service was good and the only issue was the slowness in getting the check and them not taking Am-X. The cheeses sure looked good and they had some weird chocolate bars that were tempting for use in a mole.
                                        Check it out; we will go back! Corner of Trumbull and Whitney, where sushi (?) place used to be.

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                                        jkuhlen RE: politico Jan 4, 2008 09:49 AM

                                        Made a special trip to check out Son of the Moon, and unfortunately it closed about a month ago.

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                                          NewHavenPete RE: politico Jan 9, 2008 08:54 AM

                                          I recommend Bon Appetit (http://www.bonappetitct.com/) in Hamden/Mt. Carmel. Great cheese selection and the owner, Roland, is phenomenally friendly and helpful. And I can attest that they have delicious gjetost, having gotten it from there for the past 20+ years!

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                                            vino5150 RE: politico Feb 21, 2008 03:17 PM

                                            The absolute best cheese shop in Ct has got to be Darien Cheese hands down. Ken and his wife Tori are the best in the business. Trust me I know. They were my best competition when I was a cheese monger in New haven county. Now that I am out of the business, I only go to them. Great selection and they will honestly tell you if the cheese is ready or not. No run of the mill stuff here. Years of knowledge and two of the best palates I've met in a long time. Prices are far better than any chain or independant out there. They will not carry anything that makes it way onto the Stop and Shop shelves which truely means that they are really giving you a quality product.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: vino5150
                                              jfood RE: vino5150 Jul 17, 2008 09:29 AM

                                              Jfood would second the quality of the cheese and the enormously positive attitude of the owners. Jfood went a couple of weeks ago when he was entertaining California wine/cheese relatives. They gave him 6 outstanding choices, and then offered up a new wine to pair.

                                              Not only were the cheeses outstanding, the wine was an enormous hit.

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                                              debvil RE: politico Feb 21, 2008 04:40 PM

                                              also pleasantly surprised at the pretty darn good selection of cheeses at Bishop's orchards as an ex-Fairfield county-ite I was pleased to see all was not lost. Looking forward to checking out the mentioned Cheese shops in Middletown and North Haven.

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: debvil
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                                                vino5150 RE: debvil Feb 23, 2008 07:39 AM

                                                I've been to Bishop's many times to see what was going on with there cheese selection and have always been disappointed. Bishop's has some of the best produce in Connecticut and when summer time comes...I go for their fresh basil and great selection of tomatoes. Their cheese selection is another example of a "chop and dump" store. Although they have variety which is pretty similar to every other grocery chain out there with the occasional Humboldt Fog and local CT cheeses guys, there is never anyone around to help answer customer questions. Good bakery items, good produce and good selection of grocery items. Going back to the basil....great prices! Definitley recommend it when pesto season comes knocking! You get the most bang for your buck which counts these days.

                                                1. re: vino5150
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                                                  debvil RE: vino5150 Feb 23, 2008 10:22 AM

                                                  vino - - -don't know if policy has changed but I often DO see a couple of young ladies "working" the cheese department - I have been asked if I needed help choosing. I am a during the week afternoon shopper don't know if that matters.
                                                  debvil

                                                  1. re: debvil
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                                                    vino5150 RE: debvil Feb 23, 2008 02:16 PM

                                                    Probably..I'm often there before the drive home insanity and have never had an employee offer me a suggestion or advice on cheese. I've often found myself helping other customers just because I like and miss that whole interaction. But again, like you said I could just be hitting it at the wrong time of day.

                                                    1. re: debvil
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                                                      triggs73 RE: debvil Apr 2, 2009 02:37 PM

                                                      I know that this post is over a year old and maybe things have changed over the year at Bishop's. I went this past Sunday morning to grab some cheese for a dinner party. Parm was at a good price, but you had to literally dig through the pile of rinds and mold to get a decent piece. Who ever is cutting should be sent to pick the apples instead. Waste, waste, waste. Local cheese selection was good but dificult to find anything. Signage was all over the place. My point is that if you are going to put forth the money and space for something like cheese, then you better damn well do it right.

                                                      1. re: triggs73
                                                        linguist RE: triggs73 Apr 6, 2009 07:58 AM

                                                        Nothing has changed (at least not for the better). They have some good things, but hard to find, and not remotely reliable. My favorite example of the latter is the fact that for over a year they had a sign up by a pile of cheese identifying it as "Gruyere" with some information about where in Switzerland "Gruyere" (Gruyères) is and what kind of cheese they make there. The actual cheese, however, came from Wisconsin and bore no serious resemblance to the real thing. I complained to the manager of that part of the store repeatedly, but nothing changed. Eventually I just stole the sign, leaving the cheese unlabeled (except for the already somewhat, but less, deceptive packaging). Interestingly, that cheese has remained without a sign for several months, suggesting the level of attention to detail that Bishops is noted for.

                                                        They have some good produce of their own, but most of it is just shipped in from elsewhere, like your local market. Somewhat scandalously, they get to call themselves a "farm winery" because of some fruit wines that are (allegedly) their own, but as a result they can sell Connecticut wines in general on Sunday, unlike the liquor stores.

                                                        I have other complaints as well about the megalomania of the place, but I'm afraid my virtuous indignation is compromised by the fact that I still shop there all too regularly....

                                                        1. re: linguist
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                                                          triggs73 RE: linguist Apr 6, 2009 03:33 PM

                                                          I, too, enjoy shopping there for some good produce and other unique items. The wines I pass on, but I often pass on CT wines.

                                                          1. re: triggs73
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                                                            danieljdwyer RE: triggs73 Apr 7, 2009 07:53 AM

                                                            I pretty much only ever buy cheese at Bishops if I'm there anyway and don't feel like hitting another store. I go there for the produce, bread, and, yes, the wine. Only their own wine. It's not the greatest wine I've ever tasted, but it is the only drinkable apple wine I've ever tasted. Some styles are not too sweet, and quite crisp without being tart. They're not terribly expensive, and make a great cooking liquid (for braised pork in particular). They also work very well for making mulled wine

                                                2. m
                                                  msf RE: politico Nov 15, 2008 06:08 PM

                                                  You are of course forgetting all of the on-farm shops that most of the established cheese makers in CT offer. Being one of those farms I can tell you that we have in-store only cheeses that aren't available any where else, and they change often. You get the added bonus of seeing where the cheese is made, chatting with the cheese makers and visiting the animals. Case in point, below is a layered cheese (top is goat, bottom is cow) made from raw milk, caked in herbs and washed in a citrus bourbon....I can assure you no cheese shop will ever carry this one.

                                                   
                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: msf
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                                                    spork5150 RE: msf Nov 16, 2008 06:24 AM

                                                    How true you are. I love supporting my local cheese makers..without mentioning names, but the fresh chevre up in Lebanon is one of the best around. MArk does a great line of cheeses in Colchester. My friend is a cheese maker and often helps out down at the farmer's markets. Occassionally he gives me something that he wasn't too happy with, but the end result was a crowd pleaser for me.

                                                    1. re: msf
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                                                      LAC06488 RE: msf Nov 20, 2010 06:17 PM

                                                      My favorite is the shop at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethelehem...limited production and limited supply...but whatever they make is terrific.. probably a good idea to call in advance and find out what they are making and hope you can get there before they run out..

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                                                      spork5150 RE: politico Nov 23, 2008 05:54 AM

                                                      Went to Darien Cheese for my Turkey day cheeses. Again, I can not say enough about this place. Some of the BEST cheeses I've ever had. I was there literally over an hour tasting and talking and tasting. The owners, Ken and Tori, are truely professionals along with the rest of their staff. Great time. It's probably the only place I feel great when I leave spending $150 because I know what I have in the bag will be a center piece of conversation and enjoyment.

                                                      1. choco_lab38 RE: politico Nov 23, 2008 09:42 AM

                                                        Gjetost can be found in most supermarkets (at least in NJ--my Shop Rite has sold it for at least 20 years) It comes in a small red box with white lettering. Not sure if it's the same quality as what you were served in your cheese store, but it is imported from Norway. You might try it anyhow--and it's likely to be less pricey

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: choco_lab38
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                                                          rosieg RE: choco_lab38 Nov 24, 2008 05:32 PM

                                                          Funny story. My fourth grade teacher used to serve Gjetost to our class at snack time in 1966 at the R.J. Vance School in New Britain, CT.
                                                          I have loved it since then. Her family lived in Iceland and she brought it from their farm which she visited every few months. That amazed me then, and continues to amaze me now. I'm grateful for her generosity.

                                                        2. d
                                                          DrTomG RE: politico Nov 26, 2008 04:31 PM

                                                          Another vote for Fromage in Old Saybrook - great selection! Also, the local Stop and Shops have very reasonable selections- but No Samples!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: DrTomG
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                                                            spork5150 RE: DrTomG Nov 27, 2008 02:33 PM

                                                            Haven't been there in a long time. She does have a beautiful store.

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                                                            jkuhlen RE: politico Apr 7, 2009 08:28 PM

                                                            Wow! This thread has definately stood the test of time! Maybe I should be ashamed, but I have found that Whole Foods has provided access to the cheese I crave. Specifically: The French cheese Saint Agur (not artisinal , true, but SO good), and another favorite, the Vermont Grafton Village cheddar aged four years. Its in black wax. Probably costs 50% more at Whole Foods than anywhere else, but at least it'savailable there and also really good.
                                                            On another subject, I am in daily contact with folks from Wisconsin who are pretty proud of their cheeses. I know that tons of it is low end fodder,but does anyone have a perspective on Vermont vs. New York vs. Midwest cheddar cheese quality with specific recommendations about cheeses to buy and try?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: jkuhlen
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                                                              triggs73 RE: jkuhlen Apr 8, 2009 09:54 AM

                                                              I feel that every area of this country has something great to offer. So many different styles andflavors. Some guys push the limits of what you can do and break away from tradition. Very exciting times for the artisanal cheese maker.

                                                            2. DonShirer RE: politico Dec 11, 2009 02:59 PM

                                                              Before an appointment at Yale I was able to drop into Caseus for a few minutes. For those unfamiliar with the neighborhood, the basement cheese shop steps are at the corner of Whitney and Trumbull, while the cafe entrance is a few feet to the east.

                                                              They had a fairly good selection of French and American cheeses on display (did not see many Italian varieties, but they undoubtedly had some hidden away in a cooler). I found some Bleu des Basques which I had been seeking for some time, and couldn't resist the name on a R.I. cheese, "Divine Providence". The service was friendly and knowledgeable, but I would suggest they post a bigger list of the cheeses they have for customers to see (there was a printout on the wall for the clerks' pricing, but I felt awkward squinting at it). Their prices did not seem out of line compared to other specialty shops.

                                                              While IMO this seems to be the best cheese shop in the N.H. area, my favorite CT store is still Fromage in Old Saybrook.

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                                                                triggs73 RE: DonShirer Dec 11, 2009 03:52 PM

                                                                Have you tried Liuzzi's in North haven? I know that this time of the year is probably the worst/best time to go. PACKED!!! Cheese and people. But variety of cheese is keeps me going back. Ask for Lou (gray haired gentleman).

                                                                1. re: triggs73
                                                                  DonShirer RE: triggs73 Dec 12, 2009 03:43 PM

                                                                  Yep. Used to stop on the way home when I lived in Wallingford for Parmigiano, etc. Had great sausage and prosciutto also as I recall.

                                                              2. DavidA06488 RE: politico Jul 15, 2010 11:17 AM

                                                                Artisan Made in Southbury is a great source for NEngland craft cheeses. Cato Corner Black Ledge Blue and Womanchego, and the chevres from Beltane are wonderful CT cheeses.So is Shellbourne clothbound Cheddar. Also, you might try the Cheese Shop in Darien (only know of it by reputation).

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                                                                1. re: DavidA06488
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                                                                  harrie RE: DavidA06488 Aug 4, 2010 12:20 PM

                                                                  Just be careful ordering from Artisan Made. Last Christmas I sent my sister some Cato Corner cheeses through them. The good news: She loved, loved, loved them.

                                                                  The bad news: Despite my request for two-day versus overnight air (Sis, I, and all areas inbetween were in the middle of an Arctic snap), which the rep agreed to - if they had tried to talk me out of it in order ot maintain the cheese's integrity, I would have acquiesced - the package went overnight. It cost about $200 - more, I think - for something like $75 worth of cheese.

                                                                  I'm really glad my sister enjoyed the cheese, but never again.

                                                                2. DonShirer RE: politico Jul 16, 2010 04:45 PM

                                                                  Just found a new cheese shop in a rather out-of-the-way location. "Curds and Whey" is located just off Rt. 82 at Boardman Rd., going east up the hill from the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam. Some lovely artisanal cheese brands (Cypress Grove, Cato Corner, etc.) and crusty breads in a remodeled barn. I picked up a real find, Old Smales (also called Old Winchester), a prize-winning cross between Parmesan and aged Gouda cheese from Britain.

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                                                                    jkuhlen RE: DonShirer Jul 19, 2010 08:02 PM

                                                                    Thanks, DonS, this is great news! Twenty minutes from me. I will head over tomorrow. Seems like a tough spot to make a go of a cheese shop, but I will definitely try to support them.

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                                                                    zammdogg RE: politico Aug 5, 2010 03:02 PM

                                                                    There's a small place in Madison for those of you on the Shoreline. I'm not entirely sure on the name, but it's near Ben and Jerry's and RJ Julia. Crammed to the top with cheese and reasonably priced, though I can't say I have an extensive experience with it. Anyone else go here?

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Ben and Jerry's
                                                                    237 Meeting St, Providence, RI 02906

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                                                                    1. re: zammdogg
                                                                      DonShirer RE: zammdogg Aug 5, 2010 04:10 PM

                                                                      It's just called Madison Cheese, Etc.. The address is 129 Samson Rock Drive , but easier to find by looking next door to the Madison Wine Shop, 734 Boston Post Road. They started out quite modestly, but have a better selection of cheeses now.

                                                                      Savvy Tea at 28 Durham Rd., Madison, also has some interesting cheeses.

                                                                      1. re: DonShirer
                                                                        DonShirer RE: DonShirer Aug 16, 2011 04:18 PM

                                                                        I should have added that Madison Cheese faces the alley across from Stop&Shop, and not Rt. 1, although there is a nearby pass through from the main street.

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                                                                      cheftrisha RE: politico Jan 2, 2011 05:16 AM

                                                                      Have you heard about Madison Cheese Etc... They are located in Madison, Ct, just behind the Madison Wine Shop, in the same courtyard as Ashley's Ice Cream. They have a terrific selection of international cheeses, and the also have gourmet grilled cheese to go! They will be moving across from the Madison Stop n Shop in February and carrying even a larger selection of cheese, and gourmet foods! Their prices are reasonable, and the selections are always fresh. I must say, I've bought cheese at Bishops and Stop n Shop ONLY to be disappointed , cheese wrapped in cellophane never tastes right. At Madison Cheese, you can taste the cheese befor you purchase it...A HUGE PLUS! Give it a try!

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                                                                        Tochie RE: cheftrisha Jan 17, 2011 06:38 AM

                                                                        Cheese 109 in Ridgefield. Good selection, plus they have pates and charcuterie made by Bernard (Bernard's Restaurant on West Lane).

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                                                                        ForeverB RE: politico Jan 19, 2011 08:09 AM

                                                                        Wow - This post sure has stood the test of time. I live half way in between but have always gone to Frommage in Old Saybrook or Darien Cheese Shop - both have so many cheeses and are very informative but that's a lot of driving for cheese. I was delighted when we got our own little shop in Milford a few years back. The Villa Gourmet on River St. Not a huge selection but very helpful and great cheeses and she (Linda the owner) ahs made up some lovely platters for me for parties when I take in a special dish - she makes it look really nice - labelled and laid out nicely. Give them a try.

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                                                                          bookwrm81 RE: ForeverB Jan 21, 2011 02:02 PM

                                                                          Brand new place in Centerbrook, CT (one of the villages of Essex). The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook: amazing selection, father/son team behind the counter were helpful and patient (couldn't make up my mind!) Can't wait to go back, if you are anywhere near the CT shoreline make it a point to stop in.

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                                                                          sexyLAMBCHOPx RE: politico Jan 22, 2011 05:59 AM

                                                                          If your in Fairfield County, I highly recommend Darien Cheese Shop in the Goodwives Shopping Center. Very knowlegable and enthusastic staff. They offer,hard to find and artisinal condiments, coffee, tea and salami. Grateful that they are 1 mile away from me.

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                                                                            dennisl RE: sexyLAMBCHOPx Aug 16, 2011 09:22 AM

                                                                            Maybe I should have started a new thread, but I was finally able to go to The Cheese Shop in Centerbrook, wow, what a treat!

                                                                            For starters, very friendly blonde lady offered me samples of anything I wanted (had a Gouda-type cheese, a brie, smoked salmon from Scotland <amazing> and some porcini salami, yes, has ground porcinin mushrooms.) I ended up with half a pound each of the cheese, 1/4 lb of the salami, crackers, a baguette (from the same baker that supplies Brasserie Pip.)

                                                                            Literally hundreds of cheeses each coded by country and animal, lots of different charcuterie items, breads, jarred items (pickled asparagus) oils, and dried pastas. I purchased a box of gorgonzola stuffed pasta, have not tried yet. A nice touch was some apples and pears to bring home with your treats, though the pears were hard. There is a coffee and espresso area, where beans and teas can also be bought. They also have serving trays for cheese, dipping bowls, etc. They sell some sweet treats, truffles, cookies, and my favorite: Toblerone.

                                                                            This is a wonderful place, and I am happy to have a new foodie destination, though my waist will not thank me! Please give it a try if you are in the area.

                                                                             
                                                                            1. re: dennisl
                                                                              DonShirer RE: dennisl Aug 17, 2011 04:21 PM

                                                                              Finally passed through Essex and found The Cheese Shop. I echo dennis' sentiments. I found dozens of cheeses I had not only not tried but never heard of. A quick count of the refrigerated shelves got up to about 150 cheeses before it was my turn to order. We are very lucky to have both The Cheese Shop and Fromage in the shoreline area. Lets support them!

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                                                                                luciaannek RE: DonShirer Aug 22, 2011 01:30 PM

                                                                                I love the Cheese Shop (a lot), but had very bad luck at Fromage. They were INCREDIBLY rude to me. Maybe it's because I'm young but they seemed very wary about letting me try cheeses (I tried three and then bought some) and followed me around as if I were going to steal something. When I asked if they had Middle Eastern olive oil they looked at me like I had three heads. Maybe I should give them a second chance but Geez they were rude.

                                                                                1. re: luciaannek
                                                                                  DonShirer RE: luciaannek Aug 22, 2011 07:03 PM

                                                                                  Strange, they (Fromage) have always been very polite and helpful to me, and never had them refuse a taste request. One clerk even spent 5 minutes hunting up a cheese I had requested from their board that was buried in the back of their cooler. I've noticed some new younger girls there in the last month. Perhaps you got an untrained clerk.

                                                                                  Switching topics slightly, I just bought my wife a copy of "What's cooking, CT Shoreline" for a birthday present, and the owner of Fromage was featured in a section on cheese boards.

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                                                                                    dennisl RE: DonShirer Aug 23, 2011 06:00 PM

                                                                                    I actually had a similar experience at Fromage a few years ago and have not been back since. Maybe I should give them another try, but The Cheese Shop in Centerbrook is closer to me, so…

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                                                                            jrad RE: politico Sep 17, 2011 06:55 PM

                                                                            Which shops have a good selection of feta? Looking for Dodoni, as well as a variety of others to try.

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                                                                              jkling17 RE: jrad Nov 5, 2011 02:40 AM

                                                                              This may not be a big help to you but Olsson's in Princeton NJ has the best selection of cheeses around. Their Bulgarian Feta is the BEST that I have ever had, and is reasonable. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Olssons...

                                                                              If you have a Wegman's near you, their cheese dept's are usually extensive and often have a good value for whatever you need.

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