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Cheese Plates - Where is your favorite?

I LOVE cheese plates. My favorites, so far, are at Troquet and Tresca. Any other recomendations in greater Boston? Any price.

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  1. I don't think you can beat the cheese plate at Troquet, but I also like the selection at the Butcher Shop in the South End. Sel deLaTerre has a nice cheese plate as well, although I find them to be somewhat stingy.

    1. I always love the cheese plate at Eastern Standard. Also, I don't know if it counts, but the "Pick Plate" in the bar at Gargoyles always has great cheeses and that black truffle honey is out of this world.

      1. UpStairs on the Square used to have a nice cheese cart, but I haven't been there in quite some time.

          1. re: Rubee

            I second No.9. I love accompaniments too, they always complement the cheeses perfectly... marcona almonds, cherry compote, fig terrine.

            1. re: Rubee

              I'm also a fan of No. 9. Last time I was there I was asked what I liked and disliked. My request was fulfilled on what I liked, and they challenged me (in a CH way) to push my boundaries towards what I'm not so fond of and I had a delightful tasting. It was as though I were in the hands of a grand Sommelier...always top notch.

              I appreciate that No.9 always has a wide variety and you are not just given a pre-selected 3 or 4 slices and condiments/ complements

            2. Agree that Troquet's is fab. Second Gargoyles' pick plate. Also like the rotating selection at RendezVous. I've had mixed experiences with the one at Eastern Standard, but i think that has more to do with my taste in cheeses than the quality of the plate. Prezza's is incredibly generous for $14.

              1. Love, love love the rise of the cheese course!

                I remember my first ventures with "one perfect cheese" years ago at the Blue Room. Steve Johnson took pity on our lack of cheese education and had us meet him at Formarggio Kitchen one Saturday morning where he introduced us to real cheese in many forms.

                We do enjoy the concentration on a single cheese at Rendezvous, the Blue Room and Central Kitchen. Sometimes that is exactly what I want at the end of a meal. In fact, we have decided to adopt that format at home for awhile so we can leave our cheese out and use it while it's ripe.

                But, the cheese presentation that really impressed my husband and I in 2007 was that at L'Espalier. The selections were carefully presented, each cheese was perfectly ripe, the honey soaked accompaniments were just right, our questions were answered and we were given a printed guide. That made it easy to shop for our favorites.

                3 Replies
                1. re: BostonZest

                  The "one perfect cheese" was always a must at the Blue Room and now at Rendezvous but Troquet has the best cheese plate in the area, there is nothing like having a dozen or so perfectly ripe and unusual cheeses presented tableside!

                  1. re: BostonZest

                    Second L'Espalier for the same reasons. We order cheese rather than a sweet dessert - it is a sublime experience. Blue Room second fav.

                    1. re: BostonZest

                      L'Espalier also does their Cheese Tuesdays about once a month...

                    2. Hamersley's has an awesome cheese plate. they get their cheese from formaggio. I had the cheese plate at vox populi the other day, and it wasnt that great. the cheeses were a little boring, but i mean it wasnt that bad because its really hard for me not to like any cheese.

                      1. Five years ago, I'd have said a good cheese plate was a rarity. It's much easier to get a good cheese course these days, and that's a great joy to me.

                        The most impressive one might be the big cheese table at Salts. Some other good ones I've had recently: Union Bar & Grill, L'Espalier, Sage, La Voile, The Butcher Shop, and Toro.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          The plate at Publick House is good. I'm guessing there are not many places that will serve you one of the Chimay cheeses (as made by the same trappist monks who brew the beers) but for PH, it's a perfect match. They also had an excellent cheddar with a vein of Rogue's Chocolate Stout when I had it. Superb.

                          1. re: chickendhansak

                            The selection at the Publick House is unique. The spicy Chouffe mustard makes the plate!!! However, you only get one cheese per plate...

                          2. re: MC Slim JB

                            Has the cheese table at Salts returned recently? I didn't see it in October and it's been a couple of years since they stopped serving their excellent cheese course.

                            1. re: limster

                              It was not there on my last visit (also around October), but I assumed that might be a weekend-only thing, to accommodate more dining tables. Has it really not been available at all for that long? I remember it as maybe the best-looking, best-stocked cheese table I ever saw in Boston,

                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                Afraid so; probably since late 2005 or so. Been there on average every few months from mid 2005-2007. It's not a weekend thing; the time I had cheese there was on a weekday, and the last time I was there in Oct was on a Sat (they're closed Sundays).

                            2. re: MC Slim JB

                              I'll second the Union rec...on MC's advice I tried it when I went and we LOVED it! There were lots of extras on there, smoked almonds, 2 jams, slices of apple, dried cranberries, red grapes, nice buttery toasts, plus the 4 Vermont cheeses. Very delicious.

                            3. There's a great little Tapas place in Easton, of all places, called Loco Tapas. They offer an excellent spanish cheese plate, which comes with quince and crostini. I can't recall what was on the plate, but they had a nice flavor range from mild to intense.

                              1. At least in terms of price/volume, Matt Murphy's has a VERY generously sized cheese plate. I am not a connoisseur (nor can I spell it) but I've always thought it was pretty decent.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                  I forgot about Matt Murphys - brown bread, minature gerkins, good chunks of cheese -- it's more of a meal!

                                  1. re: Pegmeister

                                    <grins> Of course, if you want the ultimate in price/volume in something somewhat equivalent to a cheese plate, you can always stop by Formaggio's grocery in Cambridge and try the cheeses they put out for sampling for zero dollars. They often have as many as 8-10 different cheeses available, many the equal of what you'll find in fancy restaurants. And if you feel guilty about trying all that cheese without paying, you can always buy a cookie or soda afterwards.

                                    Of course there are no crackers, bread, condiments, etc. placed out, the cheese may or may not be sufficiently ripe, and (for any good germophobe) it's a lock someone else has handled the knife and cheese chunk before you, but still....

                                    1. re: bachslunch

                                      If you have an issue with microscopic organisms then perhaps cheese isn't the food for you. Also the cheese at Formaggio isn't simply equal to what you'll find at fancy restaurants it IS what you'd get at fancy restaurants. There was an article a few months ago in one of the local free magazines interviewing the chefs of most of the notable res truants in the boston area and pretty much all of them said they got their cheese from Formaggio

                                      1. re: zcicala

                                        There are some places that source directly. I remember Arbor used to get cheese direct from New England producers. Don't know if Cafe D (same owners) do that. Troquet doesn't get their cheese from Formaggio.

                                        1. re: zcicala

                                          Some of those chefs named other suppliers, but yeah, most said Formaggio:

                                          1. re: zcicala

                                            I think there's a big difference between active cultures and active influenza, unless of course you happen to be lactose-intolerant.

                                      2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                        I just had the cheese plate at Matt Murhpy's for the first time. Luckily I had seen notes about the size, so I knew to share it. Everything on it was tasty, but we were a bit disappointed that the waitress couldn't identify all the cheeses...some were quite tasty and I'd love to pick them up to have at home.

                                      3. Just had the on at Tresca last night, three huge slabs of cheese with sliced apples,red grapes and a nice bread basket. A steal at $14.

                                        1. Troquet.

                                          But they must lose the "I know better than you" attitude. I want to be the one selecting the cheeses, with input from my server.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: C. Hamster

                                            But isn't it their job to know which cheeses are the best of what they've got today? They're not giving you generic cheese advice, I don't think --just a heads up about what they've got in the kitchen that's really good. The 'tude is annoying, but they're the ones who have seen that day's offerings --not you.