Petit Fromage - Phoenix
Took my first drive up to Petit Fromage a couple of weeks ago and man, was it worth the trip. I was having a few friends over for the weekend and wanted an assortment to go with a variety of aged and somewhat obscure wines.
The owner, Lara, had me tasting though a good 10-12 cheeses and she was filled with great information about each one.
Came out of there with
> MouCo ColoRouge (colorado) wash rind cow milk (sort of epoisses like)
> cave aged gruyere
> Beemster Classic medium aged gouda
> Bittersweet Dairy Holy Cow Vache Sante (Lousiana) incredible triple cream that doesn't get runny, until it hits your tongue and just melts
> Armentizia Carpini aged goat (Sardenia) very farmy
Creminelli cacciatore salami
Creminelli tartufo salami....
I'll definitely be going back.
5345 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85013
Petit Fromage is great and Lara is incredible. It's so nice to finally have a dedicated cheese shop in Phoenix.
I also stopped into the new Oakville Grocery on Scottsdale Road on Saturday. They have a great cheese selection as well, and they will order anything you want. The MouCo ColoRouge at Petit Fromage is incredible, as is the Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam and Red Hawk at Oakville. Now we have great cheese shops in two parts of town.
We made our inaugural visit to Petit Fromage last night, and it didn't disappoint. I've been wanting to get here for quite a while, so was looking forward to it. For you East-Coasters, a regular stop when we lived in Boston was Formaggio, and since moving here I had been mail-ordering cheeses from Artisanal in New York City. Well, not any more! Lara is so friendly and knowledgeable, and sent us home with a bag of goodies for our New Year's Eve celebration:
Idiazabal (Basque - sheep's milk)
MouCo ColoRouge, the washed-rind cheese that Bill mentions above
Bittersweet Plantation Dairy Fleur de Teche (triple cream ash from Louisiana - cow's milk)
3 types of charcuterie:
Had to get the Creminelli tartufo (truffle) salami after Bill mentioned it.
Paleta serrano. Similar to the Spanish cured ham jamon serrano, but made from the shoulder instead of the leg.
Lomo Iberico de Bellota. Pricey but oh so worth it after our taste of a slice. OH MY. I've had regular lomo (cured pork loin) that I've mail-ordered from LaTienda.com, but this is a whole different category. Iberico de bellota refers to the fact that it's a special type of pork - Iberian pigs that are fed a special diet including acorns (bellota) in the last few weeks. SO delicious.
I also bought some goat's milk feta, and was tempted by the grana padano, Beehive cheddar, Oregon Smokey Blue, prosciutto di Parma, and array of olive oils. As we drove away, I said to my husband "that was such a pleasant shopping experience". Can't wait to return, and can't wait for our New Year's Eve feast!
Sounds like we might have shopped in the same haunts in Boston days (Formaggio for sure, Wine and Cheese Cask, maybe?)
We went back to the shop a couple of days ago and got:
Bittersweet Dairy Evangeline aged goats milk
another round of ColoRouge (love it!)
Azul especial (a pretty tangy blue)
Iberico (you are so right, C, that flavor is so intense), more creminelli cacciatore, and a chuck of Chorizo to sautee up with some shrimp.
New Years Eve can't come fast enough
Everything from Petit Fromage was so fantastic, I thought I'd post a couple of pictures. It will be hard to try something new next time, as we loved what we bought on this visit, though I'll be sure to try the Creminelli cacciatore and the Vache Sante on your recs. Hope your NYE was just as delicious!
Charcuterie: Paleta serrano, Creminelli tartufo salami, and lomo Iberico de bellota with toasted ciabatta, homemade "Crick-Crack" crackers, black garlic (thanks ArizonaGirl!) and truffle honey.
Cheese: Idiazabal, Fleur de Teche, and MouCou ColoRouge with honey-glazed almonds (with local McLendon's orange-blossom honey) and Drunken Raisins (marinated in port and brandy). My husband commented that the creamy Fleur de Teche with the raisins was like a decadent "grown-up rum raisin ice cream"...
Thanks for the report back, can't wait to visit. Mmmmm...tartufo salami.
For New Year's Eve, I didn't want to cook but want great food, and my husband would like to enjoy cocktails and not drive. Our solution - stocking up at Petit Fromage for a decadent charcuterie and cheese platter. I heard Lara has lomo bellota too.
Ya, the cacciatore was good but the tartufo was incredible. Melt in your mouth yummness. Ohh, I missed the lomo bellota. There were so many other cheeses that I wanted to bring home that I have plenty of reasons to head back up there. And it was the pleasurable cheese service I've had since leaving my favorite local cheesemonger in Stoneham, MA.
Good call on NYE!