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Dec 20, 2011 11:19 AM

Which Bay Area restaurants offer a table side cheese course?

One of my favorite things about eating in France is the table side cheese course offered at so many restaurants. Other than Gary Danko, which restaurants serve a large selection of cheeses at the table from a cart or tray?

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  1. Manresa. They have a fancy imported cart.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Thanks, Robert. I have not yet been there, but it's top of the list for the new year.

    2. Cyrus in Healdsburg. They have about 15 varieties and you can choose 3 to sample.

      4 Replies
      1. re: drewskiSF

        Other than the cheese, how was your overall experience at Cyrus?

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Thanks for pointing me to this review of Cyrus. This echoes what I've heard from others.

            1. re: smoothiemaster

              We enjoyed our meal more than uhockey did. Coincidentally, it was the same lunch service that he was at.

              We didn't have the service issues he noticed though we didn't have Roger as our lead waiter. We did have the tag team course descriptions with maybe 4-5 people rotating through the 8+ courses.

              For the cheese selections our server went through each cheese providing a description of type of milk, where made, textural & flavor notes, etc.

              We were a group of 5 and the conversation was lively throughout the meal so it was more drawn out and perhaps didn't scrutinize as much as he did. Our meal lasted 3 hrs 45 minutes while his was 160 minutes.

              Everyone has different tastes. The miso poached chicken dish which he enjoyed was my least favorite (though still very good) of the meal.

              While the wine pairing was good, I didn't feel it was a good value for the $130 price (same as the 8-course menu price)

              We all would gladly go back again.

      2. Gary Danko is known for their cheese program and cheese cart. Atelier Crenn also has a cart.

        1. i believe 321 Ellsworth in San Mateo does it.

          also, although it's not tableside, i've been very happy with the cheese and meat platter at Martin's West in Redwood City.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ceviche

            I ♥ Martin's West, but that's nothing like French table-side cheese service.

            Discussion while regarding Auberge de la Brenne's cart of ~35 cheeses this past June: "Which of these are raw milk?" "Oh, madame, all of them! If it's not raw milk, it's not really cheese, is it?"

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Great line, I'll have to remember it. Thanks, Robert!

          2. Quince does table side cheese service in the main dining room. Their selection and handling of cheese is very well done. Not table side, Perbacco has a really great cheese program too. Aquerello looks to have a good cheese program though I've never had the chance to dine there. Jardinere's cheese program is very nice though not stellar - they do have interesting accompaniments. Mission Cheese is a casual place that has most of the small production American cheeses available on the market - you can order prearranged cheese flights or jsut pick out a few cheeses on your own to experiment with.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sillyeatinggirl

              Lots of great ideas. I haven't been to Acquarello in years and definitely didn't have the cheese course. May have to go back for that and all of the traditional charm. Would also like to try Mission Cheese for lunch one day soon. Thanks!