You look out of the window one day and suddenly say to yourself:
Good God I need cheese.
Well then, I welcome you to La Fromagerie, nestled in the heart of Marylebone, London. I’m telling you, it was wholly unexpected. A tiny tornado which swooped me up into its cheesy little arms and made me forever regret the day I ever left London and all of its stunning side cafes and restaurants. Especially those with good cheese. On the way to Madame Tussauds, we hopped into this little tasting cafe on Moxton Street.
And the smell was intoxicating. Oh, the smell.
Wheels and wheels and stacks and stacks of gold, yellow, ochre, some streaked with blue crannies or creamy ivory. the water could have dripped directly from my slacked jaws. I love the combination of fresh-produce market and small, cosy restaurant. There was only one large wooden table, and about four or five other smaller ones. Light enhanced the rustic grandeur of the area, and the cheeses were dying to be savoured with the perfect wine pairing. Cheese with egon-muller, cheese with figs, cheese with truffle honey, oh me oh my.
To start, some escargots and asparagus soup drizzled with truffle oil and coupled with some good sourdough. The escargots were great with garlic and crushed basil, so each spooned mouthful was a one-job, not excessively oily hit. Soft and squidgy, but not wonderful. The soup on the other hand, was one of the highlights of this impromptu walk-in. The sort you can see yourself having again and again without ever tiring. They make the spindly asparagus a vegetable God, lifting it out of the depths of green despair with the perfect amount of seasoning, beautiful truffle oil and a not too-thick consistency. Buttery, nourishing, luxe.
And this was like magic. Sardine rillette, or a pâté-like paste with crusty, freshly baked German rye and caper berries. I realised that all the bread there was excellent, so all the accessories and couplings were assured good quality enhancement. I slathered on some rillette on the hard rye, squeezed a little lemon and popped a bite. The flavours worked so wonderfully. I felt the satiny texture of the rillette mingle with the earthy warmth of dark rye, dancing in loops and swirls with the lemon. So crusty was the bread it was almost like a toasted crostini. The caper berries were there to make sure that anyone who felt the combination of lemon and rillette was not salty enough could munch on those instead. And I learnt my lesson when I bit on one alone.
Now I really do miss London.
2-6 Moxton Street, Marylebone, London