Fromage Friday – Cheese Plate at The Hamilton

Cheese may not be the first item you would think about ordering from The Hamilton‘s menu. The Clyde’s group new venue may attract dinner to its 12-seats sushi bar where former Zentan chef Jason Zheng is serving original rolls like the salmon lover roll (with roasted tomatoes and kiwi). Or they might gravitate towards one of the huge restaurant’s 5 bars where the staff whips out some tasty artisanal cocktails – my favourite so far was the Aaron Burr with Leopold Gin, but I haven’t make my way through the whole list quite yet 😉 The late-night bites, like the burgers or the flat iron steak poutine, I’m sure, will also be hugely popular since the new 14th & F space is planning on staying open 24 hours a day (yes, 24!!). But on my last visit to The Hamilton on December 21st for their inaugural live performance in the huge concert space downstairs I decided to give the cheese plate a try and ordered the 5th Beatle cheese plate ($23).

Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert ~ this creamy, soft-ripened cheese was probably my favourite on the plate. It’s melt in your mouth smooth with the just the right buttery texture from the triple cream. It’s made with both goats (East Fresian ewes if you must know) and hormone free cows’ milk.  
Point Reyes Original Blue ~ I love this company’s advertisement that their blue cheese is now green! Their herd of Holstein cows graze certified organic, green pastured hills overlooking Tomales Bay, in Point Reyes, California, which sounds absolutely lovely. They breeze a salty Pacific breeze which may, or may not, account for the full flavour of their blue cheese. I also really liked this cheese, which is milder than most blue cheese, but perfect for me, because I don’t actually love blue cheese.
SeaHive, Barely Buzzed ~ I love creamy cheeses, so it was highly unlikely that this full bodied award winning Utah hand-make block of cheese would schave me buzzing, but I did like it. Its flavours are pretty complex, maybe because it’s apparently hand rubbed with Turkish grind of Colorado Legacy Coffee Company’s “Beehive blend” mixed in with French superior lavender buds.
Cave Aged Marisa, Carr Valley ~ again, I like the creamy cheeses better, but I did appreciate the complex sweet earthuness of this Wisconsin sheep milk cheese. Aged for six months in an open air cave, it’s got a salty taste balanced by a high butterfat content 9which might be why I enjoyed it!)
Grayson, Meadow Creek ~ this local (yeah Virginia!) wash-rind cheese is very flavourful, with solid earthy undertone. I personally really liked it, but if you like a milder cheese, it’s probably not your best choice.
There’s a couple of other cheeses on the menu that weren’t available on this platter. If I had to order cheese at The Hamilton again, I would order the ones I haven’t tried (obviously) but also the Three Dog Night ($13) platter which had just my favourites on it: the camembert, the blue cheese and the SeaHive. The Mohogany bars at The Hamilton would make the perfect setting for a glass of wine and a little cheese at the end of a long day at work! Or at any time of day… even 3 am 😉

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