Many mornings, I awake dreaming of cheese. It’s a strange admission, but it’s true. I believe my love of cheese goes back to my French years. Nearly every day of every seven of those years began with a toasted baguette and a layer of broiled, stinky, fabulous French cheese, drizzled with a bit of honey accompanied by a steaming bowl of cafe au lait. Not a bad way to start the day, non?
A few days ago, one of those sneaky cheese dreams jump-started my day, so I decided it was time to finally check out goat. sheep. cow, a ten month-old cheese/wine/charcuterie shop I’ve heard a lot about but had not yet visited. Subliminally, I think it’s because I was afraid I would be disappointed. Instead, I was utterly delighted.
Aptly named after the three milk-bearing animals whose milk is used to produce cheese (and just down the door from Dog & Horse art gallery – I kid you not!), the petite and cheerful space completely recalls a Parisian boulangerie/fromagerie. This particular block of Church Street, in all of its colonial splendor, is dappled with sunlight and draped with cheerful window boxes.
The exterior of the shop has an appealing Parisian patina, as well.
But, it’s what awaits inside that will give any cheese lover multiple reasons to beam. Gleaming cases stacked with well-labeled cheeses of every kind from all over the world tease with their endless edible possibilities – fondue, sandwich, casserole, quiche, or straight out of hand. Owners Patty Cohen (husband Mike, a certified sommelier, handles the wine side of things) and Trudi Wagner were on hand to hand-slice the cheese, kindly offering tastings to help me make what was becoming an agonizingly difficult cheese acquisition decision.
Ultimately, I walked away with small, neatly wrapped wedges of Brebis, Raclette, Nuvola di Pecora and Rosso di Langa. But, that was just the beginning. The shop also sells beautiful, golden, firm, oven-fresh baguettes tucked into brown paper sleeves in a brimming basket near the front door. The bread is shipped in from New York and baked off at the shop to ensure not only freshness but authenticity.
So, I picked up a baguette, a bottle of Burgundy, and a small packet of whisper-thin, freshly sliced Finocchiona, a lovely Italian cured charcuterie laced with tiny points of fennel seeds. I decided to take my cheese cache home to make a sandwich. Sandwiches are not prepared in-house, but really, there is no need. Grab some cheese, bread, and wine and do as the French do and head on out to one of Charleston’s many lovely, nearby parks on one of Charleston’s many lovely days, and have a picnic.
Back at home, I halved a generous length of the fresh, delicious baguette, spread it with a generous layer of Dijon mustard, and stacked it with the nutty, sweet Italian cow/sheep Rosso di Langa with a layer of charcuterie, poured a glass of wine, took a bite, and was back in that cheese dream all over again. Except, this time it was real.
You, too, can satisfy your delicious cheese (and wine, and bread, and charcuterie, too) dreams at goat. sheep. cow. Fabulous service and a winning location render it just about perfect.
goat. sheep. cow
106B Church Street, downtown Charleston, SC 29401
Book Giveaway! Food Lovers’ Guide to Charleston and Savannah – The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings (Globe Pequot Press, December 2011)
A free signed copy of this, my latest book, is promised to the first person who correctly identifies the two thinly-veiled puns in this post relating to the types of animals in this shop’s name. Hint: The first is cow-specific and is closely followed by a goat-specific pun. Leave your answer in the comments section and I’ll get back to the winner ASAP. Good luck!