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Cheesetique Wine Bar, Jill Erber in Several Virginia Locations

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If anyone else is as eager as I am to check out the wine & cheese bar, an employee this weekend said the target date to open is the 25th. Caught a peek behind the curtain while passing by one evening - the space looks great with a long, inviting bar. Oh, and rumor is the store part will be open late on bar nights, so you'll be able to pick up cheeses "after hours" even if you don't stay for drinks.

- a Cheesetique groupie

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If anyone else is as eager as I am to check out the wine & cheese bar, an employee this weekend said the target date to open is the 25th.

Open, sez me.

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The Cheese & Wine Bar is now open Tuesday-Saturday 5 PM - 9 PM. We will be expanding those hours soon. At the bar, you can get cheese boards, charcuterie boards, entrees, desserts. There are also a number of wines and beers by the glass or bottle. This space will also double as our classroom space on Sundays and Mondays. We will do special events, as well. Just ask!

Hope to see you all soon-

Jill

Thanks! Expanded Saturday hours would be great!

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Thanks! Expanded Saturday hours would be great!

From the last newsletter, the cheese bar is now open till 10 on Friday and Saturday nights - and now serving wine flights.

They have a great menu of tasty sounding paninis, soups and salads, but I've only focused on the cheese and charcuterie thus far. Some recent favorites: Nevat, a slightly sweet, delicate and creamy Spanish goat cheese, and the stinky and luscious Grayson (Virginia washed-rind, cow's milk). The spicy citrus olives, one of the optional accompaniments, are divine.

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went last saturday night on a whim after looking at some NoVA real estate. Very comfortable atmosphere, great tunes in the background, lovely service, and, most of all, terrific wine and great cheese. As this was just a drop in, we only went for the three cheese plate - got the Stilton, the Humbolt Fog, and an Italian cheese we'd never had before - Menage? all were tasty, and obviously well-handled. Nice bread selection, and I think that the sweet on the plate was quince paste, though I could be wrong about that. Though we were first-timers, they made us feel quite welcome and we could easily have curled up there for hours.

We look forward to a return visit.

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Needed to pick up a few things here on Saturday, so decided to sit at the bar and have lunch too. Needless to say, the grilled cheese here is one of the best around. Taleggio and fontina on good bread with onion jam. It also came with a salad (get the house made blue cheese dressing) and a cup of gazpacho. Only $10.

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Hi, all!

For those of you who like to shop at Cheesetique on the weekends, we are now open for lunch on Friday/Saturday (11 AM - 2:30 PM) and Sunday (noon - 2:30 PM). The menu is the same, but it has been expanded to include more salads and sanwiches.

Thank you all for your support!

Jill

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We had a lovely dinner tonight at Cheestique with the two kiddies. Adult sandwiches for the adults and a very tasty kids' grilled cheese (with very cute kids cups for water/milk). The food was very nice and the service was beyond accomodating. And, this was before the 13-month old actually knocked over a table outside sending glass everywhere. The two servers could not have been nicer about it, and we're very grateful. We'll return, presumably sans kids...

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I know I am going to be sorry for spreading the word, but I feel it is my responsibility as a DR.com member to let you know about the wonderful classes being offered at Cheesetique. Monday night I attended my second class here: Leaf-wrapped Cheeses. In August, I attended the Summer Cheeses class. Both were outstanding.

The class begins with the exuberant and very knowledge cheese lady, Jill, lecturing about the cheeses and wines to be enjoyed. [Note: eat a little something before you arrive. It is torture if you haven't eaten since lunchtime.] Each person is seated with a plate of roughly ten cheeses, and is later served two (or so) samples of wine. Jill talks about the different cheeses and provides handouts with lots of information. If you've ever met Jill, you can imagine how enjoyable her discussions are. You learn about the making of the cheeses, how to serve it, and you also get history lessons.

Get on Jill's mailing list and you'll get her newsletter and info about upcoming classes. It now requires lightning-fast reflexes to secure a spot in a class, so don't delay. Maybe Jill will be willing to offer a dr.com class next time around. The cost for Monday's class was $35, which you pay in advance via paypal.

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I know I am going to be sorry for spreading the word, but I feel it is my responsibility as a DR.com member to let you know about the wonderful classes being offered at Cheesetique. Monday night I attended my second class here: Leaf-wrapped Cheeses. In August, I attended the Summer Cheeses class. Both were outstanding.

The class begins with the exuberant and very knowledge cheese lady, Jill, lecturing about the cheeses and wines to be enjoyed. [Note: eat a little something before you arrive. It is torture if you haven't eaten since lunchtime.] Each person is seated with a plate of roughly ten cheeses, and is later served two (or so) samples of wine. Jill talks about the different cheeses and provides handouts with lots of information. If you've ever met Jill, you can imagine how enjoyable her discussions are. You learn about the making of the cheeses, how to serve it, and you also get history lessons.

Get on Jill's mailing list and you'll get her newsletter and info about upcoming classes. It now requires lightning-fast reflexes to secure a spot in a class, so don't delay. Maybe Jill will be willing to offer a dr.com class next time around. The cost for Monday's class was $35, which you pay in advance via paypal.

The classes are great and now even better since they moved into the new space and have more room. Not to mention that they can now have wine with the classes.

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The classes are great and now even better since they moved into the new space and have more room. Not to mention that they can now have wine with the classes.

I'll give a caveat here. I like the wine available with the classes, but I wish there would be a non-wine option available at a lower cost. Also, while the new space is much better for the classes, I liked the communal feel of the old place. With the tables now all 2-tops and 4-tops, you don't get to converse with anyone other than the folks you brought with you.

Minor nits. Love the new place, love the classes.

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Just a quick update to note that tasting classes are back in full effect at Cheesetique. A recent "American Winners" event featured ten award-winning selections from the American Cheese Society Conference in Austin. Caymus Conundrum and Hedges CMS Red (both '07) provided tasting accompaniment.

One star of the evening was Best in Show Rogue River Blue. This raw cow's milk, cave-aged, hand-crafted, wrapped in Pear-brandy soaked grape leaves delicacy from Oregon offered a rare moment of wonder.

*rennet-induced swoon*

Cheesetique's $40 classes still fill up in a heartbeat, but the good news is the registration process is now automated. The best way to learn about the upcoming schedule is to keep an eye on the website, sign up for the mailing list, and plan to crash elbows with me on the way through the e-registration gate.

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I tasted the Rogue River Blue recently, too, in Oregon. It is quite a good cheese. I have to say though, as good as that cheese is, I ever so slightly prefer the Carter Lake Blue. Srsly.

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The new chef is Joshua Andrus, formerly of Minibar.

This seems almost hauntingly recognizable, but I can't think from where.

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I have always really liked Cheestique, I have a group of girlfriends that go often, but I am really happy about the expanded Winter menu. Look forward to tasting the new creations by the new chef.

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During my final errands to get ready for Christmas I took some time to have lunch at Cheesetique and enjoyed a very tasty ham, turkey, and swiss sandwich. There were also having their Wednesday special, $5/glass house red or white. My only complaint, and one that I have with many places in the area, is that they serve the red wine way to warm. Why do places have to leave the bottles of red on the counter?

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I am a Del Ray resident, and I love having such a well-stocked cheese shop in my neighorhood. But while I have had great experiences with the staff who work behind the cheese counter, I have now had three bad experiences in the restaurant. Not with the food, which I think is good, but with the service. On each occassion I was there with a different person, and each person I brought was equally affronted by the terrible service (so I know it wasn't me!). In one instance, we had a waiter tell us: "I don't know anything about the cheeses. I actually quit last week." In another, we experienced an incredibly rude host. I won't elaborate with the details, but her behavior was atrocious. The other patrons in line were all talking about how rude she was. And for a final attempt (this is how much I love cheese) I went back with my husband and the waiter actually sneered at us when we tried to ask a question about one of the wines on the glass list. Has anyone else had this kind of trouble there, or have I just had a lot of really bad luck? I really do hope I happened to catch them on three bad nights.

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I am a Del Ray resident, and I love having such a well-stocked cheese shop in my neighorhood. But while I have had great experiences with the staff who work behind the cheese counter, I have now had three bad experiences in the restaurant. Not with the food, which I think is good, but with the service. On each occassion I was there with a different person, and each person I brought was equally affronted by the terrible service (so I know it wasn't me!). In one instance, we had a waiter tell us: "I don't know anything about the cheeses. I actually quit last week." In another, we experienced an incredibly rude host. I won't elaborate with the details, but her behavior was atrocious. The other patrons in line were all talking about how rude she was. And for a final attempt (this is how much I love cheese) I went back with my husband and the waiter actually sneered at us when we tried to ask a question about one of the wines on the glass list. Has anyone else had this kind of trouble there, or have I just had a lot of really bad luck? I really do hope I happened to catch them on three bad nights.

I've been going to Cheesetique since it opened, as a "front of the house" customer. I've never experienced bad service, in fact, I've been helped so much in my decision making process. It's such a shame the restaurant is having problems with rude staff; what a disconnect.

You should contact Jill Erber, the owner, as I'm certain she would want to know of your dissatisfaction. She's also a DR member, so perhaps you can PM her.

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I've been going to Cheesetique since it opened, as a "front of the house" customer. I've never experienced bad service, in fact, I've been helped so much in my decision making process. It's such a shame the restaurant is having problems with rude staff; what a disconnect.

You should contact Jill Erber, the owner, as I'm certain she would want to know of your dissatisfaction. She's also a DR member, so perhaps you can PM her.

Thanks for the suggestion! Yes, I really love the front-of-house staff. There is one girl in particular who has a great palate for cheese and is so helpful and nice. I considered writing the owner after the last of the three terrible dining experiences - we were so upset by the rude host that we actually left, as did a couple of other people in line, and I wondered if the owner was aware of her wait staff's behavior. I will try to reach Jill and let her know.

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Thanks for the suggestion! Yes, I really love the front-of-house staff. There is one girl in particular who has a great palate for cheese and is so helpful and nice. I considered writing the owner after the last of the three terrible dining experiences - we were so upset by the rude host that we actually left, as did a couple of other people in line, and I wondered if the owner was aware of her wait staff's behavior. I will try to reach Jill and let her know.

I once PM'd Jill with a complaint, and she responded quickly and graciously.

And, he added quickly, none of my occasional visits (I live in DC, and so pass through infrequently) have been less than fulfilling.

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To address the service comments: we were at Cheesetique a couple of weekends ago. It was during restaurant week. We arrived around 4 and sat at the bar. During our time there, I had the white wine flight followed by a glass of red, my friend had 2 glasses of red, and we shared a large cheese board (I think 3 cheeses and 2 meats). I was less than impressed with the service throughout. No one was outright rude, but we sat at the bar for quite some time being ignored before anyone asked if we wanted a drink and typically we had to flag someone down when we wanted something else. Generally, the staff - again, while not rude - was not particularly friendly or helpful. We live in Laurel and were in the area, but not in a hurry so it didn't bother me to a great extent but for it to become my friendly neighborhood place, the staff would probably need to warm up a bit (and maybe they do if you come in more frequently). FYI, we were there early so it wasn't busy when we arrived so that wasn't the reason for us being ignored.

While the wines didn't impress (they were all fine, just didn't wow us), the cheese and meats were delicious. I ended up purchasing the sausage that we had, and the pate that we had was one of the best I've had. All 3 cheeses were excellent - again, I ended up taking one of them home with me (along with some others that we didn't try on the cheese board of course). If I lived in the area, I would definitely stop in frequently to patronize the front of the house.

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