Weeks in advance, executive chef Jeoffrey Offer preorders cheeses that remind him of the South of France for the Newport and Laguna Beach bistros. Right now, your board must include the rare Chalet du Jura, modeled after Vacherin Mont d’Or; it’s wrapped in red pine for a distinct flavor.
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The Pacific City pub-cafe’s lineup is designed to pair with the 32 wines on draft. The Chef’s Selection offers any three fromages from the daily-changing inventory of 50. And the Swine platter amasses apple pie bacon (this place prides itself on its pig prep) and salami infused with Sangiovese wine. A tip: Order both boards.
The CdM gastropub weighed in with a four-month event highlighting artisanal cheese. Says cheesemonger Tracy Nelsen: “I want to spread the love!” She does that Aug. 16, when the program wraps up with an all-you-can-eat fest featuring the farms, like the famed Cowgirl Creamery, whose St. Pat you see here, and charcuterie and bevvies.
At Costa Mesa’s hippest resto, watch chef Amar Santana carve a leg of Cinco Jotas jamón Ibérico (the world’s finest) before it arrives with the a la carte urgelia, a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Catalonia, Spain. Add an Amontillado dry sherry too: “It’s indicative of the ‘what grows together, goes together’ idiom,” notes barman Michael Rooney.