On a sunny summer day, The Cheesemonger’s Table in Edmonds might fool you into thinking, at least briefly, that you’re on vacation. Fill up on fresh chevre and greens, truffle popcorn and translucent slices of salami before a stroll to the beach — or open a bottle of wine and stay put.
The Cheesemonger’s Table, which celebrated its anniversary this July, matches artisanal food with the casual cafe-market feel. It’s a place that works as well for a drop-in lunch with friends as for a business lunch with clients, where fare can be as minimal as a bite of cheese or as decadent as Jamon Iberico de Bellota, the prized ham of free-roaming Spanish pigs that eat only acorns.
Unlike most shops that specialize in cheeses and cured meats, this one won’t break the bank. Good news, since you’ll want several visits to explore the whole menu.
The menu: Come here for swoon-worthy sandwiches: BLT made with Italian smoked prosciutto and house-made tomato jam ($8.50); chicken club spruced up with pancetta and basil mayo ($10); turkey, brie and spinach on ciabatta ($8.50). The grilled-cheese sandwiches — with smoked jack and cheddar, or Gruyere and caramelized onions (all $7.50) — are ooey-gooey divine. Other items include macaroni and cheese ($8), cheese plates ($8-12) and a trio of sliders ($9) of serrano ham and fig, bresaola and truffle butter, and fresh chevre and caramelized onions. Wine, cider and locally brewed beers are also available.
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What to write home about: The salami plate ($12) is a surprisingly generous portion of three delicately sliced salami varieties from Seattle’s Salumi cured-meats shop, each of which pairs nicely with the candied nuts, olives and baguette slices served alongside. And don’t skip the cheesy bread ($5), house-made crostini topped with garlic oil, herb salt and parrano cheese that comes with an unexpected kick.
The setting: A charming indoor/outdoor cafe for Mediterranean country-picnic fare at Edmonds prices. Inside are display cases for imported and domestic cheeses and cured meats, as well as a market nook for eggs, fresh pasta and traditional antipasti.
Summing up: An order of a French onion grilled cheese ($7.50), an Arriba hot sandwich ($8.50), a cheese plate ($8) and cheesy bread ($5) came to $29 before tax and tip, and fed two.