A cheese plate is the perfect way to end a decadent meal. From creamy chevre to crisp Pecorino Romano or stinky blues, there’s something for everyone to love. But not all cheese plates are created equal, which is precisely why we rounded up five experiences from top resorts and restaurants around North America that prove udderly amazing.
The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto
Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton Toronto has much to entice — from its views of the iconic CN Tower to the Four-Star spa — but it’s the glass-walled cheese cave at in-house Italian restaurant TOCA that catches our attention. More than 35 selections, each aged and kept at ideal temperatures, are stored in the Four-Star eatery’s intimate cave. Ask for the special made-in-Canada varieties during a post-meal cheese tasting led by an in-house expert.
The Inn at Little Washington
Hear a mooing noise as your meal concludes at Five-Star The Inn at Little Washington, and you know you’ve met Faira, chef and proprietor Patrick O’Connell’s whimsical creation. The Northern Virginia hotel’s perfectly to scale model cow (handmade in Iowa and modeled after a prize-winning dairy cow) totes dozens of cheese varieties to provide the perfect end-of-dinner treat. Staff hand-cut your selection tableside, pairing each variety with (naturally) cheesy puns. Guess you could say that they really milk the moment for all it’s worth.
Rosewood Sand Hill
Just 30 minutes from Five-Star Rosewood Sand Hill sits a restored 1910 dairy farm complete with 200 alpine goats on a nine-acre pasture. As part of Rosewood’s “Sense of Taste” program, you can enjoy an afternoon at Harley Farms in Pescadero, California, tasting an array of award-winning cheverer, fromage blanc, ricotta and feta, as well as be a part of expert lessons on the process of cheese-making. Following that, you are treated to a picnic feast assembled by Rosewood Sand Hill’s award-winning culinary team that blends cheeses from the tasting with artisanal breads, meats and wine. Plus, you take home a cheese board as a memento.
Just 75 minutes from Montreal, this charming 37-room inn sits along the scenic shores of Lake Massawippi. Before settling in, dine at onsite restaurant, Le Hatley, a place specializing in Canadian fare that overlooks the water and English gardens. Complete the meal with more than 20 varieties of Canadian-produced cheese, the largest selection in Quebec. Don’t miss the brie-like Mi-Carême.
No need to enjoy a lavish meal to get your cheese fix. At Portland’s Urban Farmer restaurant, which sits inside Four-Star The Nines hotel, you can summon a cheese cart overflowing with seasonal cheeses and accouterments (including honey from the hives on the hotel roof) and work with the hotel’s cheesemonger to build a custom plate — all of which easily making the hotel a slice above the competition when it comes to accommodating fromage fanatics.