Arlington, VA

(Updated at 8/16/19) Wine and cheese store and restaurant Cheesetique is opening a new location in the Village at Shirlington.

State and county permits show the local shop is planning to open at 4024 Campbell Avenue, in the former Luna Grill and Diner space, just down the road from its existing Shirlington location.

According to permits, the Luna space is being renovated on the first floor and the basement level, while exterior changes are being made to the storefront. There will be a new sidewalk cafe outside the restaurant and operable windows, the county permits suggest.

“After 8 years in Shirlington, Cheesetique will open a new, larger location at 4024 Campbell Avenue this autumn,” owner Jill Erber confirmed to ARLnow, following the original publication of this article. “The new Cheesetique will be home to private dining and event spaces, more generous restaurant seating, and an enhanced retail cheese and wine shop. Our current location at 4056 Campbell Avenue will close once we relocate.”

Cheesetique has locations in Shirlington, Alexandria’s Del Rey neighborhood and the Mosaic District in Fairfax County. A Cheesetique location in Ballston closed in June.

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(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Arlington County police and medics have responded to Clarendon after a promotion for free cheesecake got out of control.

Police were called to the area of the Cheesecake Factory at 2900 Clarendon Blvd earlier today for a report of a large crowd and heavy traffic in the area. Around 1 p.m., another dispatch went out for a fight in progress at the restaurant, though officers did not find an active fight when they arrived.

The culprit: the Cheesecake Factory is giving away free slices of cheesecake in honor of its 40th anniversary, but only to those who order on Doordash. The result, according to an Arlington County Police spokeswoman: an unruly crowd of delivery drivers inside the restaurant, trying to pick up orders, and a rash of double parking around the Clarendon area.

The scene was “a little hectic” and officers were working to bring order and “calm the situation down,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com.

During the fracas, according to Savage, one person refused police commands to leave the restaurant and a struggle with officers ensued. That person was arrested and is expected to be charged with disorderly conduct, Savage said. He requested to be transported to a local hospital by medics for evaluation of possible injuries.

Here is what the Cheesecake Factory said about the promotion on its website:

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, on December 5th only starting at 11:30AM local time, we’re giving away 40,000 FREE slices* of cheesecake! Get a free slice* of cheesecake when you order delivery through DoorDash! Use promo code FREESLICE at checkout. Get it while you can because an offer this sweet won’t last long!

As an added bonus, DoorDash is offering $0 delivery fee** on all of The Cheesecake Factory delivery orders from December 5 – 11! No promo code needed!

There are social media reports that the promotion has caused chaotic scenes at other Cheesecake Factories across the country.

Later Wednesday afternoon, photos and video emerged on Twitter that appeared to show the arrest and some of the chaos inside the restaurant.

https://twitter.com/pat_patsy_cake/status/1070411021305688066

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Local wine and cheese retailer and restaurant Cheesetique opened its third location today in Ballston, at 800 N. Glebe Road.

“This is our biggest physical location, so I am very hopeful the model will work for us,” said store owner Jill Erber. The original location opened 12 years ago in Del Ray and the second location opened in Shirlington, at 4056 Campbell Avenue, five years ago.

The Ballston menu is identical to the other two locations. The cheese shop carries cheeses and charcuteries from all over the world, for retail sale or for dining in. Dine-in menu items include mac and cheese, grilled cheese, salads and hearty sandwiches.

“Everything on the menu is intended to feature the cheeses,” said Erber.

The wine and beer list is selected to pair with the cheeses. One unique feature about the new location is that there will be a full bar, which will be opening later this year.

For this week only, Cheesetique will only be serving lunch from 11-3 p.m. Next week, the restaurant will start its normal hours, serving lunch and dinner from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

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Morning Notes

Rainy February commute (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Cheesetique to Open in Ballston — Cheese-and-wine shop Cheesetique has signed a lease for the former Pizza Vinoteca space at 800 N. Glebe Road in Ballston. It’s Alexandria-based Cheesetique’s third location and its second in Arlington. Cheesetique opened in Shirlington in 2011. [Washington Business Journal]

Snow Forum Tonight — Amid a driving rainstorm, Arlington County will hold a public forum to gather feedback on its post-blizzard snow removal efforts. The forum is taking place starting at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Key Elementary (2300 Key Blvd). Arlington received more than 3,000 responses to an online questionnaire about snow removal, most from the 22207 ZIP code and 46 percent saying they were dissatisfied. [Arlington County]

More on Snow Feedback — At the County Board meeting Tuesday afternoon, County Manager Mark Schwartz said many residents expected to see a plow on their neighborhood street within a day or two of the historic storm. “There seems to be a disconnect between people’s expectations and our resources,” he said. “We simply don’t have the resources to do that.”

Palette 22 Up and Running in Shirlington — Art-themed street food restaurant Palette 22 opened its doors on Monday. Defying those dubious about its theme and small plate offerings, Palette 22 was busy when ARLnow.com walked by Monday night. (The other two busy Shirlington restaurants Monday: Busboys and Poets and Guapo’s.) At 6,000 square feet, Palette 22 will have to keep packing them in even after the opening hype dies down. [Washington Post]

Hillary Clinton Event in Courthouse Tonight — Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign will be holding an event in Courthouse tonight with women’s health advocate Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Richards will talk about what’s at stake for women in this election and highlight Hillary Clinton’s proven record of standing up for women’s access to affordable reproductive health care regardless of income, race, or ZIP code,” said a press release. The event is taking place at Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill (2424 Wilson Blvd) starting at 7 p.m.

Changes to Library Fines Proposed — Under a proposed change, Arlington Public Library’s daily fine structure for overdue materials would change — from 20 cents for children’s materials, 30 cents for adult written books and $1 for DVDs — to a flat 30 cents per day for everything. The flat rate structure would be similar to that of Fairfax County’s libraries and is expected to be a wash financially. [InsideNova]

Baseball Teams Joust at Barcroft Field — During a rain delay yesterday at Barcroft Field, the George Washington University baseball team and their opponents from Delaware State had a bit of a jousting duel, video of which was posted online. [WJLA]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Mariachi band at El Paso Cafe (photo courtesy ddimick)

Rosslyn Jazz Fest Street Closures — A number of lane and street closures will be in place for most of the day on Saturday for the 2013 Rosslyn Jazz Festival. The festival itself runs from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. The closures will be in place from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., in the area of Gateway Park. [Arlington County]

Road Closures for 9/11 5K Race — Several roads in the Pentagon City area, including parts for Route 110, Army Navy Drive, Washington Blvd and S. Joyce Street, will be closed Saturday night for the annual Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff Memorial 9/11 5K race. The closures will first go into effect at 5:45 p.m. [Arlington County]

‘Cheesemonger’ Katie Carter Profiled — Katie Carter, the cheesemonger for Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway), recently placed third in a national cheese contest. The honor was the culmination of the D.C. native’s nearly lifelong love of cheese and cheesemaking. (Now expecting her second child, Carter is taking a break from her “Your Cheesemonger” column on ARLnow.com.) [Washington Post]

Teen Tutors Needed — Affordable housing nonprofit AHC Inc. is again looking for volunteer tutors. AHC’s tutoring program has served at-risk teens in Arlington for more than 15 years. [AHC Inc.]

Flickr pool photo by ddimick

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Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Katie Carter, cheesemonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

Jasper Hill Farm, the innovative and progressive farmstead cheesemakers and cheese agers out of Greensboro, Vermont have taken the coveted Best of Show award from the 2013 American Cheese Society Conference for their washed rind cheese, Winnimere. The competition was held in Madison, Wisconsin last week in conjunction with many cheese educational sessions and seminars.

Winnimere, a soft, raw cow’s milk cheese that’s wrapped in Spruce bark, bested over 1,700 other cheeses to take this top award. That sounds incredible but it doesn’t surprise this cheesemonger. Jasper Hill Farm is at the forefront of the American artisanal cheese movement and have deserved this honor for years. The enterprise was started in 2003 by brothers Andy and Mateo Kehler who wanted to created an honest and meaningful livelihood in a place where more farms were closing than thriving. They settled on raising Ayrshire cows and turning the milk into handcrafted farmstead cheese and by doing so, created a successful model for other local farms to follow.

Jasper Hill cheese cavesToday, Jasper Hill Farm is well known for its high quality and delicious cheese. Their lineup of cheeses is diverse and includes some produced with raw milk and some made only seasonally. Winnimere is one of their cheeses only produced with high fat and protein-rich winter milk, so unfortunately, we all have to wait a few more months to enjoy it again.

What makes Jasper HIll Farm so successful is their ability to constantly adapt and evolve. I have had the immense pleasure of tasting Jasper Hill Farm’s evolution over the years. Some cheeses, including one of my all time favorites, Constant Bliss, have sadly disappeared while others, including Winnimere, have greatly improved.

The farm is also known for their affinage (cheese aging) program and underground caves. In addition to aging their own cheeses in their 22,000 square foot caves, Jasper Hill brings in other farms’ cheeses so they may be professionally aged and properly distributed. This practice is almost unheard of in the States but is very common in Europe.

Lastly, the people of this farm are simply exceptional cheese professionals and care deeply about the growth of the artisanal cheese movement in the States. They are outstanding farmers, producers, and agers. If you come across their cheese, enjoy it knowing that it was made and aged by some of the most dedicated and skilled craftsmen in the country.

Katie Carter is Arlington’s first and only ACS Certified Cheese Professional. She has worked in the cheese industry for ten years as a cheesemaker, cheesemonger, and educator. She can be found on Twitter @AfinaCheeseThe views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Katie Carter, cheesemonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

World famous Swiss affineur Rolf Beeler, the great Swiss cheese importer Caroline Hostettler, and the author of Fromages Suisses, Dominik Flammer, all say Willi Schmid is the best cheesemaker in Switzerland. But I needed to understand for myself, what makes him so great? After spending two weeks with Willi Schmid and his crew at Städtlichäsi creamery in Lichtensteig, Switzerland, I came to understand what makes this cheesemaker and his cheese so special.

Willi Schmid, a lifetime resident of the Toggenburg region of Switzerland, is a master at listening to the voice of the land and translating that voice into distinctive and ever-evolving artisanal cheese. His unprecedented creativity and a very broad knowledge of the science of cheese makes him one of the world’s leading cheesemakers. He has truly taken the craft of cheesemaking to a new level.

Jersey Blue cheese being made (photo by Katie Carter)Simply put, Willi Schmid combines innovation with tradition to create unique cheeses of the highest quality that also happen to be Swiss. But there is nothing simple about how Willi accomplishes this. His understanding of the milk of his region is unsurpassed and he knows how to transform a specific day’s milk into an appropriate cheese expression. He has largely broken free of the classic Swiss cheese types and creates many styles, from goat’s milk blues to pine bark-wrapped washed rinds; about 30 different kinds in all. Though some of these styles are new to Switzerland, they are completely terroir driven; conveying the personality of each milk, the season, and the land.

Willi Schmid thinks and operates and on a very intense level. In the creamery, he moves fast and in an exacting manner, while juggling three to five recipes at one time in his head, using only his nose and palate, a thermometer, and 28 years of experience to guide him.

Before 9:00 a.m. this man has received milk from a few local farmers, driven to get local milk, driven the whey to local pigs, and made not just one great batch of cheese, but about four different kinds. They are all made with raw or thermised (gently pasteurized) milk from Brown Swiss and Jersey cows, goats, sheep, and even four beautiful water buffalo. After using very unique and innovative techniques in the creamery, the bare minimum is done in the caves in order to let the milk shine. There is little blue mold or white bloom and no heavy washed rinds.

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Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Katie Carter, cheesemonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

On a recent trip to Manhattan, I found myself in a hairnet scrubbing my hands and arms over a knee-operated stainless steel sink. A moment later soapy, hot water rushed under my shoes. I was in the sanitary “make room” of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, a Seattle-based producer of artisanal cheese, with Dan Utano, the head cheesemaker and Colleen Levine, author of the cheese blog, Cheese and Champagne. Dan generously gave us a tour inside New York’s most ambitious creamery and some insight into the challenges and rewards of making cheese in the country’s most populated city.

Cheese production at Beecher's in New York City (photo courtesy Colleen Levine)Every other morning, a tanker truck full of fresh, raw milk heads into the the Flat Iron district of Manhattan from two farms, Dutch Hollow and Ooms Dairy, originating just outside of Albany. After about two hours of pumping the milk into the enormous holding tank, pasteurization of the milk is underway. The milk is then pumped into large rectangular open vats where the liquid milk is slowly and carefully transformed into solid curds.

The process is slow and methodical. Each step, from acidifying the cheese with cultures to “cheddaring” (the long process of draining whey from stacked curds), is executed with exacting precision by passionate artisans. What’s special about this creamery is that anybody can watch the magic happen. The walls of this creamery are glass and everybody walking past can get a glimpse of this ancient craft.

Cheese production at Beecher's in New York City (photo courtesy Colleen Levine)Beechers creates six cheeses in this spotless, modern creamery. Though production focuses mostly on various cheddars, Dan, a former cheesemonger, recently developed Flat Iron, a young and supple washed rind cheese loosely based on Taleggio. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is a serious name in the industry — Flagsheep, a sheep and cow’s milk blend made in their Seattle location, took the Best of Show award in last year’s American Cheese Society competition.

The logistics of city cheesemaking are tricky; production is large though not enormous. At the time of my visit, they were only up to half capacity. But how does the creamery handle issues such as disposal of whey, a nutritious by-product of cheesemaking? Dan explained that they wanted to comply with the city’s regulations by not simply dumping thousands of pounds of whey each day into the city’s sewers. Their solution? Give it back to the farmers. The two farms use the whey for feed and fertilizer. A perfectly sustainable solution.

On your next visit to New York, consider stopping by Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. In addition to the creamery, they have a well stocked cheese counter and a comfortable restaurant.

Wondering how I did in the Cheesemonger Invitational? Your Cheesemonger won third place! I dedicate this great honor to Aldo Molina, my dear friend and fellow cheesemonger who passed away last year.

Katie Carter is Arlington’s first and only ACS Certified Cheese Professional. She has worked in the cheese industry for ten years as a cheesemaker, cheesemonger, and educator. She can be found on Twitter @AfinaCheeseThe views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Photos by Colleen Levine

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Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Katie Carter, cheesemonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

Winter is, by far, the busiest season for cheesemongers. Holidays and family gatherings call for great food and cheese is always invited. The quieter summer months, on the other hand, allow cheese professionals to visit farms and creameries, attend cheese conferences and food shows, and compete in cheese competitions.

Events like these elevate our appreciation and knowledge of handmade cheese and help propel cheese to higher levels through the sharing of ideas and information. To a cheese professional, there’s nothing better than geeking out with other pros and enjoying many new cheeses, all while pondering the future of cheese. We come back to the cheese counter refreshed, full of insight, and ready to take on the next busy season. Here are just three out of many events coming up soon.

4th Annual Cheesemonger Invitational; June 29, 2013 in Long Island City, NY

This Saturday, hundreds of cheese professionals and lovers will flock to a cheese warehouse in Long Island City, NY for this annual cheesemonger competition. Cheesemongers from across the country (even a cheesemonger from Hawaii!) will compete for the title of best cheesemonger. Battles include an exam, crafting a “perfect bite”, and creating a beverage and cheese pairing on the fly.

This event, held by cheese importer Adam Moskowitz, is really more cheese insanity than a formal competition. It is a party, a friendly competition, and a celebration of the art of selling amazing cheese. And, yes, Your Cheesemonger will be there competing and mingling with her fellow mongers and makers. You can follow the competition on twitter @afinacheese or @larkin4life.

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival; July 21, 2013 in Shelburne, Vermont

This all-day festival, held at the historic Shelburne Farm, features over 40 Vermont cheese producers, as well as other Vermont food artisans. In addition to sampling handcrafted cheese, guests can attend cooking and cheesemaking demos and sit in on a few cheese related workshops. Though I have never been, I am sure Vermont is an absolutely beautiful escape from the D.C. region’s sweltering summer heat.

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Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Katie Carter, cheesemonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

The story of blue cheese is the story of the balance between great milk and the blue penicillium mold, our attempts to control the two, and the pleasure we experience when it’s done right. A happy accident led to the discovery of this special category of cheeses.

RoquefortThe tale goes that a young shepherd left his lunch of bread and cheese near the natural caves of Cambalou in the Roquefort-sur-Soulzon region of France. When he returned to fetch his food a few days later, he discovered his cheese had grown mold. Not wanting to waste his food, the shepherd ate the moldy cheese, which turned out to be delicious! By leaving his cheese to grow mold (penicillium roqueforti) native to that very particular cave, this shepherd inadvertently created the very first Roquefort cheese.

Today, almost all of the blue cheese produced around the world are made using the cultivated mold from these special caves. It is usually added to the milk in liquid form before coagulation but some cheesemakers still use a powdered version. The blue-green mold needs air to grow, so most blues are either pierced with needles or have a very open texture (air pockets) where the mold forms. Willi Schmid is the only producer I know of that creates an intentional pattern by splitting the cheese with a knife a few weeks after production.

The best blues are not overpowered by the flavor of the mold. The cheese and mold should harmonize and work together to create a unique, yet balanced, experience. Blues are naturally stronger in flavor than most other cheeses but not all blues are intense. They can range from very buttery with a slight spice to incredibly bold and acidic. Queso Cabrales is the strongest blue I have come across. Some people love it; I find it way too strong to eat on its own.

Stilton

StiltonDating back to the 18th century, Stilton is England’s most famous blue cheese. It was described in the early 1720’s by author Daniel Defoe as, “English Parmesan, and is brought to the table with the mites or maggots round it so thick that they bring a spoon with them for you to eat the mites with, as you do the cheese.” Fortunately, maggots are no longer present in the blue cheese and is enjoyed instead with a glass of port. Though it is a classic winter cheese, Stilton can be enjoyed throughout the year. Made today only with pasteurized cow’s milk, it is buttery and rich while the blue veining adds a pleasant acidity. Look for Stilton made by the Colston Bassett creamery, the best and oldest Stilton producer.

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Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Katie Carter, cheesemonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

When you walk into a cheese shop and that very particular odor hits your nose, you are most likely smelling the group of cheeses we call the washed rinds. Unlike the gentle fresh and bloomy rinds, this class of cheese offers a wide range of bold, earthy aromas and flavors. We can thank the European monks, specifically the Benedictines, for these whiffy creations.

These monks were part of an order that required a life of hard work, self sufficiency, and poverty. Beer became an important part of that life, as well as dairy farming and cheesemaking. The cheeses they developed often integrated their own beer. After production of a simple rennet coagulated soft or semi-soft cheese, the monks washed the wheels with their beer, a simple brine solution, or distilled spirits.

Cheese washing (photo by Katie Carter)The process of continually washing the cheese attracts a common (and edible) airborne bacteria to the surface, growing as a reddish and sticky “smear”. This bacteria, brevibacterium linens, is responsible for this style of cheese’s characteristic aroma and red rind. It also happens to be responsible for smelly feet, which is why people associate this style of cheese with old socks or funky body odors.

Before you get all grossed out, let me state that the aroma of these cheeses are usually much stronger than the actual taste of the cheese (and, again, the rind is perfectly edible).

Today, washed rind cheeses can be made by any cheesemaker as the bacterial linens are commercially manufactured, allowing for better consistency from batch to batch. Most cheesemakers will inoculate the milk with this culture, as well as add it to the brine solution during washing.

Bergfichte

This raw cow’s milk cheese is made by my favorite cheesemaker, Willi Schmid, in Lichtensteig, Switzerland. It is a soft cheese wrapped in spruce bark from local trees. The cheese has an aroma of rosemary and pine due to the bark, with only a slight hint of farmy funk. The rich, creamy paste is in perfect balance with the other elements of this cheese. The Swiss taught me a very cool trick to enjoying this cheese: eat it backwards. Peel off the bark and eat the cheese from the outside in and you will get the full piney goodness that makes this cheese so wonderful.

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