Usually by the time customers arrive at the Westside Market, East Village on Friday late afternoon/early evening, they are already in weekend mode. I’ve learned to take advantage of this chill by offering pairing with good talking points. Unlike Mondays when people roar through the shop on the dead run, Friday’s pace is closer to a saunter, and they have time to sample and listen.
I chose the Brooklyn Brewery Local 1 for the beer. It isn’t new, but I fear it’s getting overlooked amid the onslaught of bombers we’ve been bringing in. It’s also a great gateway brew for wine drinkers who think they don’t like beer. I was all ready to talk about the history of the leading local brewery or even explain secondary fermentation, but the cheese stole the attention. It was Brillat Savarin, the French triple cream with an extraordinary literary pedigree. It was named for the author of the Physiology of Taste by Pierre Androuet, the author of the Guide du Fromage (yes he was also a cheesemonger).
When the Brillat ran out, I switched to Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert, a super buttery sheep cheese, and the talking points became about how the local-ness of the pairing. I told people what an easy drive it was to visit both producers in a weekend, though I wouldn’t want to be behind the wheel after a few glasses of Local 1.