Photo by Katherine Harris
Wedge & Wheel Cheese Bar
You may have been to one of the excellent cheese shops in the metro, but have you been to a cheese bar? The Wedge & Wheel, recently opened in Stillwater, is both. Sure, you can sample before you buy at most shops, but Wedge & Wheel owner Chris Kohtz really wants you to think of his new shop as a cheese bar: a place where you can settle in and hang out with the cheese.
This means you can order a flight of cheeses—be they American regionals from Vermont or California, a selection of European beauties, or a throw-caution-to-the-wind selection chosen by the cheesemonger. Then order an adult beverage (there are bottles of local beer and a small list of wines) and grab a seat at one of the cafe tables while you really get to know the cheeses before buying a wedge to take home.
The flights are nice-sized portions. The Curd & Cured option I chose came with a pretty hunk of Humboldt Fog, some La Quercia prosciutto, a Wisconsin gouda, and salami with sliced baguettes and fig jam for $13. Not a bad lunch. There’s also a daily grilled cheese sandwich option—the one I had with Kingsley cheddar on seedy bread was just the right amount of gooey.
The tiny shop is airy and bright with a wall of street-side windows, and the aim is focused (it doesn’t sell coffee and there’s no liquor store attached). There are only a few cases at the front, but they are packed to brimming with a well-curated roll call of cheese, salumi, and artisan products made locally and from afar. It makes me think that it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to have a neighborhood cheese bar on every corner, would it? 308 E. Chestnut St., Stillwater, 651-342-1687, wedgeandwheel.com