If you've been following this blog, you know that I LOVE cheese. This past year in Spain I've had the opportunity to become quite intimate with the product; meet many folks and cheesemakers who are making a difference, or in the very least giving a damn about the food we put in our mouths. Poncelet Cheese Bar has created an oasis for lovers of the world's politest form of mold, being a restaurant dedicated to cheese. The pictures I've enclosed below speak loads to their attention to detail and style. However I wanted to share that they are now offering informative classes and activities celebrating various types of cheeses and diving deeper into the discussion of where they come from, what a D.O. has to do with it, what to pair it with, or even to calm the doubt of what cheese to accompany or adorn your salad. You can view the full list of the coming months here, Poncelet events and cheese courses.
I attended the course on Sheep's Milk Cheese. Six samples for my tasting pleasure, ranging from smooth to intense, semicured to cured, and others with the consistency I reckoned to a torta.
A plentiful basket of whole grain and corn bread sprinkled with nuts and dried fruit. I found myself nibbling on these a little too much!
Felipe Serrano (left); cheese experts from Poncelet -amiable and who know their stuff- describing the texture of the cheese rind.
One of our strong cheeses was paired with this Monastrell, Castaño Dulce, a sweet wine from the province of Alicante, Spain.
Left, the Brebis Fourgere (France). And on the right, the Llanut from Girona in Catalonia. The wool you see is mostly for show, although it does help impede bacteria from entering the cheese.
Serra de Estrela, raw milk sheep's cheese from Portugal's mountainous region.
A "relax" zone in the upstairs portion of the Cheese Bar, sit in these stylish Boomerang Chill chairs.
Antique images line the upstairs, showing Madrid's commercial and agricultural past.
Even if you don't decide to enroll in one of the courses there will certainly be an occasion to drop in for a glass of wine and some cheese - choose from over 140. Designed by Gabriel Corchero, to me there is something very soothing about this restaurant, the design obviously has much to do with that, and the presence of vegetation on the wall also has the ability to lift one's spirit - but I also believe the consciousness and dogma of the staff and direction calm the diner, because you know that you are in good hands and in the company of well thought-through and sustainable practices. The full menu can be viewed here, which highlights cheese offerings and tastings from Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Great Britain and beyond. The rind of the cheese is always left on, all are edible (as to ensure that no industrial varieties are accepted here), and often you are even encouraged to eat it to further taste the elements, maturation or structure of the cheese. For those with an intolerance to milk products (I'm deeply sorry!), they serve other menu items as well.
Do you see that amount of cheese???!!
A peek at the vertical garden (30 square meters) and the Tea sofa chairs from Estudihac.
More Nordic influence in the lower dining room, the Wishbone chairs.
A little bit of bubbly?
Breakfast, lunch, tapas, after work drinks, dinner at:
Calle José Abascal 61
28003 Madrid Spain
+34 913 99 25 50
Metro: Gregorio Marañon
Or visit their equally successful and abundant shop at:
Calle de Argensola 27
28004 Madrid Spain
+34 913 08 02 21
Metro: Alonso Martinez