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slides: Where to Go For Cheese When Farmstead Closes

Thursday, May 15, 2014

 

With the news last week that one of Providence's best restaurants, Farmstead, would be closing its doors at the end of the month, the additional disappointment was realizing that it meant the cheese shop was closing as well. From the day it opened, Farmstead gave Providence instant foodie "cred" with its well-sourced artisan cheeses and accompaniments. The restaurant soon followed as did the loyal diners and the deserved accolades. When Al Forno restaurant arrived on the Providence scene in the 1980, there was a similar effect. Suddenly, someone saw Providence worthy of divine cuisine, and the restaurant drew the attention of the world to Providence. While Farmstead’s establishment didn’t cause quite the same intensity of ripples, it did help to put Providence on the map this century as one of the go-to cities that took its food seriously. While filling Farmstead’s shoes will be a colossal task, we still have a few shops that we love to turn to, in addition to Farmstead while it remains open, where you can find the good goods.

 

Related Slideshow: Our Favorite RI Cheese Shops

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Farmstead

Providence

More than 10 years ago, Chef Matt Jennings and his wife Kate decided to make Providence their home and open the best cheese shop our fair city had seen in some time. All of a sudden cheeses that you had heard of before but couldn't find in Providence were here. We delighted in the Ewephoria. We bathed in the bread and butter pickles they made. The restaurant opened after that and they were off to the stars. We wish them well in Boston and can't wait for their next chapter at Townsman. 186 Wayland Ave. 274-7177, http://www.farmsteadinc.com

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Le Petit Gourmet

Newport

Our favorite "south of the border" cheese shop--you Rhode Islanders will get that!--is a cool little spot on Bellevue Avenue called Le Petit Gourmet. Owned and operated by Maria Chiancola, this is like Farmstead south:  the thoughtfully selected cheeses, the local gourmet products, the freshly made lunch items prepared in-house and served fresh daily. They are all fantastic. One of our loves last year was a Prosecco-aged cheese that was aged with the vines and leftovers from the Prosecco process. Naturally, they took us next door to their wine shop and picked the perfect bottle to accent the cheese. 26 Bellevue Ave. 619-3882, 
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Milk and Honey Bazaar

Tiverton

As we head over to the East Bay, we find Milk and Honey Bazaar. We love driving out this way in the spring with the sun shining and the windows down. The ride got much better the week we found Milk and Honey. Located in the historic four corners, Milk and Honey features delicious cheeses and pâtés, charcuterie, olives, olive oils, vinegars, jellies, mustards, honey, flatbreads and crackers, and fresh baguettes. Pretty much everything you need for a gourmet experience. 3838 Main Rd. 624-1974, http://www.milkandhoneybazaar.com

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Constantino's Venda Ravio

Providence

We couldn't leave out Federal Hill, and where else would you start but Venda? Whether you are looking for freshly made pasta of all shapes and sizes, Italian cheeses imported from the old-country or a vast selection of prepared foods, Venda has it all. We love getting some crusty bread and some parm and some first-pressed olive oil and kicking back with a nice glass of wine. It's our perfect Friday night way to unwind. Or our Sunday afternoon way to gear up for the week. 265 Atwells Ave. 421-9105, http://www.vendaravioli.com  

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Chef-A-Roni

East Greenwich

Please don't let the name fool you...this had nothing to do with Chef Boyardee. This is a classic, old-school gourmet shop. From the moment you walk in, you are transported to the continent of Europe. England, France, Italy, Germany and Scandinavia...they are all covered here. And really, you could spend weeks just trying the delectable French cheeses on hand. That would mean you would miss the homemade pastas and the incredible dry sausages in the Italian area. The German section features the coolest array of pickled items you are likely to find. We loved the pickled Kale on a recent visit. 2832 South County Trail, 884-8798, http://www.chefaroni.com/

 
 

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