"What should Ripple do with all that cheese they have?" you've probably never wondered. But the owner, Roger Marmet, has. And here's what he came up with: On June 5, the Cleveland Park restaurant will debut a new grilled cheese bar. Guests in the bar area can either choose their own ingredients--there's a list of 15 fairly amazing cheeses, plus spreads like chutney and black-eyed-pea hummus and toppings that include roasted red peppers and caramelized onions--or opt for one of the sandwiches on the menu.
Take the Stinky Pete, for instance, a $9 combo of Époisses cheese, asparagus, and anchovy. "There is no Pete," says Marmet. "It just sounded funny." Other silly sandwich names include the Krusty Krab, an homage to Spongebob SquarePants's place of employ that features jumbo lump crab imperial and béchamel; and the "Swiss bank account," with hand-sliced prosciutto, Challerhocker, and truffles.
All of the grilled cheeses on the menu were conceived under the guidance of executive chef Logan Cox, but they won't be made in the kitchen--two presses at the cheese-and-charcuterie station will do the hard labor.
The grilled cheese bar--which will be available Sunday
through Thursday from 5 to 6:30 PM and again from 10:30 to midnight--is
designed to attract people to the bar during those pre- and post-dinner
hours. Adding to the attraction: Wines by the glass and beers on tap will be half price from 5 to 6:30 PM Sunday through Thursday.
So are the grilled cheeses in the expansion plans for Sugar Magnolia, Ripple's wee market? Not likely, says Marmet. Zoning laws prohibit him from selling anything but grab-and-go items in that space.