You could knock off a good bit of grocery shopping at this Penn Quarter cheese shop, with its Amish milk and butter, Toigo Farms tomato sauce, and jugs of peppery McEvoy olive oil. But at its heart, this place—the only non-California outpost of the artisanal-cheese company—is about all things creamy, cave-aged, and stinky. In addition to Cowgirl’s own cheeses—buttery Mount Tam, moscato-washed Pierce Point—there are carefully curated wedges at the sampling-friendly counter. Northern California’s Fra’Mani, founded by charcuterie master Paul Bertolli, provides many of the salamis and hams, and Berkeley’s Café Rouge sends in the pâtés. To go with the nibbles, there’s Spanish fig paste, Maryland honeycombs, and a small selection of microbrews and wine. For those craving something sweet, Crave Brothers mascarpone ($18) pairs perfectly with June Taylor’s Mandarin Marmalade ($14.50).
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