Valentine's Day cheese

The Perfect Holiday for Our Cheese Loving Town: Valentine’s Day

guest contributor Pamela Vetrini {@cheatsandmeeses}

Valentine’s Day is the cheesiest of all holidays, and you may have noticed that Alexandria is making a name for itself as quite a cheesy town. With our abundance of cheese-centered restaurants, local cheese-mongers, specialty grocery stores, and cheese bloggers, we might be in the mecca of a cheese renaissance. I say, show me the light, cheese gods. I am ready for the lactose-enlightenment!

Meat and cheese boards are lavish, abundant, social, and everywhere. Get on board by exploring our best local spots for a charcuterie or join me in making one at home for your sweetheart. Nothing is more bacchanalian than hand-feeding your love from a lavish board by candlelight…

Here are the best local spots for a meat and cheese board…

Society Fair (277 S. Washington Street)

You can pick up gorgeous cheeses at the market or sit down to order at the bistro. Mix and match for yourself or choose “The Big Bad” if you want the cheesemongers to curate their best. Ask specifically for the “Ash log”… The best goat cheese I’ve ever had.

Cheesetique (2411 Mt. Vernon Avenue)

Truly the O.G. of Alexandria’s cheese locales, this place never fails. They have an incredible case of cheeses from near and far. If you want to really impress your sweetie, get your cheeses for a home board here. Use the expertise of the cheesemongers to guide you. A mix-and-match board is your best bet at the cafe.

La Fromagerie (1222 King Street)

This adorable spot on King Street is perfect if you want a catered board. They make beautiful boards that you can take home and dress up with a few Valentine’s specific items. See below… Click here for their catering menu.

Grape and Bean (118 S. Royal Street and 2 E .Walnut Street)

The Grape and Bean boards are made even better by the incredible selection of wines. I could spend hours chatting with my hubby while sharing a bottle of wine and a board here.

Hank’s Pasta Bar (600 Montgomery Street)

The absolute best deal at this incredible spot is the “For the love of Pasta” special. You can choose 3-5 pastas and the chef starts the evening with a handpicked antipasti board. Take me to Tuscany or Hank’s any Valentine’s Day.

*Before booking your Valentine’s date night with all your cheesiest intentions, check with the restaurant to make sure that your favorite cheese board is available. Some restaurants offer a limited menu on February 14th.

If you are ready to make a board on your own, check out my article called, “Build the Perfect Holiday Cheese Board.” You can also see loads of examples on my Instagram page.

Follow these simple steps to make a Valentine’s Day board for your sweetie.

  • Start with the board. Cutting boards are best. The one pictured here is the Hearth and Hand with Magnolia round acacia wood cutting board ($24.99 at Target).
  • The Meat and the Cheese. Pick one soft cheese, one hard cheese, and two meats. I chose a goat brie, aged gouda, salami, and prosciutto. I rolled half of the prosciutto to look like roses and I wrapped the other half around breadsticks for easy eating.
  • For crackers, I chose simple water crackers. The dried fruits section at Trader Joe’s is your friend. This board features dates, dried pears, dried figs, dried oranges, and pistachios from there.
  • A whole honeycomb is always a showstopper. I buy mine on Amazon from the Savannah Bee Company.
  • Some gorgeous and decorative items you can add are fresh herbs like rosemary, golden berries, satsuma oranges with the stem, and pomegranate seeds.
  • For Valentine’s Day, I added dark chocolate, dried strawberries, conversation hearts, and spray roses.
  • More is More. Stuff that board until it is spilling all over the table!

I hope you all have the cheesiest Valentine’s Day ever!

Pamela Vetrini
@cheatsandmeeses

Find more at Cheats and Meeses on instagram. Pamela left a career in marketing and event planning in NYC to move to Alexandria with her attorney husband. She lives in Rosemont with her husband and two boys and is a stay-at-home mom. Pamela enjoys a few side hustles hosting wine parties as her alter ego The Old Town Mom Somm, hosting flower-arranging tutorials, and building and blogging about cheese boards!

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