Gourmands who dine à la française eagerly anticipate the cheese course, relishing the opportunity to order yet another bottle of wine to pair with creamy bries or sharp aged cheddars. But at some hotel restaurants, cheese caves and the unusual wheels within have created a reason to elevate the cheese course to a meal in its own right.
One luxe example is The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. There, at its Toca restaurant, a glass-enclosed cheese cave is filled with upwards of 200 cheeses for guests to sample. The collection offers plenty of local varieties, placing the restaurant’s focus on sustainable Canadian cuisine. Between three and four cheeses are offered nightly at the tables, but true cheese lovers can taste their way through the 50 varieties that are ready to eat at any given time, including a Valencia goat cheese or a five-year aged cheddar that Toca’s chefs infuse with maple syrup and whiskey. The cellar’s marble shelves also hold cheese for residents of the hotel’s condos—some buy wheels and age them to perfection in the cave.
Photo courtesy of Huge Galdones