It was time for a Bitches catch-up. So, our new Associate Editor, Dannah, and I headed to Cheesetique to catch up and gab. As we’re both Arlington dwellers, we try to take advantage of the suburbs. I loved brunch at Cheesetique and regularly hit up their bar scene. It’s become a regular haunt of mine and couldn’t wait to share it with Dannah. The service can’t be beat either.
The Movers and Shakers
There are three Cheesetique locations–we visited the Ballston locale. The first Cheesetique opened in 2004 as an old-school cheese shop in Alexandria, Virginia. In 2011, Cheesetique opened its second location in the Shirlington, Virginia. In 2016, Cheesetique’s third location opened in the Ballston neighborhood. Cheesetique is your go-to spot for fine cheeses, food-friendly wine, and an eclectic, cheese-centric menu. ‘Tique is owned and operated by Jill Erber, also known as the cheese lady.
This cheese-meets-wine shop meets restaurant is adorned in red, black, and white decor. The Ballston location is quite different from the other restaurants in its design and layout. This spot is open, bright, and modern, while the other two locales are cozy and intimate. They feel like more traditional wine bars; but all three locations have a cheese shop with extensive cheese paraphernalia attached to the restaurants. One of my favorite things about Cheesetique is that after you dine in, you can take home any of the cheeses you tried for 10 percent off. It’s a total win-win.
Is this Seat Taken?
Dannah and I snagged two prime spots at the large bar. Make a note: this is a great deal and spacious happy hour spot. We put our drink orders in the knowledgeable bartender’s hands. He did not steer us wrong.
We ordered our first round of drinks per the bartender’s suggestions. I selected the Blueberry Cos-Moo and Dannah ordered the Alpine Blossom. He also suggested the arancini. Descending from the Italian version, these arancini are fried balls of mac and cheese goodness. There’s a hint of truffle and plenty of marinara sauce to dip. Of course, they are delicious. You really can’t go wrong with fried cheese and truffle. These are perfect for sharing.
My Blueberry Cos-Moo was out of this world. It’s made with Blueberry Midnight Moonshine and a hint of sage. It wasn’t too strong, it’s actually pretty fruity. It really packs a punch too. Now get this, people: all of Cheesetique’s drinks are garnished with cheese. It’s unique and delicious. You need to visit ‘Tique just for the garnishes alone. This cocktail is garnished with Raspberry Bellavitano cheese, which we both loved.
Dannah’s Alpine Blossom was made with gin, rosemary, lemon, bitters, and a pinch of nutmeg. It was refreshing and not too fruity. This cocktail is garnished with Alp Blossom cheese, yet another crowd favorite.
One of my favorite cocktails on the menu is the sangria. This particular sangria is made with Chenin Blanc, vodka, honey, cinnamon, and bubbly. It’s topped with apples, pears, and Manchego. This drink is delicious. You think you’re taking a sip or two and suddenly you look down only to realize you’ve finished it off. It’s dangerous.
We finished up with some tequila, of course. The tequila, lime, and habanero is topped off with Tempranillo. It’s garnished with Drunken Goat cheese. I think this cheese is my all-time favorite cheese–and I love cheese so that’s really saying something. This drink had just enough kick so that it kept you intrigued, but not so much so that it was overpowering.
We love everything about Cheesetique–especially the service. Head here for a cheesy meal and stellar drinks. Check out their website for happy hour deals, trivia nights, and tarot card reader appearances.
800 N. Glebe Road
Arlington, VA 22203