When deciding on a restaurant to eat at, our go-to thoughts are often: ‘I’m in the mood for fish,’ ‘How about a curry?’ and ‘We haven’t had Italian in a while.’ Very rarely has our mind wandered into the decision of: ‘I want to eat cheese tonight.’ But why not? It’s gooey, fatty and has enough variety to go with everything. Cheese is life-saving. We all know that. So why aren’t there more cheese-centric restaurants on the restaurant scene?
Luckily, that’s changing as a brie-lliant new cheese restaurant, The Cheese Platter has launched in Bristol. Serving a range of cheese-based dishes, it has taken up residency in the restaurant of The Vincent – a home of luxury retirement apartments, just next to Clifton Down.
“I kept thinking ‘Had I ever eaten at a cheese restaurant and why not?’ ” said owner Josh Doyle. He first had the idea three years ago, but sat on it waiting for the right opportunity to come along and let him pursue his dream. “There are thousands and thousands of restaurants opening all the time, so you need to have something unique and special to stand out.”
The focus is very much on British cheese, although not exclusively, with Josh expecting to use largely local suppliers in a 50-mile radius of Bristol. There will be special events, however, celebrating the various cheeses of different areas worldwide. This local focus goes for drinks too, with local cider, beers and gins expected on the menu. Josh mentioned that he was working on exclusive bottlings too, to pair with various cheese dishes.
“There’s a big move towards British feeling and being proud of British food post-pandemic,” added Josh. “There’s a lot of space for new restaurants championing that.”
Not looking to reinvent the cheese wheel, the menu focuses on “cheese dishes and dishes with cheese.” Highlights from the current menu include lamb with a Bath Blue cheese gratin, Manchego cheese and chorizo arancini and for pudding, of course, we had white chocolate and passionfruit cheesecake. Also available across brunch, lunch and dinner menus are a selection of cheese boards, mac ‘n’ cheese, cheeseburgers, a goat’s cheese salad and much more.
All use artisan cheeses, with the hope the menu will expand even greater in time. There’s also hope to implement a way to make your cheese customisable, meaning you can switch out one cheese for another when you order.