Tag Archives: cheese

Astoria Caffe & Wine Bar

Truth be told, I find wine to be a bit intimidating. I can’t do what sommeliers do. I’m a beer guy. I have no idea how to really even “taste” wine as a professional would, seeking out hints of boysenberry (what does boysenberry even taste like???) or a lingering aftertaste of leather or graphite (whaaa?). I couldn’t tell you if a wine should be older or drunk the same year it’s made, and I have no idea of the “terroirs” associated with different wines. (Wait … since when are dog breeds involved in wine-making???) Nevertheless, the staff at Astoria Caffe & Wine Bar in Addison Circle makes me feel like a pro and helps me get to just the right glass (or three) of vino.

Wine and CheeseI recently had the chance to visit this corner bar with the wife for a light dinner of wine and cheese (which is totally acceptable). This wine bar is family-owned, completely unpretentious, and boasts a diverse selection of wines and a small, well thought-out menu. It’s the kind of place where you can see yourself being a regular. For those who aren’t big wine drinkers, don’t fret, Astoria stocks a selection of domestic and imported beers, too.

For the casual wine drinker who doesn’t want to an entire bottle (or the indecisive), there are plenty of choices available by the glass. I thought that the prices for both glasses and bottles of wine were quite reasonable. If you’re looking for something in particular or just need help with a recommendation, the staff is eager to help and knowledgeable about the bar’s offerings.

Astoria is intimate and cozy, allowing one to quickly feel right at home. The interior has a dozen or so small tables as well as a dog-friendly front patio surrounded by lush trees. This wine bar attracts an eclectic mix of patrons that range from the mature wine snob to young couples to hipsters. Those looking for a great first date spot in Addison or those simply looking to unwind with a glass of good wine in a relaxed atmosphere can look no further.

Whether you’re an experienced wine buff or an amateur like me, there’s a lot to appreciate at Astoria Caffe!

astoriacaffe.com | (972) 239-5853
15701 Quorum Drive, Addison, Texas 75001
Facebook | Instagram: @Astoriacaffe_Winebar | Twitter: @Astoriacafewine

Happy Hour: Daily from 3pm to 7pm

  • Monthly bottle specials
  • Live-music on select nights


Event Recap: Central Market’s Passport to Italy

Written by: Lauryn Bodden

There are normal grocery stores with your essential food items (ice cream and wine), and then there’s Central Market, which is every foodie’s heaven. On April 30, Central Market will debut this year’s two-week themed Passport celebration that spotlights the culinary delicacies of Italy.

With more than 40 winemakers and cooking classes led by renowned Italian chefs, Passport Italy delivers eclectic, authentic Italian cuisine straight to the Lone Star State. Everyone knows wine is the classy way to end a long day and get drunk with friends, but Passport Italy will make you the wine connoisseur you have always dreamed of becoming. (And what better way to enjoy a chilled glass of Prosecco than with some of the world’s finest meats and cheeses?) Showcasing traditional foods and ingredients, Central Market will also provide hundreds of new items such as gelatos, breads, pastas, cured meats, wines, cheeses, oils, vinegars, and chef-prepared foods. Winemakers, chefs, and producers alike will be on-hand to walk customers through the ultimate Italian food and wine experience.

The featured winemakers include:

  • Luca Bosio of Luca Bosio Vineyards brought in a wave of freshness and novelty to both the technical and commercial areas of his family’s vineyards, reinventing the way they do business. With a mix of technology and rural tradition, he blends his family’s grapes with grapes from hundreds of farmer organizations from different parts of Piemonte, giving them greater diversity in their winemaking.
  • Stefano Chiarlo oversees the cultivation of 110 hectares of vineyards, all while taking care to adhere to the most exact ecological requirements needed by winemaking. By focusing their vineyards on hilly zones and rigorously thinning out grape bunches, Michele Chiarlo Vineyards has ensured the production of highly elegant wines with excellent longevity.
  • Umberto Cosmo directs the Bellenda estate, located in the Vento wine region. Especially known for producing fantastic Prosecco, Bellenda is fresh and clean with delicate bubbles that enhance its subtle citrus flavor.
  • Franceso Daddi runs the Ormanni farm, which is ancient and deep-rooted in Italian history. Owned since the 1200s by the Ormanni family, mentioned in Dante Alighieri’s famous Divine Comedy, and at one point owned by the legendary Medici family, the Tenuta Ormanni Vineyards focus on tradition and detail. Tenuta Ormani wines have an artisan feel and clean taste.
  • Antonio M. Zaccheo Jr., the son of Carpineto co-founder Antonio Mario Zaccheo Sr., is the latest in a long line of family winemakers blending old world heritage with modern expertise. With an extensive bottle-aging program, Carpineto has ensured the production of elegant wines of approachable intensity, with the majority of their focus being on red wines aged three or more years.

Highlighted below is a list of all the boozy events (basically everything) taking place during Passport Italy for you to enjoy:

Passaporto Italia Kick-off with Umberto Cosmo, founder & winemaker of Bellenda

Wednesday, April 30 from 4-7 p.m.

Join us as we kick off Passporto Italia in style! Be our guest at our Prosecco Party where Umberto Cosmo, founder and winemaker of Bellenda, joins us for a Prosecco tasting.

Italy Meets Texas

Thursday, May 1 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Join us for a Texas-sized Sip & Stroll to celebrate the beginning of Passporto Italia! We’re kicking off two weeks of celebrating everything Italian with a stroll through the store where you’ll be able to sample the likes of Truffled Pasta, Fresh-Made Sausages,

Cannolis, Italian cheese, and salumi, along with new offerings from our Chef’s Case. We’ll have hundreds of new items; many never before seen in the U.S. Don’t forget the wine! We’ll pair all our items with a wine that will have you sighing, “Amore!” A commemorative glass also will be available for purchase at the Information Desk.

Zardetto Prosecco Wine Dinner with Filipo Zardetto

Friday, May 2 from 6:30-9 p.m.

Located in the heart of Italy’s famous Prosecco territory between Conegiano and Valdobiadene, Zardetto has been a leader in making sparkling wine for more than 40 years. This vibrant and refreshing, off-dry Prosecco is produced from carefully selected grapes grown on the finest hilltop vineyards, modern technology, and traditional practices that result in an acclaimed brut. Learn more about the grape-growing and production methods, and sample these wines that display the traditional flowery, fruity characteristics of Prosecco wines paired with Asiago & Sopressa Vicentina with Bellini; Salad of Kale, Radicchio & Pancetta; Risotto with Radicchio, Ubriaco & Chestnuts; Orata al Forno con Gli Aromi (Roasted Sea Bass with Herbs); and Crema Fritta (Fried Custard Cream). $65. Reserve your seat at centralmarket.com.

Under A Tuscan Sun

Thursday, May 8 from 6:30-9 p.m.

Antonio Sanguineti, winemaker/Principal of Sanguinetti Wines; Lorenzo Gatteschi, Winemaker/Owner of Podere Ciona; Alessandro Bocci, Winemaker/Owner of Perazetta Winery; and Luca Brunelli, Owner of Brunelli Wines

Join us for a festive wine dinner served family-style, featuring the winemaker/principal of Sanguinetti Wines; the winemaker/owner of Podere Ciona; the winemaker/owner of Perazetta Winery, and the owner of Brunelli Wines. While these experts discuss their wines and the special regions in which their grapes are grown, our Cooking School staff will demonstrate the techniques you’ll need to know to recreate this Tuscan feast: Cutting board of Tuscan cheeses paired with Antonio Sanguineti Vermentino IGT; Insalata Caprese with fresh Burrata paired with Antonio Sanguineti Chianti DOCG; Tagliatelle with Wild Boar in a tomato basil cream sauce paired with Perazetta Rita Sangiovese DOC; Roasted Duck with a mushroom demi-glace paired with Podere Ciona Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG; Fried Rice Fritters with a dark chocolate dipping sauce,; and strawberries paired with Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. $65. Reserve your seat at centralmarket.com

in vino veritas

Move over Vino 100, take a step back, Cork … there’s a new kid in town. Veritas Wine Bar on Henderson took me by surprise. I hadn’t been in until this week and walking in on Monday night was a breathe of albeit grape heavy, but fresh air.

I arrive before the rest of my party as is usually the case, so I sidled up to the tall, heavy bar and began to peruse the menu. I decided to take a mental break and went for “what we’re pouring”. It was delightful and I decided it was my choice for the night — not to mention the fact that it was only $3.25 since it was half price wine by the glass (and that is made even better because they use the long pour!).

My group arrived and we settled into the front room next to the (real) crackling fire. Wine flowed, cheese and meats were noshed on, and great conversation ensued. The waitresses were attentive and Brooks, the owner, knew his cheeses and other wares better than the back of his hand. (You can’t go wrong with their Purple Haze or Drunken Goat.)

Don’t be fooled by the name, this bar unlike most wine bars also serves beer. I’d say this place is suitable for a date or a friendly chat, but not for a pickup scene … take your butt next door to Glo Lounge for that.

Click for the cheese, beer, and wine menus.

Selection: 4

Veritas Wine Bar
2323 N Henderson Ave, Suite 103 | Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 841-9463

Monday | all day | 1/2 price wine by the glass
Tuesday-Friday | 4-7 p.m. | $1 off every beer, $1 off of every glass of wine ($8 a glass or less) and $2 off every glass over $8

Tuesdays, Veritas brings in Il Cane Rosso to make baked-to-order pizza.  A definite MUST.

Veritas Wine Bar Cheese Menu


*Buy any 5 cheeses and get the 6th free!*


“Cheese – Milk’s leap towards immortality.”  -Clifton Fadiman


BRAZOS VALLEY CHEESE – Marc Kuehl is a member of the Brazos de Dios Community, a group of about 1000 people who practice traditional farming and crafts on 500 acres along the Brazos River near Waco.  Kuehl’s Raw Milk Cheeses are delicious, complex and local.

$5.5      Blue – This is a great ‘starter’ Cheese for those who don’t think they like a Blue!  With a whipped, airy texture, this smooth and creamy Blue uses the World Famous Roquefort culture.

$5         Brie – Amazingly smooth and runny (at room temperature), this Brie might make you forget all about French Brie.  A Veritas favorite!

$5         Horseradish Pecan Cheddar – A non-traditional take on Cheddar, the Pecan and Horseradish flavor profiles meld perfectly on the palate.

DALLAS MOZZARELLA CHEESE COMPANY – Founded in 1982 by local luminary Paula Lambert, the Dallas Mozzarella Cheese Company is among the most celebrated and awarded Cheese companies in America, having won over TWENTY First Place Prizes at the American Cheese Society Championships!

$6         Black Pepper & Garlic Caciotta – The mild Monterey Jack Cheese is studded with intense, coarsely-ground Black Peppercorns and Garlic.

$6 Goat Log – This Herbed Goat Cheese Spread was originally developed by Paula for Dean Fearing at The Mansion on Turtle Creek and now you can enjoy it at Veritas!

$6         Mozzarella – Veritas proudly serves the premier, hand-made American Mozzarella!

$5 Rotating Selection – In addition to our regular selections, Fernando also buys whatever looks good when he stops by the DMC’s Deep Ellum location!  Ask your server what we’ve got!

LUCKY LAYLA FARMS – Located in Plano, Texas, the Jersey and Guernsey Cows produce high quality Milk that makes incredibly flavorful Cheese!

$4         Campesino – This spongy, milky-tasting, Columbian-styled Cheese won a Gold Medal at the 2008 American Cheese Society Championships.

$4         Tex-Mex – This is Campesino with Red Pepper Flakes and Shredded Jalapenos.  This spicy selection is 100% Texas! 

VELDHUIZEN TEXAS FARMSTEAD CHEESE – With only 40 cows, Veldhuizen produces some of the finest small-batch, raw milk, farmstead cheeses in Texas.  From Dublin, Texas.

$6         Bosque Blue – With a crumbly, slightly grainy texture and a pleasantly piquant bite, this Aged Raw Cow’s Milk Blue will literally melt in your mouth.  Try with Port, sweet Dessert Wine or jammy Zinfandel.

$6         Paragon The signature cheese of Veldhuizen, Paragon is smooth and creamy with a tangy finish.

$6         Redneck Cheddar – Stuart Veldhuizen took his Texas Gold Cheddar, washed the Rind with St. Arnold’s Texas Beer and then Cave-Aged the Cheese.  The result is a firm, sharp Cheddar that sports a slight maltiness and yeastiness.  Distinctively delicious.

$5 Rotating Selection – In addition to our regular selections, we just simply ask Stuart Veldhuizen what is ready to eat and he sends it!  Ask your server what we’ve got!

WENZEL LONESTAR MEAT COMPANY – Situated in tiny Hamilton, Texas, this outfit makes award-winning meats and cheeses.

$5         Smoked Gruyère – This smooth Texas Gruyère with a rich, smoky flavor has been a Veritas Favorite from Day 1!


$6.5 Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog – This elegant, soft, surface ripened Goat’s Milk Cheese has won 3 First Place Prizes at the American Cheese Society Championships.  Each handcrafted wheel features a line of vegetable ash through the center and a coating of ash under its exterior to give it its distinctive, cake-like appearance.

$6.5      Cypress Grove Purple Haze – Winner of a First Place Prize at the 2005 American Cheese Society Championships, this soft Goat Milk Log is flavored with Fennel Pollen and Lavender.  Pair with an acidic White Wine like a Sancerre.


$4.75    Prairie Breeze – This 9-month aged White Cheddar from Iowa just won a First Place in the 2009 American Cheese Society Championships in the ‘Aged Cheddar: All Milks” category.  Creamy and sweet, the extended aging gives it a touch of sharpness on the back palate.


$5         Marieke’s Foenegreek (Fenugreek) Gouda – This Cheese won a ‘Best of Class’ at the Wisconsin Cheese Maker’s Association United States Championship Cheese contest in 2007.  In 2008, this Cheese received 2nd place in the 2008 World Championship Cheese Contest where over 1900 cheeses were judged.  Foenegreek gives the cheese a nutty, maple-like flavor.  Great with a variety of beers and wines.


$4.5      Cotswold – This ‘pub cheese’ from England is a Double Gloucester to which Chives and Onions have been added.  The Cheese itself is somewhat Cheddar-like in appearance and taste; the Chives and Onions enhance the flavor profile.  Try with Full-Bodied Reds or an English Ale.

$5.25    Quicke’s Oak-Smoked English Cheddar – The Quicke Family has been farming at the “Home Farm” for over 450 years and making Cheese for over 25 years.  This is a hand-selected, 15-month aged, Cow’s Milk Cheddar that is smoked over Oak.  The big, intense, sharp, smoky flavor is one you won’t soon forget!  No artificial flavorings are added – the flavor is 100% natural woodsmoke!


$4.5      Camembert – Made with the exact same recipe as Brie, the difference lies in the origin.  From the village of Camembert in Normandy, this soft-ripened Cheese with an edible Bloom pairs beautifully with Beaujolais and Red Burgundy.  Camembert is the best-selling cheese in France.

$4.5      Comté Gruyère – The Cow’s Milk for this Cheese comes from high in the French Alps and is aged for over 1 year.  The strong, nutty flavor of this cheese pairs extraordinarily well with our White Truffle Oil ($1.50).

$5.5      Pont-L’Évêque – Ranked alongside Camembert, Brie and Roquefort as the most popular cheeses in France, this pungently aromatic Cow’s Milk cheese has a soft texture, a mild taste and pairs with all manner of Full-Bodied Reds.

$5         Tomme de Savoie – While the Raw Milk Tomme de Savoie is not AOC-protected, it has received a Protected Geographic Indication from the European Union.    In Steven Jenkins’ Cheese Primer, he calls it “the most accessible cheese taste in the world.  It is a cheese completely unrefined and perfectly delicious.”  Veritas agrees!


$5.5      4 Year Aged Gouda – Aged 4 years, which results in a deep caramel color, this flaky, slightly crunchy cheese has distinctive notes of butterscotch and caramel on the finish.  Achieving a perfect balance between salty and sweet, this is NOT your banal grocery store version.


$5.5      Parmigiano-Reggiano – The piquant and slightly salty flavor of this incredibly versatile Cow’s Milk Cheese makes it great with pasta and risotto or with nothing but a Big Red Wine, such as Barolo.  Steven Jenkins in the Cheese Primer said this:  “Il formaggio migliore nel mondo – the world’s greatest cheese.”  Try with a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar ($1.50).

$5.5      Pecorino Toscana – From Tuscany, this Sheep’s Milk Cheese is intensely flavored, salty and pairs well with Big Italian Reds such as Brunello di Montalcino.  Steven Jenkins in the Cheese Primer said this:  “Bottom line: My second favorite cheese in the world.”

$5         Taleggio – This semi-soft, washed Rind, Cow’s Milk Cheese from Northern Italy has a slight amino acid crunch and a “melty” texture in the mouth.  The smell is much more potent than the mild taste.  This Cheese pairs exceptionally well with our 75206 Zip Code Honey! ($1.50).


$6         Cabrales – This unique combination of Goat’s, Cow’s and Sheep’s Milk is a semi-firm, cave-aged Blue Cheese from Spain with a moist, crumbly interior, intense purple veining and a rich, full flavor.  Pair with a strong Spanish Red such as a Rioja or a Ribera del Duero.

$5         Drunken Goat – Made in the village of Jumilla, Spain, this Artisanal Goat’s Milk cheese is semi-soft, mild and has a bright violet Rind from being soaked in Red Wine for 72 hours.

$4.5      Manchego – Produced from the milk of Manchega sheep, this firm textured, 1 year aged cheese has a salty tang.  A perennial best-seller!  Great with a Rioja.


$5.5      Tête de Moine – Somewhat similar to Gruyère and Raclette but much more intensely flavored, this Swiss Mountain Cheese is made from Cow’s Milk.  It pairs beautifully with all manner of Big Reds, Chardonnays and Rieslings and full-flavored beers like Porter and Stout.



(Please ask your server which is available; we normally carry one or the other.)

$6 The Grape’s Rustic Country Pork Pâté – This Terrine is made fresh for Veritas by The Grape’s highly acclaimed Chef/Owner Brian Luscher.  It is studded with Chef’s Ham, Green Peppercorns and Aromatics.  You should visit The Grape – it’s a great neighborhood wine bistro that just won The Best Burger in Texas from Texas Monthly!

$9         The Grape’s Creamy Chicken Liver Pâté – Flavored with orange zest and cognac-soaked dried currants, Chef Brian’s Creamy Pâté defines decadence.


WENZEL LONESTAR MEAT COMPANYSituated in tiny Hamilton, Texas, this outfit has won multiple awards at the Texas Association of Meat Processors Convention for its Meats, including the Jagerwurst and the Jalapeno/Cheese Beef Summer Sausage.

$4 Bison Jerky – Only partially dehydrated, this Texas Bison Jerky is meatier and juicier than you might be expecting!  The Spicy is HOT and the Regular is delightfully meaty and smoky.  Enjoy with a big Red Wine.

$4.5      Jagerwurst – This well-herbed, smoked, German-styled Sausage literally bursts with flavor!

$4.5      Habanero/Cheese Bison Summer Sausage – The name of the product says it all.  Wow!


$4.5      Molinari Finocchiona – Made by Molinari of San Francisco, which was founded in 1896 in San Fransisco, this is a Tuscan-styled, 100% Pork Salami to which Whole Fennel Seeds have been added for their pleasing kick of Anise.

$4.5      Molinari Rosette de Lyon – This French-styled Salami is made with Red Wine and Whole Black Peppercorns.  Rosette de Lyon is without question among the great French saucisson sec.

$4.5      Molinari Salami Toscana – Made in the traditional Tuscan style, this tangy Pork and Beef Salami is a crowd pleaser!


$6.75    La Bresse Farms Smoked Duck Breast – From La Bresse Farms in New York, we thinly slice this delicacy to order.  All Veritas can say is “Wow”!


$5         Black Kassel Roquefort Salami – A German-styled Salami flavored with Roquefort Cheese.  Full flavored!


$7.5      Prosciutto di Parma – Four ingredients are necessary for the production of Prosciutto di Parma:  Italian Pigs; Sea Salt; Air; and Time!  This product is extra rich because the producer, Il Numero Uno, feeds its pigs a special diet of Reggiano Whey for 4 months!


$4.5      Chorizo – Our rich, spicy, smoky Chorizo is a Pork Sausage liberally seasoned with Paprika and Garlic.  We also carry the mild version.


$3         Selected Greek Kalamata Olive

$4         Marcona Almonds

$2         Cornichons

$1.5      White Truffle Oil