The other day when I bussed out to look for one of the local libraries near my new house, I ran across some . I took the sweetie back there last night for dinner. We found a Wine & Deli with a *freaking huge WALL* of wine (not to mention sake, beers, ales, and ciders). They also have a modestly-sized but respectable cheese case and cold salads case. In addition to these, they also make sandwiches and specialty coffees. The newsletter says they do wine & beer tastings every so often, and a couple of times a year they do jazz concerts.
Not three shops away is a place that makes their own sausages. Two great big cases full of homemade sausages (it's also one of those outfits that'll process meat you've brought in from hunting). They also have a smallish but respectable cheese case. They've also got a good-sized beer & wine selection, though they're heavier on the beers. Not to mention a middlin' sized wall of mustards. They've also got a sandwich bar featuring their sausages, and they've got a bunch of other treats throughout the shop.
We bought up 3/4 lb of cheese (spread over 4 kinds: Marbier, Wendsleydale with cranberries, Cahill's Whiskey Irish Cheddar, and a horseradish cheddar), three good-sized sausages (two Tuscany sausages and a linguica), a small-diameter baguette of *good* french bread, and a bottle of Italian wine. We also had the last of a pesto dipping oil my mom had given me awhile back. I cut up the sausages to fry, sliced the cheese up into strips, put the oil in a small bowl, and set everything out on the table. He mostly had the wine, I had mostly water and iced tea. For dessert, we had a couple of truffles I'd bought earlier in the day from a stupendous chocolaterie.
Oh yeah! We also got a couple of twice-baked potatoes as a blandish balance to the spicy sausage and wine, and the stronger-tasting cheeses.
We had about 1/4 lb of the cheese, about 3/4's worth of a sausage, and one potato skin leftover. I fried the potato skin and reheated the sausage in one pan, made scrambled eggs with some of the whiskey cheddar and horseradish cheddar, and put those out with the last of the bread and dipping oil for breakfast.
The Wendsleydale was considered a bust, but the piece looked like it had sat out a while too (I cut off some green fuzz - I don't mind blue cheese, but this weren't it).
Everything else was incredible. Just amazing. Dinner and breakfast were fabulous.
Even funnier, I'd already planned on taking him to these shops for last night, and just before we got to going, he had me watch a show he'd been saving for me on his DVR - Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations in Tuscany. Homemade pasta, small scale cheesemaking, actual butcher shops, fresh ingredients...