Back in 2003, Bedford Cheese Shop opened its doors in the small mini mall in Williamsburg. The tiny shop was one of the first in the neighborhood to offer specialty cheeses, charcuterie, and packaged foodstuffs. In 2006, the owner Charlotte Kamin moved all the beautiful cheeses to the corner space on Bedford Avenue and North 4th Street. But the space was small, and you often felt a little cramped if more than a handful of customers were in the store. When it came time to renew their lease, she began looking around for a bigger space. Luckily, a larger space opened up just down the avenue at 265 Bedford and the whole shop moved three blocks to its new home last August.
And with everything all settled in, it’s time to really invite the neighbors in for drinks and nibbles. Starting last week, the new Bedford Cheese began weekly themed tastings, and this week, they’ll begin serving their cafe menu.
The new shop is at least double the size of the last one with a full cheese case, a separate aged cheese case, and another case full of charcuterie. Not to be outdone, there are shelves upon shelves of high-end specialty and imported groceries. A lot of the products are the same as those found in the last store, but now the options have expanded. I’ve eyed some of these limited edition Nutella jars and contemplated a jar of Coop’s Hot Fudge (it’s one of the best things I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating) more than once while perusing. But then I always get sidetracked by the literal table full of fancy cookies. On the other side of the store, by the register, you’ll find another two cold cases, one for drinks, another for frozen goods (ice cream, ravioli, etc). And then a long line of chocolates. They’ve got everything from Mast to the new Tony’s Chocolonely.
In the cases, there are a few grab-and-go items like sandwiches and sodas. This new locale does afford a good amount for seating, and there currently are a few tables off to one side and bar seating along the windows. With that in mind, Bedford Cheese has decided to venture into new territory, prepared cafe food. On Thursday, they’ll begin to start serving a selection of cheese boards (Burrata with roasted tomatoes and olive oil; Brie with jam and apricots; Comté with honey and figs; and Farmhouse cheddar with chutney and almonds); meat boards (Proscuitto di Parma, Mortadella, and Sopressata); dips with crudité, chips, crackers, or bread; and a selection of wine from small French and Italian producers. The bonus for stopping by on opening day will be 15% off anything on the menu.
For those who just want to get some nibbles and maybe try out a few products, you should stop by on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Each day they’ll focus on a particular style of cider, beer or wine, to be paired with two contrasting kinds of cheese. The items being sampled will be 10% during those tastings, in case you like it. Tonight’s tasting is focused on saisons paired with funky Spanish and Portuguese torta-style cheeses and aged Comté. And really, it’s too hot to cook, just grab some meats, cheeses and crackers, and pretend you’re picnicking on the Seine.
Bedford Cheese Shop is located at 265 Bedford Avenue. They are open Monday to Friday, 10 am – 9 pm; Saturday, 9 am – 9 pm; and Sunday, 9 am – 8 pm.