A cheese shop with roots in Massachusetts, Formaggio Kitchen
is a new addition to city's specialty food shop scene.
Their proximity in the Essex Street Market had me worry that Formaggio would compete with Saxelby Cheesemongers , I found part of their attraction to be in how the two stores worked in concert with each other. With very little overlap (what cheese shop in the city does not have Jasper Hill's Constant Bliss?), they each work a slice of the cheese spectrum. Formaggio Kitchen handles the European offerings, while Saxelby's takes care of our American farmersThe location is a bit unfortunate. With most of the vendors featured on the large open floor, Formaggio Kitchen is situated in a small, windowed-in area that seems like a renovated manager's office. They make the most of their lot, though.
Inside, you'll find an assortment of oils, vinegars, honeys and other specialty food items. Although the selection is small, they chose to devote their space to offering a few quality brands of many items instead of many varieties of a few items.
The cheese case takes cue from this philosophy, as well, touching upon all major cheese producing countries. Spain, England, France and Italy are all represented, as well as items from Turkey and Greece. For those looking for quality meats and charcuterie, that is offered, as well.
Service was friendly, but I still felt it was definitely an operation just getting on its feet. It is a small place, with only one employee working at the time I went in, so there can be a wait depending on the traffic. But even before I was helped, they did their best make the wait pleasant, even offering tastes of the products being cut for the customer ahead of me.
For those who have not been, or even those who have, Formaggio Kitchen is another good reason to make a trip out to the Essex St. Market.