The cheese course, a staple of French cuisine, has found a place in America's best restaurants, which seem to be going out of their way to obtain high quality natural cheeses. Some, such as Le Bec-Fin and Gary Danko, brought a big assortment of cheeses to the table on classic French carts, and cut pieces to order. Some, such as The Inn at Little Washington, offered a modest selection on a marble slab. Others, such as The French Laundry and Valentino, prepared plates in the kitchen, combining cheeses with special condiments.
In reviewing these restaurants, we have sampled rare and wonderful cheeses from France, Italy and Spain, and confirmed that the level of quality available from artisanal producers in the United States is phenomenal.