La Fromagerie, 868 College, 416-516-4278 Rating: NNNNN
Just in time to sate our growing gourmet vices, the College West storescape has been blessed with a cool little shop to feed those decadent needs. Specializing in extremely rare, non-pasteurized farmhouse (and organic) cheeses from Quebec and France, La Fromagerie also boasts an assortment of other high-grade imports spanning the rainbow of opulence - from fine dark chocolate and organic teas to vintage-equivalent olive oils and vinegars, canned chestnuts and exotic spices, making it the one-stop pre-dinner-party shop. Pop in for a Pain Perdu baguette or croissant and see for yourself.
Intimate, busy and bright, with checkered floors, art on the walls and French music on the radio, La Fromagerie offers the perfect setting for cultivating your culinary education. A story about the cheese's provenance and a sample precede practically every purchase.
Warning: while hostesses will love your sophisticated additions to their table and palate, expect some fellow foodies to secretly envy (or hate!) you.
La Fromagerie's picks Brie de Meaux, $4.49/100g; Tomme du Maréchal, $6.99/100g; Barbiche de St. Roch, $11.99 each; Le Brebis Loup, $5.99/100g; chèvres from Quebec; Pouligny St. Pierre, $21.99 each, and Selles sur Cher, $13.66 each, both farmhouse cheeses from France; and Martelli pasta from Italy, $4.49/500g.
Look for Small-batch cheeses; Fini balsamic vinegar; Portuguese Maldon sea salt; Cantuccini biscotti; and Verjus white grape juice from Perigord.
Hours Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.