Sheri LaVigne’s upcoming Culture Club Cheese Bar on Capitol Hill now has an opening estimate—July—and she has crafted a Rind House pop-up on Monday, April 13, at Bellini Italian Bistro to whet our appetites. $35 gets you five fromage-strong courses including mac ‘n cheese with Brillat-Savarin, fried sage, and crispy shallots; a grilled cheese with Taleggio, lemon curd, and sherry mushrooms; and, for dessert, Bayley Hazen blue cheese with Tieton Creamery cajeta and Backyard Bees honey balsamic. A wine flight paired with the second, third, and fourth courses is also available for $25.
LaVigne started the Melrose Market artisanal cheese shop Calf & Kid five years ago when she moved to Seattle from New York. "My professional background has nothing to do with cheese," she said. "I was simply a lover of it . . . [and] I frequented my local cheese shop in Brooklyn, bought books about cheese; I was hooked on everything about it. I had a lot of experience in management and food service, and had always wanted to own my own business, so upon moving to Seattle I saw the void of a dedicated cheese shop, and decided to remedy it."
While Calf & Kid is strictly a retail outlet, Culture Club (1806 12th Ave) will offer cheese flights paired with beverages and rotating specialties like Raclette nights and more. The Rind House is a recipe test run with the public to refine the menu before it goes live at the cheese bar this summer, which she says will be open in the afternoons and evenings, Tuesday through Sunday.