The Cheese Cave in Greenport is giving Long Islanders a grate reason to head east. Michael Affatato, owner of The Village Cheese Shop in Mattituck, opened a permanent pop-up in The Market on Front Street in January.
“I wanted to have a presence in Greenport,” said Affatato. “Greenport is more seasonal than Mattituck, which is why The Market is a perfect fit [compared to a brick and mortar]. It is open all year-round, I can cater to the locals and during the slowest time of the year people are still coming in.”
The Cheese Cave’s 8″ x 3″ case features about 50 varieties of cheeses all found at the flagship location. The St. Nectaire is a crowd favorite. It’s a semi-soft, washed rind cheese from the Auvergne region of central France that is “pungent, rich and has a long finish.” Customers are also raving about the homemade truffle brie shipped from Normandy, the comté that boasts nutty, earthy tones and the huntsman from England. The latter is visually striking, resembling a layer cake (yellow and white) with a cheddar shell and stilton stuffing.
And whether visitors are new to cheese tasting or not, the experience at The Cheese Cave is very personal. In front of the cheese case is a large antique, round wooden table where Affatato cuts samples of cheese and discusses them with customers. There are also about 20 small tables for people to enjoy breakfast or lunch from The Market’s organic cafe, the cheese case or both.
For even more flavor, The Cheese Cave additionally offers speck, serrano, prosciutto, bresaola, soppressata and Norwegian smoked salmon.
“Our clients are all very sophisticated epicureans,” he said. “Love Lane has a very steady customer base coming from Greenport, Orient and East Marion. Now they can get the same cheeses more often and that much closer to home.”
The Market and pop-up are located at 44 Front Street in Greenport.