BEST CHEESE Miami 2004 - The cheese course at Azul
Readers' Choice: Epicure Market
The low-carb revolution has left dessert in the dust. More Americans are doing what Europeans have done for so many years: savoring high-protein, high-fat cheese at the end of a meal instead of indulging in sugary sweets. At the Mandarin Oriental's marvelous restaurant Azul, fromage is presented with a French flourish: A trolley featuring one of the biggest of cheeses, a giant wheel of Cantal made in Auvergne, France, is wheeled to diners' tables. But this hard, cow's milk cheese doesn't stand alone. Grapes, nuts, and one concession to carbs, crackers, are served with a wedge of the nutty wonder. A sommelier-suggested glass of dessert wine adds to the experience. Discerning diners on a dairy bender need only ask and a scrumptious selection of gooey delights -- made from sheep's, goat's, and cow's milk -- will be brought to their table tout de suite.