Boston Cheese Cellar and Farewell to Cafe Appollonia

It’s been far too long since my last post on food. Roslindale Square keeps getting better. With its back to the courtyard shared by Sophia’s Grotto, Solera wine store, and others, is the Boston Cheese Cellar at 18 Birch Street. Bright and cheerful, this unique store offers a variety of cheeses. I would say that the shop with its glass case and countertops brings to mind a French specialty cheese shop although it’s not snooty or stuffy in any way.

In two visits, the proprietor, Kathy Lacher, has helped me buy Petit Billy goat cheese, a mild Irish cheddar, and Tomme de Savoie cow cheese — all of which have been delicious.

Lacher, who once cooked at an inn in the Swiss Alpine town of Leysan, long had the dream of opening up a cheese shop in the Boston area. She did research and discovered that Roslindale Square would be a perfect location for such a store. “Our whole goal is to provide a friendly, warm atmosphere,” she told me. “We don’t think of ourselves as intimidating.”

The really exciting opportunity here is for the Boston Cheese Cellar to pair with Solera and do some combined wine and cheese events. Lacher says that is a possibility, one everyone in this part of Boston can look forward to.

On another neighborhood note, I can report that Cafe Appolonia, the Albanian-themed Belgrade Avenue restaurant is now closed. Cafe Appollonia was a unique place that offered Balkan food with an upscale twist. The dishes I ate there were always well-crafted. And while I’m actually a fan of food from this region — I have a fond memory of eating at a Yugoslav restaurant in Berlin — I had the sense that the place was just a tad too expensive for Belgrade Ave. I also ate at a prior incarnation of Cafe Appolonia that was more a Greek restaurant and cafe at slightly lower prices.

According to a sign on the door, the restaurant will soon emerge as The Boston Brickhouse, which will offer a broader menu than its predecessor. Interestingly, the restaurant will have no connection with the Brickhouse in Dedham, which offers veal cutlets, tips and pasta at good prices but hopefully it will be just as good.

For a neighborhood that has two Greek social clubs, a Greek bakery and fish store as well as a large number of Albanians, I find it unusual that the neighood does not have a family-oriented Greek place with souvlaki, moussaka and kebab dishes and fresh grilled fish. Even though almost ten years have past since I lived in New York, I still think about the sublime Elias Corner in Astoria and some other Greek restaurants in that city.

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