Now in its second season of operation, Black Sheep is a market specializing in high end cheeses and charcuterie. Located at 18 North Summer Street, it is just a few steps away from Edgartown’s Main Street.
Along with all the gourmet fromage and sausages, they also carries a wide range of specialty products, including house-made spreads, various types of breads and crackers as well as an exclusive flavor of “Favorite Brand” ice cream.
Owner Mark Venette obviously knows his stuff, and is always ready to provide samples of his wares, along with expert suggestions tailored to your personal tastes.
Once 6:30 PM rolls around, Black Sheep transforms into Trio, a wine bar offering a variety of small plates meant for sharing. The menu is mostly made up of cheese and charcuterie plates, and each can be had with a matching flight of wine.
The Tipsy Chicken Liver Mousse was made from Good Farm chicken livers and bourbon soaked cherries, topped with a bit of chopped pickle. Served with sesame crackers, the mousse is smooth and rich, with a bit of boozy sweetness that offsets the mineral flavor of the liver.
Trio’s Chopped Salad changes frequently, depending on what ingredients are fresh and in season. When we visited, it included garlic scapes, avocado, blue cheese and tomato, topped with edible flowers. Lightly dressed, it was crisp and flavorful, perfect for a hot summer night.
A threesome of olives is an excellent way to start your meal, with their varying texture and taste.
The “You Say Salami, I Say Salame” is composed of slices of Napoli, Molisana and Toscano salamis, all antibiotic and growth hormone free. The Napoli is flavored with applewood smoke, the Molisana sports large chunks of fat and a big hit of garlic, while the Toscano is made with Sangiovese wine.
Wine pairings can add new layers of flavors to the dishes at Trio. The Napoli salami was matched with an Malbec from Argentina, the Molisana was paired with a peppery Cabernet/Carmenere from Chile, while the Toscano was combined with a Sensi Cupido Sangiovese that echoed the wine in the sausage.
One of the many cheese plates offered is the “Trio Picks”, with three selections of “just really good cheese.” The Smokey Blue is a cow’s milk blue from Rogue Creamery in Portland, Oregon. The pungent flavors of blue cheese stand up nicely to the smoke and there is a subtle sweetness to round everything out. D’ Affinois is a creamy, soft cow’s milk cheese from France, aptly described as having a “buttery sweetness.” Also from France, the Ossau Iraty is made from sheep’s milk, and has a texture similar to Manchego. When it first hits the tongue, it tastes a bit like Manchego as well, with a nutty and sweet flavor. The finish, however, has a bit of good barnyard funk that went especially well with the Spanish wine that it was paired with.
If you’re looking to branch out from the usual chicken liver mousse, Trio’s “the Mousse is Lousse” plate is the way to go. It features mousse made from duck livers and port wine, a chicken liver mousse with truffle, and one made with turkey livers, pork and black peppercorn. Again, the wine pairings were intriguing, especially the turkey liver and OZV Zinfandel.
Our favorite thing about Trio is how easy they make it to sample many types of food and wine, without having to order everything on the menu (not to say we weren’t tempted). Also, many of the cheese and charcuterie items are available to take home, so if you find a new favorite, you can always pick some up for your own fridge.
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