Pass the wine

Magpie Café

1601 16th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 452-7594

One of the most delicious and abundant cheese plates I’ve had recently is served at Magpie Caterers Market and Café (1409 R Street). I asked Ed Roehr, the chef and co-owner, to tell me how he puts it together.

“The biggest thing about a cheese plate is that it ought to be served pretty close to room temperature. You need to give the cheeses a little time to air so the flavors come out.

“We do two or three soft aged cheeses and a hard aged cheese, including something creamy and buttery and something puckery sharp. It’s pretty unconventional. Sometimes the flavor profile is more important than classic diversity.

“We always have dates and dried black mission figs, because they’re great with cheese and they’re from California. In the winter, we also have pears. I think it’s good to have some fruit dried and some fresh, because that way people can find their own combinations of flavors.”