Sunday, July 29, 2012

Custom Cheese and Charcuterie at Anthony's

I have a thing for passionate chefs who open restaurants or stores because they can’t stand the idea of NOT sharing their love of food with others. It’s hard to make money in the food industry unless your famous or in a world-class and highly publicized location so my respect goes out to those who risk it all to cultivate a little piece of culinary art in the midst of their own unique lives like Anthony, the proprietor of Anthony’s Fine Food and Wine in La Canada.

Without the Cute Gardener’s guidance, I undoubtedly would’ve never crossed paths with this charming and quaint gourmet store that features an elite deli case teeming with awesome exotic cheeses and imported meats as well as shelves upon shelves of custom finds for the foodie like relishes, tapenades, chocolates, rare salts and more. Additionally grand is the fact that the store’s tiny, boutique floor also boasts small seating vignettes where one can sit to enjoy dinner and tapas amongst all the shoppers lending to an intimate, part of the family-type mentality between shoppers and eaters that smears away any pretension or consumerist subterfuge.

 Anthony choosing an angelic patacabra for our plate

Best of all is the fact that the black bearded and serious Anthony does more than lend his name to the place but walks the room, commandeers the counter and consults with customers opting for the meat and cheese board so that each individual order is laid with charcuterie that bespeaks the patron’s individual palate.

For just about 5 bucks apiece, the tapas are also outstanding.

Mojama tuna “Prosciutto” marinated in olive oil with green arbequina olives

Blistered shisito peppers with black sea salt

Even though this place is in a town not ordinarily touted for its cuisine, say for example like the adjacent Los Angeles, it is definitely a destination for me now that I will return to whenever I happen to be out that way. I feel a responsibility to support the small guys especially when they choose to not toe the line and do their own thing in places that they call home.

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