There’s plenty to smile about at Bon Fromage, a 3-month-old café and wine and cheese shop with rustic touches and a communal table that’s tucked in the ground floor of a Brickell residential building. There are salads with shaved or crumbled cheese, sandwiches like the hot BLT with Gouda or cold Spanish ham with Manchego, quiche of the day and cheese boards, some paired with wine.
Owner Alain Rossello was born in Cuba to French and Spanish parents, with a Dixie branch to his family tree. (His Alabama great grandmother met his Spanish great grandfather on holiday in Cuba.) Rossello lived in Madrid for a year as a teenager, and fell in love with European cheeses and sandwiches on great bread. After his family settled in Miami, he put himself through school working in restaurants and became an accountant. Roselle and his Colombian partner, Raul Escobar, chose Bon Fromage’s location to attract Brickell’s growing residential crowd, and it seems to be working: Some locals stop by twice a day.
Alain selects the cheeses and wines. Create your own a la carte pairing from any of the two-dozen cheeses. Firm Wisconsin bread cheese is modeled on a similar Finnish cheese that is broiled after it sets in molds. It tastes like a chunk of toasted bread soaked in cheese curds, and is delicious dipped in coffee or gently heated and drizzled with honey.
Other finds include luscious double cream Vermont Cremont made with cow and goat milk; semi-soft, mild Tuscan Boschetto Al Tartufo embedded with bits of truffle, and Basque semi-hard sheep’s milk Ossau-Iraty Brebis with fruity and nutty notes. The trio is great with mixed olives, roasted red pepper pesto and membrillo (quince paste) for a play on sweet, savory and salty. Triple Cream Brillat Savarin could be dessert here, or go with crème brulee with swirls of berry.