The Spotted Trotter, The Cockentrice & Frankly reinvent charcuterie at Krog Street market.
by Caitlyn Daniels and Meghan Jackson
Executive Chef and Owner Kevin Ouzts succeeds in wowing diners with his deceptively complex items. Simple prosciutto? Not for The Cockentrice. This young restaurant is a study in returning to our roots and honoring the American food tradition, even if it hasn’t been around that long. With a sort of pick-and-choose menu for an endless combination of charcuterie, cheeses, jams and fruits, as well as a lengthy list of prepared dishes, each item brings more to the table than you could have ever expected. And if you like something on the menu you don’t have to leave wanting more. Stop by The Spotted Trotter just a few steps away — the second location of the boutique charcuterie that birthed The Cockentrice — and chances are you can grab it to go.
Scott Stroud is the cheesemonger at The Spotted Trotter. A cheesemonger, also known by the French term fromager, is one who deals in the sales of cheese and cheesemaking. But Stroud is also a Certified Cheese Professional (CCP), which makes him more than simply a lover and a monger. Put simply, he is to cheese what a sommelier is to wine. We spoke with Mr. Stroud to find out some interesting wedges from a cheese expert:
It’s so expensive because the good stuff comes from small producers.
Read: They make the cheddar so they can bring home the bacon.
Only buy as much as you can eat in 3-5 days.
“Come back and get more when you’re done with that. It’s gonna taste better, you’re gonna have a better chance of storing it where it’s not gonna go bad because a normal refrigerator is a horrible place to keep cheese. It’s too cold, it’s too dry, but it’s pretty much the only choice you’ve got unless you have a wine cellar.”
A fresh cracked wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano will change your life.
To be given the name Parmigiano Reggiano, it has to have been aged at least a year and a half (by Italian law). The cheese, which hasn’t been exposed to air, isn’t oxidizing. No one has ever tasted it until that wheel gets cracked open and Stroud claims that he’s witnessed it turn even non-cheese lovers into believers. “You can see their expressions change, like, ‘Oh my God. I’ve never realized this is what Parmesan tastes like’. It makes a big difference.”
A few recommended pairings:
A washed rind cheese (the stinky ones) with a crispy beer (“Something with some hops to it maybe. Not as dense as one of the Belgian ales, but an IPA or a really crisp pilsner is tremendous with this style of cheese.”); Bleu cheese with sweet dessert wine, such as Sauternes; and: “Parmigiano Reggiano with champagne is pretty freaking hard to beat.”
The Spotted Trotter, The Cockentrice & Frankly
99 Krog St. NE
Looking for yet another way to enjoy chef Ouzts' offerings? Kevin and his wife, Megan, just opened a hot dog stand next to The Spotted Trotter, charmingly called Frankly. Featuring the charcuterie shops's lauded sausages and hot dogs, plus extras like their housemade chili and slaw, and a free condiment station complete with Sir Kensington ketchup and mustard, and their own special dog sauce, these aren't your average franks. What's even better? They're all under 10 bucks. "We are just so excited to give the visitors to Krog Street Market yet another way to get to know us and our products," Chef Ouzts says.