Time stretches and bends slowly at Montrose Cheese & Wine. Especially after a glass or two of June’s Rose. This cafe and cheese shop, with its leafy green patio, could easily be in Paris or Modena or Barcelona, but the view, framed by an iron gateway, is of a freshly paved parking lot and traffic backing up on Westheimer. You’re in Montrose, of course. And somehow, adjacent to CBD dispensaries and resale stores, is this decadent and indulgent corner, like a little fantasy island, making it a great place to unwind or have a date.
The inside at Montrose Cheese & Wine feels exactly like what it is, the inside of a cheese shop. You can sit in there if you want to feel like a lush, but if you want to feel better about yourself and have some chenin blanc, creamy cheese, and a baguette, then you should sit outside on the patio. Because the folks behind MC&W, Rosie Cannonball, and March know how to cultivate a vibe. All of the romantic details are well-appointed, with striped scalloped awnings, green foliage, and some kind of French pop music playing over the speakers.
The food feeds the fantasy. What’s hedonism if not feeding your date fresh grapes, wildflower honey, and cured meats? Order some wine, have mozzarella di bufala glistening with olive oil, or a jar filled with spicy spreadable salami. Or just get a charcuterie board and dive in. They also have a sandwich of the day, but we especially recommend Sunday’s—for the jambon beurre that’s stuffed with an unreasonable amount of shaved ham. And every couple of weeks in the fall, MC&W hosts raclette parties where they scrape melted, gooey, funky cheese over a plate of roasted potatoes, onions, and bread. Get there early because it always sells out.
You’re not in Houston when you come here, maybe not even on this plane of existence, and that’s sort of the point. Wine and cheese and cured meats may not change the world, but it will shift your mood, and sometimes that’s all you need. So lean into the escapism, or perhaps even pair some light disassociation with a glass of lambrusco. Because at Montrose Cheese & Wine, you’ve got the set up for either a remarkable date or a superlative self-soothing session. Even if you are next to a parking lot on Westheimer.
Something about a board full of meat and cheese is a little sexy, especially when there’s a ribbon of gherkins, floral honey, and crisp grapes tucked in throughout. The selections are made in-house, so just order and be surprised.
This filled pastry is so cute, and it’s easy to share. Pull apart the choux buns to find alternating fillings of vanilla and roasted espresso cream.
Spicy Spreadable Salami
It can be difficult to enjoy MC&W’s version of N’duja over what can only be described as angelic harpsichord music emanating from the heavens, but try your best. Dear spicy, spreadable meat capped by a layer of savory, buttery fat: we love you.
Sandwich of the Day
Grab a sandwich to go and swing by Menil Park for people watching. Rotating options include sliced Genoa salami with provolone and tomato or the classic jambon beurre French pairing of ham and delectable butter.
Tarta de Queso
This mini, caramelized-edge cheesecake is wrapped in parchment paper and topped in a tart orange marmalade. Perfect for one person, or two if you are feeling generous.