A Nip and a Nosh
We went back during the week for a "rush-hour-relief tasting." These are held Thursdays from five to seven o'clock and often feature a particular varietal or theme as well as a foursome of cheeses. We hit the Sauvignon Blanc trial-$17 for four two-ounce pours and paired with a superb cheese quartet that included goat's Gouda and Cheddar, chèvre with fennel pollen and lavender, and a creamy soft cheese from Cowgirl Creamery.
For dinner, the Cranbrook Village Whole Foods has multiple hot and cold bars offering eighty-plus dishes and ten hot soups, as well as sushi and cooked-to-order rice and noodle bowls. In general, I find the food fresh, of very high quality, and often too bland. The vast selection requires experimentation, but there are rewards for diligence-in my case, tender, spicy teriyaki chicken and Vietnamese spring rolls with peanut sauce. For dessert, try the gelato bar; every flavor I sampled was very, very good.
[Originally published in December, 2008.]