This delightful venue on the animated Rue Notre Dame de Lorette in the 9th arrondissement is rather more than a straightforward cheese shop (though it does stock over 100 varieties). Despite the basic décor, it’s a pleasant surprise to discover a seating area and a proper menu that offers the artisanal cheeses as they are or cooked up in various dishes. Start off with a bowl of the rich, creamy pumpkin soup with a slice of blue cheese melting at its centre (€5.50), and move on to a cheese, honey and thyme tartine (€10.50), a croque-monsieur (€8.50), or cheese platter of 5 to 15 varieties for a wide-ranging experience of tastes and textures.
We tried the selection of 10 cheeses (€27), which is tailored to suit each customer. Ours featured an exquisite Tartufo (truffle cheese), a creamy ewe milk Fleur du Maquis from Corsica, an intense, soft blue Rochebaro and many more, plus a light and fruity Syrah by Yves Cuilleron to wash it all down with. Slowly work your way around the platter, and if you’re in the mood for three courses of cheese, you won’t regret a serving of fromage frais or a slice of the soft-centred baked cheesecake with a sweet raspberry coulis (€6.50).
Open for lunch and dinner every day, L’Affineur Affiné also serves brunch at the weekend, including a ham and reblochon croissant, scrambled eggs with Tartufo, baked potatoes with fresh goats cheese, St-Nectaire with cherry jam and green salad and a dessert for €20. Expect to be rolling home.