Cheese 101: A tour de fromage at Morels Steakhouse & Bistro

Few Las Vegas restaurants offer a cheese selection as extensive as Morels Steakhouse & Bistro.
Photo: Sam Morris

The Palazzo’s lobby-adjacent Morels Steakhouse is a place for bistro classics, fresh shellfish with Champagne, and cheese ... lots and lots of cheese. Few restaurants on or off the Strip have such extensive offerings, and chef Rob Barrett is the man to guide you through the collection. “You know by the order if they’re experienced cheese eaters,” he says. If they’re not, he starts them with mild selections, a slightly aged cheddar or the obligatory creamy Brie, served with honeycomb, house-made date and walnut cake, or whole grain mustard. Here are Barrett’s first-round picks, from Morels’ ever-expanding cheese menu.

Morels Steakhouse & Bistro Palazzo, 607-6333. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 8 a.m.-midnight; Sunday 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

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      Chimay Grand Cru, Belgium

      This golden, mildly flavored cheese goes well with anything but especially with its Belgian beer namesake. It’s the perfect beginning bite.

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      Vintage Gouda, Netherlands

      This 5-year-aged cow’s milk cheese has crystallized amino acids that “almost pop like Pop Rocks when you put it in your mouth,” Barrett says. It’s loaded with amazing, soft-salty flavor.

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      Moody Blue Smoked, USA

      Wisconsin, you are the sh*t. A smoked blue cheese, seriously? Powerfully tangy, this strong, aromatic cheese will stay with you for a while, and that’s a good thing. More, please.

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      Coupole, USA

      Buttery and smooth, the soft inner portion of this creamy goat’s milk concoction truly melts in your mouth with a bright, almost vegetal finish. It contrasts nicely with the strong, ripened rind of the cheese.

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      Epoisses AOC, France

      This melty-soft selection, with a rind washed in brandy, tastes like a slightly funkier Brie, aged at least a month. It’s strong, sweet and milky.

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      Valençay Pyramide, France

      This goat’s milk cheese gets its fancy appearance from a liberal dusting of vegetable ash, which assists the aging process and adds a smoky finish to its nutty, tangy flavors.

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