Milk The Cow Carlton is younger, north of the river sibling of Daniel Verheyen’s St Kilda late night licensed fromagerie. Seating 80 people over 2 levels, the charming, narrow space has a very French bistro feel about it, with over 150 cheeses and a variety of alcoholic beverages on offer.
The main focus of the menu at Milk The Cow is the pairing of cheese with wine and other alcoholic beverages. Along with being able to mix and match cheeses and alcoholic drinks to your liking, a variety of cheese boards are offered as well as cheese flights, where 4 cheeses are matched to 4 alcoholic drinks. There are wine, whiskey, beer and even sake flights available amongst others, meaning everyone should be able to find something that satisfies their tastes.
…and yes, everything in that cabinet can be bought not only to eat at the cafe, but to take home.
5 Cheese Cheesemonger’s Choice ($37.00)
The “5 Cheese Cheesemonger’s Choice” came with a varied selection of 5 cheeses along with, as with all cheeseboards on offer, quince paste, freshly baked bread & housemade lavosh. Our favourite was the Champagne washed rind cheese, from the (surprise, surprise) Champagne region of France.
Farmer’s Board ($24.00)
The Farmer’s Board contained sourdough and wholegrain bread, house made lavosh, vanilla bean-poached pears and 15-month aged Serrano. This was a perfect accompaniment to the cheese board, with the vanilla bean-poached pears really standing out.
After a rather indulgent weekend on the alcohol front, we held off on matching our food with any alcohol on this occasion – a lemonade and tea were our beverages of choice on this occasion although the bottles of French, Italian, American and Australian wines staring down at us from the display cabinet did look mighty tempting.
Milk The Cow’s late night liquor license means that on Friday and Saturday nights punters can get their fix of fine cheese and alcohol until 1am. Combined with friendly service and a great atmosphere, Milk The Cow is a welcome addition to the ever improving Carlton portion of Lygon Street. I know I’ll be back to try some more of the cheeses, and to buy some of the excellent French Champagne cheese for home.
Oh and if you feel like ice-cream afterwards, the excellent Pidapipo Gelataria, which is also open until 11:00pm, 7 days a week, is only a few doors down.
Milk The Cow
323 Lygon Street
Mon – Sun: 12:00pm to late