The Cheese Bar Meets “The Bar”

Skylar Knight, Features Editor

Cheese is a food that comes in many different flavors, colors, and textures, which is why it is widely popular and can be fun to eat. You can add it to virtually any food and prepare it in a variety of ways; some favorites include fondue dips with bread, platters of assorted types accompanied by crackers, or the cheese simply being on savory sandwiches or mixed with creamy desserts. But what if you could get all these beloved combinations in one quaint, local restaurant that is praised for their cheese making? The Cheese Bar, that just recently opened last year, is a dream come to life for cheese lovers, with a modern yet classic atmosphere and delightful service, conveniently located right in Pompton Lakes! 

At first glance, this restaurant could be easily missed, as it is woven into a strip of restaurants along the Main Street of Downtown Pompton Lakes; yet its atmosphere doesn’t feel cramped or forced into a small space, but rather quaint, cozy, and homemade. Since the restaurant is located right on the road, there is a city-esque mood that we got to experience, especially since our high-top table was against the giant windows looking out. There are aesthetically-pleasing decorations that bring a tasteful mix of vintage and modern art to the room. It is a very small place, with only nine tables total in the whole space; most of them only seat 1-4 people, though there is one table of 6. The tables themselves were clean, floors were tidy, and the artwork hangings were placed to compliment the mellow vibes this space gives off. The service was lovely and the food came out quite quickly, considering they were getting busy with all of their tables filled and people waiting out the door.

A restaurant can have all the inviting atmosphere they want, yet it all boils down to the food itself. For a place branded for their cheese dishes, it definitely did not disappoint our expectations. To start, we ordered the mac & cheese bites served with buffalo sauce on the side, and they were warm, cheesey, and fun to eat. Then we decided to split the goat cheese & avocado toast, as well as the chicken parmesan, and they were both to die for. The chicken was a classic, authentic Italian dish presented as a dip, with the chicken smothered in marinara sauce and cheese, surrounded by crunchy bread. The dip had two large chunks of chicken and felt like family comfort food, as an Italian myself. This was definitely a dish that was filling, and great to share with friends, family, or your date.

Thankfully, we were smart enough to order a lighter dish to enjoy at the same time. The open slices of Italian panella bread that the avocado mash laid on was topped with goat cheese crumble, halved fresh tomatoes and slivers of red onion. It was a creamy, savory, slightly zesty experience that danced in your mouth to offset the heavy, full feeling you get after devouring the chicken. It was a refreshingly-light, yet still satisfying contrast to add to the meal. 

Overall, all the foods we ordered were served as if they were made for two to four people, and therefore this space is seen as the perfect spot for a date. At the moment, unfortunately, the restaurant is temporarily closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but this is just one more thing to add to your to-do list for when they do reopen! Typically the restaurant opens at 4:30 pm and closes at 10:00 pm or 11:00 pm Tuesday-Saturday, as they are closed on Mondays and are only open from 12:00-4:30 pm on Sundays. There is convenient street parking right outside the giant windows, presenting a more fancy, city feeling that brings a more mature feeling and crowd.  If you’re lactose intolerant, you had better grab your dairy pills, because you aren’t going to want to miss this!