Cobalt walls backed the wooden-industrial bar of what appeared to be a renovated garage. The Birch in Norfolk greeted us with moody lighting and our favorite indie tunes. The bar is known for their exquisite selection of European and American craft beers, and they boast an impressive selection of cheeses that packs anywhere between a pungent punch to a bitter bite. Artisan meat boards as well as gourmet grilled cheeses and other munchies adorn the menu. We sampled a handful of cheeses, (some spectacular, one we decided not to finish) but the highlight of the evening was the dark chocolate covered goat cheese truffles that sent my taste buds a whirlin’.
We took a seat at the bar. At 5’2” my feet dangled from the modish bar stools. My husband’s gaze darted toward the life-sized chalkboard etched with the current drafts. He scanned for scotch ales and decided on Founders’ Backwoods Bastard for him and Icelandic brewed Olvishölt Lava, a smoked imperial stout, for yours truly. Meanwhile, my fingertips skipped the entrees and fled straight to the last page of their twine-bound menu. But first, dessert, I always say. What I found were the inscriptions of a truffle I’ve never thought possible: dark chocolate covered goat cheese. The server dazzled me with the current flavors of lemon, raspberry, cranberry pecan and coconut. Typically a coconut-lemon-anything-sweet gal, I went for what seemed most adventurous and chose cranberry pecan. The husband chose raspberry; no surprise there.
A lovely wooden board carried the two chocolate mounds. They were larger than I imagined, but disappointment was not present. I carefully cut each in half. The raspberry essence was divinely woven into the goat cheese; it made sense. But the cranberry-infused creamy goat cheese, the pecan bits and the dark chocolate case…the truffle was beautifully complex. It was exciting to discover that these were practically crafted in our backyard. Virginia Beach’s Shady Goat Farm is the mastermind behind the heavenly truffles, with the help of their trusty goat friends of course. From raising the goats to dousing the cheese mounds in a dark chocolate bath, thanks to Shady Goat and Birch’s prestigious palate, I’ve found the truest of truffles.