Apple and Celery Root Soup With Bacon And Chive Oil
Cedarbrook Farm Scrapple


Arrowine5 When she learned of my ongoing effort to highlight off-the-beaten-path cheese purveyors in and around Washington, one of my wife's coworkers insisted I check out Arrowine in Arlington.  A neighborhood wine shop in the truest sense of the term, Arrowine is located in the Lee Heights shopping plaza where Lee Highway and Old Dominion Road intersect.  It is one of a strip of small, independently owned shops that seems completely incongruous with their quintessential suburban surroundings.  Look for the row of large, colorful awnings and you'll know you've found the place.

Arrowine1Arrowine is a gourmet's dream - though primarily a wine store, they carry a wide range of gourmet foods, fresh-baked breads and bagels, and a terrific selection of charcuterie and meats from D'Artagnan and other top names.

Of particular interest to me, however, is their cheese counter.  Covering half of the store's rear wall, Arrowine's cheese counter is stocked with classics and rarities alike.  Head straight back from the  entrance, toward the towering painting of the waiter, and you will soon be greeted by large wheels and wedges of cheese.  Their selection spans the globe, and it is sourced with an eye toward what is freshest and what is best.  Consequently, there are only a few local cheeses available right now - with Meadow Creek Farms' impressive and flavorful Grayson the best of the bunch.  Very few of their cheeses are sold in pre-weighed quantities - most are sliced fresh when you order.  As a result, your selections rarely have time to acquire that plastic wrap residue that can ruin the flavor of milder cheeses.

The sight of so many great cheeses should be a hint that you're in a place where they take cheese pretty seriously, but as soon as you start talking to one of the employees behind the counter, you'll know it.  Every employee I spoke to in my three recent visits has been working at Arrowine for at least a year, and on my first visit I had the good fortune to meet Aldo Molina.  As soon as I expressed interest in the cheeses, Aldo completely forgot about the fact that it was a mere half hour before closing.  He started talking to me with an eagerness that reflects his love for what he does, showing me cheeses that I had never heard of and encouraging me to sample.  Aldo learned cheese from Steven Jenkins at Dean & Arrowine4DeLuca in New York, and if that name sounds familiar it's because he is the author of Cheese Primer, an encyclopedic look at cheese that is a must-read for all cheese lovers.

On my subsequent visits, however, I was not as lucky.  On both occasions, I found myself struggling to strike up a conversation with the employee behind the counter, and I had to request to taste cheeses despite my obvious interest in learning more about them.  This struck me as a bit counter-intuitive in a place that prides itself on its wide selection of unfamiliar cheeses and its knowledgeable staff.

Despite this inconvenience, I was definitely impressed with the variety of cheeses and other products on offer at Arrowine, and I found myself eager to return to see what new goodies I could find.  If you're in Arlington and planning a wine and cheese party, look no further; their staff can walk you through pairings and price points for both.  But be prepared to ask for what you want.  And if Aldo's behind the counter, ask him what he would recommend - you're in for a treat.

In the Lee Heights shopping plaza
4508 Lee Highway
Arlington, VA
(703) 525-0990
Monday-Saturday, 10AM - 8PM
Sunday 10AM - 4PM



I go to The Italian Store fairly frequently for their hogies and pizza and I know Arrowine in nearby but I haven't been yet. I've got to check it out.
Do you know if they make their own bread and bagels, or where they source them from?

Mike Bober

Their bagels are brought in from H&H in New York, and their bread is from Uptown Bakers (pretty sure they're in Hyattsville, MD).

They used to have a page on their website where they said their H&H bagels were delivered par-baked and frozen and that they finished them on site, but that page is down right now so I'm not sure if that's still the case.

Hope that helps!


If you hit Arrowine, be sure to check out Crisp & Juicy at the end of the strip. They have awesome Peruvian chicken and fried yuca.


Second the Crisp & Juicy recommendation. Get the yellow and red sauces (both fabulous), sweet potato puree if they have it, and don't miss the plantains.

We had some for dinner last night.

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