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How to Crush the Cheese Board Game: 8 Winning Plates

Aged, soft, creamy, smelly -- the endless varieties and and styles are right at home next to breads, jams, nuts and dried fruit. Along with charcuterie and big glasses of wine, this classic, easy-to-pair appetizer will never go out of style.
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There's nothing like a platter of yummy cheeses to make us swoon with delight. Typically a mixed bag (er, board) of tasty hunks of flavor, the cheese plate is a solid start to any meal (or party, or happy hour, or Netflix marathon...).

Aged, soft, creamy, smelly -- the endless varieties and and styles are right at home next to breads, jams, nuts and dried fruit. Along with charcuterie and big glasses of wine, this classic, easy-to-pair appetizer will never go out of style. Here are some of our favorite spots in the country winning at the cheese plate game.

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Photo provided by 51 Lincoln.

At farm-to-fork eatery 51 Lincoln in Boston, semi-soft cheeses from Spain, Ireland and France are available to enjoy alongside various charcuterie, including ham terrine, chicken liver pâté and bresaola (air-dried, salted beef).

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Photo provided by Steak & Whisky.

Paired with nice glasses of red wine, the cheese board at Steak and Whisky in LA -- piled high with Big Rock Blue, Humboldt Fog goat milk, Mixed Drum and Farmstead Reserve cheeses -- makes an awesome starter for the table.

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Photo provided by RN74.

Cow, goat, sheep and buffalo milk cheeses -- available by the ounce and by the platter -- are great matches for the cocktails, beers and wines on RN74's happy hour menu in San Francisco.

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Photo provided by Bin 36.

With two dozen cheeses available, Bin 36 in Chicago offers some of the most unexpected varieties in town. Choose a few to create a flight, all served with house-made jam, crostini, Cabernet gelée and apple, and don't forget the wine (available by the glass, bottle or flight) to wash them down.

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Photo provided by Le Virtu.

In traditional Italian style, Le Virtu in Philadelphia offers a cheese plate after your meal. From the "dolci" section of the menu, guests can choose a selection of artisanal Pecorino cheeses from Abruzzo's Valle Scannese and Porta dei Parchi farms.

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Photo provided by The Gander. Photo by Evan Sung.

The Bar Room at The Gander in NYC offers an all-day menu featuring several cheeses, plus stellar charcuterie, to accompany their specialty drinks, beers and wines.

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Photo provided by Crossroads Kitchen.

At Mediterranean-inspired Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles, non-dairy delights take center stage on the Kite Hill Cheese Plate, which highlights assorted vegan cheeses, house-made jams and other goodies.

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Photo provided by L'Espalier.

Led by Maitre D' and Fromager Louis Risoli, the cheese program at L'Espalier in Boston spotlights selections from around the world -- England, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Australia and the U.S. -- served at the peak of their ripeness and offered a la carte or in flights of 10, 26 or even 42 selections!

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