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Cheese, please: the chef's tasting at Acanto.

No matter what’s happening in our lives, we’re always in the mood for cheese. And Acanto, a new rustic Italian restaurant across from Millennium Park, has a fromage menu worth seeking out.

Everything on it is from Bohemian Creamery in northern California, which Acanto chef Chris Gawronski swears is the best artisanal cheese maker in the United States.

The 11 cheeses are divided into three categories. If you like mild, pick something from the “classics” section. If you’re into fun names like Bo Peep or Cowabunga, order from the “playful” list, and if you truly are not afraid to funk it up, venture into “aficionado” territory. 

Gawronski steers dairy die-hards toward two cheeses in particular: the Surf and Turf ($7.50), a soft cow’s-milk variety with a thin black line of toasted seaweed running through its center, and Agua Bufazola ($6), a super dense, superbly stinky blue made from the milk of one of the country’s few water buffalo farms.

Make it a cheesy mini-meal by ordering the chef’s tasting plate--you pick any four ($21), then relish in the pungent smell of success. 

Acanto, 18 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-578-0763 or

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