When we learned recently of a friend's lactose intolerance, we responded with an amount of sympathy usually reserved for dengue fever, elephantiasis or an allergic reaction to sunshine. "No milk?" we asked incredulously. "No ice cream?" And then, gripping the table with dread, we whispered: "No...cheese?" Nope, no cheese. Our stomach sank as we connected the dots: That means no Sasha's cheese plate
. All summer we've been spending lazy afternoons, romantic evenings and oh-shit-is-it-really-that-late nights at Sasha's Wine Bar and Market. And all summer we've been eating hella cheese. Plenty of places in town offer cheese plates. Some of those plates are very good. An even smaller number are great. And then there's the cheese plate at Sasha's, St. Louis' finest assemblage du fromage
. The "plate" is actually a gorgeous slab of polished stone, and the selections vary from visit to visit; we recently enjoyed a cheesetacular combination of Saint Andr triple-cream, Drunken Goat (an artisanal goat cheese from Spain) and fontina. Sasha's serves its cheese plates with yummy crostini, dried cranberries and walnuts. Be sure to order some nice wine, too, whether you want to complement your cheese or raise a saddened glass to life sans lactose.