Market Watch

cheeseGood news for avid home cooks (and folks whose appetite for high-end eats exceeds their dining-out budget): three new gourmet shops have come to town.

In Union Square, husband and wife team Ben Dryer and Karen Coughlin recently expanded the space next to their popular Sherman Cafe to include the newly opened Sherman Market, selling locally-grown goodies and other household staples. As the store’s been open for only a couple of weeks, the shelves will be stocked “as they go,” says manager Jodi Malone, and already feature a selection of New England cheeses (heavy on Vermont), B&R Artisan Bread, homemade jam, and milk and produce from local farms (delivered by fellow local entrepreneur Metro Pedal Power). Many of the farmers and artisans sold at the market have long supplied Sherman Café, Malone says, so the market is simply making use of these existing relationships. Our favorite feature? Sherman Market will sell herbs in smaller bunches, putting an end to our sad practice of throwing out shriveled yellow bunches of unused parsley.

Over in the South End, 570 Tremont joins Lionette’s Market and Foodie’s Urban Market as another purveyor for upscale groceries. 570, which opened this past spring, makes smart use of its small space, featuring an impressive produce section, a variety of baked goods, a deli counter and even high-end grooming products. As with the other two markets, 570 aims to provide local and organic foods whenever possible, but what sets this market apart is an extensive selection of fair-trade items—and the homemade cinnamon buns.

Want a little wine to go with that locally produced cheese and bread? If you can hold out for a couple more weeks, Central Bottle in Central Square will be able to help you out. From Maureen Rubino, David Rubino, Liz Vilardi, and Nick Zappia, the forces behind The Blue Room in Kendall Square, this new shop will sell small-production, handcrafted, sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines from all over the world (raise a toast to no-guilt drinking!), as well as microbrew and craft beers. You’ll also find cicchetti (Italian small bites) and gourmet food items inside, and the owners plan to invite local chefs over to cook wine-friendly food for in-store tastings. Even better, wine-tasting newbies are welcome: Per the website, Central Bottle will “aim to offer up fun, educated, value driven wine experiences for the neighborhood and get to know you all like old friends.” Count us in.

But that’s not all. Keep an eye out for changes at Plum Produce, Barbara Lynch’s small produce shop in the South End. It’s currently closed, and a message on the website says it will re-open “with a fresh look to better serve the neighborhood.”

–Abby Bielagus