Where to: Eve & Murray’s Farm to Home in West Acton.
Why: To pretend you’re in a Nora Ephron movie. This is the kind of place where a couple with nothing in common shops for a dinner party while bickering about pâté. Food group or frivolous? Their hands meet while reaching for the same bottle of ginger beer, and the sparks fly.
The backstory: In the early ‘90s, Dawn (Eve) Aguiar and Tamara (Murray) DeLuzio were in a band together. DeLuzio played ukulele, and they both sang. Professionally, they took separate paths. Aguiar worked in marketing, and DeLuzio owned a music and theater school. But last year, tired of it all, Aguiar texted her pal: “I want to open a cheese shop.”
They settled on West Acton Villageworks, a complex of independent businesses on a previously sleepy stretch of suburbia. I grew up here, and back in the day, New London Style Pizza was the only game in town. Now, it’s joined by Acton Coffee House, True West Brewery, Twin Seafood, WECO Hospitality, West Side Creamery, and more.
“We looked for a long time for where we wanted to locate, and when we finally came to West Acton, we drove in and saw all of the adorable shops here, what’s happened in the neighborhood, and all of the signs saying “Spread Kindness” and “Support Community,” says Aguiar, who commutes from Brookfield but lived in Lexington for many years.
The shop — which uses each of their middle names — spotlights American cheeses, many from New England and New York.
‘We’re all about supporting slow food and local farmers and really helping to promote the beauty that is American cheese,” Aguiar says.
Try Womanchego from Connecticut, sharp but creamy; Barbegazi from Fairy Tale Farm in Vermont, a nutty Alpine cheese dusted with cocoa powder; or Red Hawk from Cowgirl Creamery in California, funky and briny, with notes of cured meat.
They also stock women-owned brands such as Jaju Pierogies and NotJustCo. pasta sauces, local pottery, and even records. (“Seasons Greetings From Barbra Streisand” was prominently displayed on a recent visit.)
Order sandwiches and cheeses from a chalkboard behind the counter, then browse midcentury barware and bitters from Vena’s Fizz House — the drinkerati’s favorite sipping spot in Portland, Maine — while you wait.
What to eat: “We have a small menu right now. ... We don’t have a background in food. We’re home cooks, but we know what’s good, and we know what we like,” Aguiar says.
Sandwiches are not particularly cheesy. Le Bon Bánh Mì is a tightly packed, sturdy little sandwich with duck confit; duck and pork pâté; pickled serrano peppers, radishes, and carrots; and sprinklings of mint and cilantro on a French baguette. Very Verte layers basil hummus with lentil fingers, pickled vegetables, and lemony arugula. Pair them with Route 11 chips or Flock chicken chips.
If you do want cheese, order a Fromage à Deux or Trois with charcuterie, jam, caramels, and nuts. You can almost see Tom Hanks clearing his throat to order while tugging on his cashmere scarf.
What to drink: This is one of the most intriguing coolers in town. You’ll find Töst nonalcoholic rosé; The Bitter Housewife’s Bitters & Soda; and Green Bee honey sodas. Or stock your bar with For Bitter or Worse spritzes and Toma Bloody Mary Mix.
The takeaway: Not just an adorable hideaway with gourmet food and tasty sandwiches, but also a potential setting for a rom-com. Steve Carell grew up just down the street, so anything’s possible.
Eve & Murray’s Farm to Home, 525 Massachusetts Ave., West Acton, www.eveandmurrays.com