Benjamin Roberts, the man in charge of the cheese shop at France 44 so abhors the product-mishandling he's witnessed at upscale grocers--fragile, living, breathing cheeses tightly wrapped in plastic instead of a porous cheese paper--he's penned several "cheese abuse" diatribes on his blog (france44.blogspot.com, and he Twitters, too). While some might find this a little extreme, we love a specialty-shop personality who's especially persnickety, but not at all snobbish, about his wares. Roberts brings in a lot of his cheeses direct from producers and cuts them to order, so when you're buying a special cheese--the Hook's seven-year cheddar you already love, or the French Massipou that Roberts knows you will--it'll be in top condition. And if you're having trouble making a decision, he'll happily help you sample a few picks from the case. Roberts also sells the city's best selection of domestic bean-to-bar artisan chocolates along with a slew of other gourmet goods such as La Quercia prosciutto, along with house-made refrigerated and frozen deli items and (our fave) the duck confit. If you want to indulge in your purchases right at the shop, take a seat at one of the tables and the staff will bring out platters and stemware and serve it to you.