Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Reason to Head West

Most days, a good piece of cheese at home, with bread or crackers, is enough to satisfy. But there are days when I need more. Epoisses is not enough: too one-dimensional, a yawn in my cheese-driven desires. The genius minds of Casellula know that just the smallest crackle of cashew brittle turns a simple pleasure into a brilliant experience. Nettle Medow’s, Kunik with lemon curd? A cream puff cloud to float away on!

Casellula, Cheese and Wine Café, is raising the bar in cheese service. While their menu does run the gamut from appetizers to desserts, for me, and most of their returning guests, it’s all about the cheese. When you arrive at the table, an additional menu is given that is dedicated only to cheese, allowing even the biggest aficionados room to run. For first timers, might I suggest a predetermined “flight of three.” These themed plates will surely educate but, mostly just delight! I often return to “Me and Ewe and Everyone we Know” because I love sheep’s milk cheeses so much. Others include “Domestic Darlings” and “Italian Stallions,” for all you Jersey Shore fans.

All cheeses at Casellula are paired with another food component, be it savory or sweet. I love their mantra that, “not all cheese goes with quince paste,” as so many restaurants fail to understand. Some of the sharpest cheeses I’ve ever tasted really showed their caramel sides when taken in with wholegrain mustard compotes.

Ok, and it must be said, please save room for dessert. The chocolate cake doused in 4 ounces of Meadowbrook heavy cream is not to be missed. So cream is not exactly a cheese experience but does anyone really cares with cake like this!

Casellula, Cheese and Wine Café

401 W 52 Street

Open 7 days, 5 pm to 2 am

Owner: Brian Keyser

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