It's often the hole-in-the-wall places that surprise you. Nestled in the East Village, a red circular sign boldly announces Curry Ya's presence among the other Japanese restaurants and bars on the block.
Space is limited here, so be prepared to squeeze your way in. Despite the size, the interior is clean and simple with plain white walls and tall wooden stools with a little storage compartment at the bottom for your personal belongings. A long counter stretches from one end of the wall and bends around. Behind the counter you get an unobscured view of the kitchen, where the chefs work quietly around the stoves and oven.
There are few things in life more satisfying than the first bite of something truly delicious. There are few things in life more comforting than when that first bite is full of cheese. Be it cow, sheep, goat, or a mixture of all three, cheese comes in many shapes and sizes, tastes and textures, and makes an appearance on more than its fair share of menus in some form.
National Grilled Cheese Day is Friday, April 12th, and to celebrate, here are our Top Five best cheese picks from around the city.
Marlow & Sons (81 Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
March 28th kicks off the first installment of “America on the Rocks: Local Spirits and Cheese,” a first-of-its kind tasting event organized by Rhys & Rylee, a New York City-based producer of handcrafted vermouths. The pairing series, set to be held at Murray’s Cheese Shop on Bleecker Street, will celebrate artisanal New York State spirits while pairing them with a range of cheeses curated by the city’s most famous cheese-monger. Although it seems unusual to pair cheeses with vermouth, as it is much more common to pair cheese with beer or wine, vermouth, a type of aromatized wine, has a distinctive, robust flavor that pairs very nicely with cheese.
The best cure for the iciest of winter days is curling up by the fireplace with a glass of gluhwein and a heaping portion of baked mac 'n cheese. Here's a recipe for the latter from one of Chicago's cheese experts, Executive Chef Leonard Hollander of Marion Street Cheese Market. Chef Hollander was just awarded a Bib Gourmand award from the Michelin Guide, recognizing the bistro as an excellent option for diners on a budget.
Looking for a cheesy way to spend this Saturday evening (June 23th) but don’t want to hit up an overly parroted tiki bar? Head out to Long Island City for “an epic battle of monger vs. monger” at the 3rd Annual Cheesemonger Invitational! 40 passionate cheesemongers from around the world will compete in eight challenges until the cheesehead stands alone (hi-ho the derrio the cheese stands alone). Held at Larkin Cold Storage in LIC, contestants will battle it out for a cash prize of a thousand dollars in front of a panel of judges comprised of cheese shop proprietors, dairy farmers, and cheese makers from around the world.
We all have that crafty family member who knits beautiful sweaters, the co-worker whose baking skills makes Martha Stewart look like an amateur, or the friend of a friend who makes their own illegal booze (we’re talking moonshine—making beer and wine is legal). Do-it-yourself hobbies are rewarding whether you’re making seasonal jams from your own homegrown strawberries or you just decoupaged half the surfaces in your apartment. Luckily for those of us who aren’t The Next Great Baker and a far cry from those rednecks making mash in the backwoods of Kentucky, there are kits for us to buy and try our hand, and hopefully impress our overachieving peers, at making all sorts of foods and beverages.
Nowadays there are parties dedicated to everything from Tupperware, jewelry, and even sex toys. Need to change up your routine potluck dinners? Try a cheese tasting party! Any reason for a party is a good one. A cheese party is relatively stress-free for the host because cheese comes pre-made and is a fun, casual, delicious party idea.
FIRST: Invite a small number of guests, around 6 but no more than 12, to keep the party intimate. More than 12 guests can create cliques during the party, since this is a way to engage with each other over delicious cheese, keep it on the smaller side. Anyone who loves cheese is an ideal guest but don’t limit yourself to cheese mongers. Help expand a friend’s mind by encouraging the discovery of something different.
Remember when you were a little kid, coming home from school in the rain, dodging bullies, soggy and tired, and your mom would set you up with a steaming bowl of tomato soup and a...grilled cheese martini? No? Bet it would’ve made those hours of studying fly by.
Your savory sandwich wishes and vermouth dreams can be fulfilled at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, now open in the Flatiron. The Seattle-based cheese making store and restaurant, which opened its first Manhattan location in June, is a “living museum where visitors witness the 5,000 year-old art of making cheese.” And eating cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.