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)
Serving only local and natural ingredients, Marlow & Sons pride themselves on having a relationship with every farmer who supplies them and changes their menu daily dependent on what is available and in season. With this in mind, it is hard to say what exact cheese delight will await you upon your visit to this Brooklyn foodie hotspot but recent examples include a bagna cauda (a type of Italian warm spread often made of garlic, olive oil, anchoives, and butter) sandwich with house-made ricotta, marinated kale, and anchovy butter as well as the fresh multigrain grilled cheese sandwich with provolone, cheddar, and fontina cheeses with walnut-raisin pesto, and arugula.
The Breslin (16 West 29th Street, NYC)
For the ultimate melted cheese sandwich look no further than the Breslin Dining Room situated in The Ace Hotel. Combining Swiss Raclette, French Montrachet, and Spanish Idiazabal, this oven-baked three cheese sandwich is a European dairy explosion. Served with red onion marmalade and wholegrain mustard and coming in at $16 per serving, this is no ordinary, or cheap, take on grilled cheese. Perhaps try and think of it as more of an investment into your ever-expanding cheese repertoire.
La Nonna Pizzeria Trattoria Paninoteca (237 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
At this old family style Italian Trattoria, based in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the simple mozzarella stick is elevated to a dizzying new height. Taking two large triangles of fresh mozzarella, which are then covered in breadcrumbs and fried to order, these are the perfect cheese snack or way to start a meal. They are served with a basic, yet delicious carrozza tomato and basil sauce and are best eaten with your hands. All in all, they are simplicity perfected and a fuss-free fromage must-try.
The Spotted Pig (314 West 11th Street, New York, NY)
No New York cheese-based tour would be complete without sampling The Spotted Pig’s infamous sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi, a type of gnocchi, with brown butter and crispy sage. These warm, soft dumplings are the ultimate in cheese gluttony and are both rich and ethereally light, melting sensually with every mouthful taken. They are so famous in fact, that they have become a star staple of the restaurant’s menu, which aims to combine seasonal British and Italian cooking using local ingredients wherever possible and is masterminded by prodigal Chef April Bloomfield.
Bedford Cheese Shop (229 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
When it is not so much a specific dish but a specific cheese you crave, or when your ability to chose cheese has gone awry, Bedford Cheese Shop is a one-stop shop sure to transport you to cheese nirvana. Stocking a vast array of cheese, crackers, chutneys, marmalade, tapenade, and quince jellies, the knowledgeable staff of this small specialist shop will gently guide you to your chosen partner allowing a taste of anything that catches your eye along the way. For the amateur cheese lover, they even run special cheese evenings to help you sort the Emmental from the Reblochon.