Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Winey Cheesy Gem: Casellula

Our Cheese Flight (from left to right, mild to strong) at Casellula
401 West 52nd Street, NYC
Monday, March 30, 2009 ~ 8 p.m.

The dear, dear friends I was scheduled to see Les Paul with last night (hope you're making a speedy recovery, Les) surprised me with a tremendous belated birthday dinner at the cozy cheese and wine cafe, Casellula. I rarely say good things about anything, and yet here I can't say enough good things about this place--the atmosphere, the service, the food and wine--everything was simply splendid. I'm completely serious! Can you imagine? Me! Saying something like that! 

Of course, it's probably worth mentioning that I had the pleasure of being wined and dined at Casellula by wonderful company I love for a wonderful occasion they love (Me? If you say so!), so I had good vibrations all around.  If you'll be dining with horrible people, like say, your mother-in-law (educated guess?), and no matter what the occasion she always finds the moment to say something to you just so, in that way that annoys you, and it's so obnoxious you swear she must doing it on purpose and actually, she is, well, let's face it, she's probably going to have a some effect on your experience, but the place is still damn good.

For a table, we had the best spot in the joint, tucked in the corner in the front window, not far from the bar. The room was dimly lit which flattered my mug nicely (I look best in the near dark), and there were candles all around--instant romance. For wine, we shared a couple bottles of the D'Alfonso del Sordo "Casteldrione" / Uva de Troia, Montelpulciano, Sangiovese / Italy 2004. I don't know much about it other than that I didn't choose it, and it went incredibly well with all the bits we had to eat. In addition to the cheese (pictured above), here's what I remember we ordered (I did enjoy more than a few glasses of wine, afterall):

Mustard Miso Pickles (amazing! pickled green beans and carrots and onions. fantastic.)
Stuffed Peppadew Peppers / Buffalo Mozzarella / Speck (good, I've had better)
Chistorras in a Blanket / Radish Pico de Gringo (I liked the radish garnish a lot)
Crème Fraiche White Anchovy / Fennel / Pickled Shallots (outstanding, could have had ten)
Pig's Ass Sandwich / Fiscalini Cheddar / Fol Epi / B&B Pickles / Chipotlé Aoli (OUTSTANDING)
Mac and Cheese / Fol Epi / Comté / Chevre / Lardons / Caramelized Onions (rich, delicious)
Chocolate Cake / Meadowbrook Farm Cream (classic, cream was ridiculous)
Special Dessert: Sticky Bun /White frosting/Caramel Sauce/Rum Raisins (shut up!!!!!!!!!!)

So, naturally, I hesistate to share a jewel like Casellula with folks in a forum as public and "popular" as my blog, because I dislike most people, I hate all crowds, and I think crowds of people generally ruin everything for me. However, in the new economy, I'd like to give a restaurant I love a fighting chance of survival, and Casellula has captured my big black heart. Who else would like to take me there? Great! See you soon.



B.E. Earl said...


I love a good fromagerie. Except when they drizzle white truffle oil over my delicious cheese. Yuckers.

newbluebaby said...

It ain't easy being that.

Todd said...

Look, I don't know who you are or why you do this, but I just wanted to read what someone had to say about cheese and chocolate cake and I got sucked into watching 9 minutes and 53 seconds of "Ice Castles" and I am pissed off about it. Now I'm freakin' crying and I have Melissa Manchester stuck in my head and Tom Skerrit's beard is gonna give me nightmares. Is this really what you want to do to people?

Del-V said...

Yummy - Pig's ass sandwich!

anne altman said...


sad, but true. this place is worth a visit up from b-more.