Murray’s Cheese Bar

264 Bleecker StNew York, NY 10014 • (646) 476-8882 • murrayscheesebar.com

Murray’s has been a New York icon for more years than the aged cheddar in their cheese cases. But more recently they decided to take that expertise and run with it, opening up a restaurant just a few doors down where the cheese flows like wine, or rather in tandem with it.

Our story begins with a robust, spicy blend of Grenache and Syrah by the glass. It was perfect for the cheesy tour de force that lied ahead, starting with the grilled artichokes, which wasn’t all that cheesy to be honest, but holy cow was it good, drizzled with an alici aioli (alici is an Italian fish sauce made from anchovies, in case you were thinking of googling it like I just did).

Equally impressive, and much cheesier, were the stuffed zucchini blossoms filled with spiced cream cheese, roasted corn and placed over a light yogurt sauce. Just killer.

But speaking of deadly, the Mac & Cheese was the real showstopper, making my Ultimate list with flying colors… and cheeses. My daughter technically ordered it, but I got all Daniel Day Lewis (circa There Will be Blood) on her and I “drank her milkshake.”

The sliders were also a solid yum, leading me to believe that the burgers are most likely awesome as well. And speaking of the A-word, the charcuterie and cheese plate is all that and then some. Obviously a lot rides on which meats and cheeses you choose, but you can never go wrong with the sweet San Daniele or the milky double cream. Also adding to the awesome are the inspired accouterments like the maple shavings. A stroke of delicousness!

Another worthy get is the grilled cheese, although I must admit I found the sandwich itself to be shockingly boring. What makes up for it in spades, however, is the kickass, sharp-ass tomato soup. Just dip the mediocre sammy in that red fountain of youth and your taste buds will feel like they’re twenty-one again, unless you’re younger than 21, in which case I’m not sure what the math would be?

Lastly, for dessert, while I appreciate the attempt to recreate iconic dishes with cheese, the Ch-mores fall miserably short and lack the contrast of flavors and textures that make S’mores so wonderful. Instead, the Ch’mores wind both looking and tasting like a cheesy blob. It was the biggest miss of the night and the primary reason I am docking a knife. Apart from that, I’d say it is a perfect stop amidst a Bleeker shopping spree, or for an early dinner with kids that doesn’t compromise for the adults.

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Juice Press

1 W 22nd St. New York, NY 10011(212) 777-0034 • juicepress.com

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The lunchtime staff has to be one of the nicest, most helpful and generous groups I have encountered at a NYC restaurant. You can literally sample about a third of the menu for free. The prices, however, are a bit steep, which may explain how they can afford to give away all of those samples.

That said, the food- er juices, for the most part are very good and very healthy. A few misses, mostly on the food. But some very strong hits. My favorite in the food dept. would be the For the Love of Kale salad. Served with quinoa, tomatoes, raisins and a wonderful dressing that I believe is avocado based.

One the juice side of things, there are several winners. I like the Doctor Green and Doctor Earth the most, but the Fountain of Youth is also good. That said, if you are feeling a scratch in your throat, I highly suggest you rush over to the nearest location and buy yourself a Spicy Citrus. True to it’s name, this thing is so hot it will literally burn through anything you’ve got going on along with a few vital organs. KIDDING! Well, not kidding about the spicy part. But the healing power of this drink is not to be taken lightly. It is an elixir. Helping me escape the clutches of a cold more times than I can count.

On the snacky side of things, they also have some solid choices like the nuts and trail mixes and some of the best kale chips I’ve ever had.

On the skip it list, however, I would forgo the falafel salad. The falafels taste like compressed balls of tofu, which they probably are. And the key lime pie tastes like a slightly sweeter version of the falafels. They are both textbook cases of vegan food over-reaching to be dishes that it simply shouldn’t be and you can taste those limitations as a result. So keep your orders simple and you’ll be happy. Poor. But happy.

3 teeth