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Best/most interesting cheese plate?

I can't be the first on chowhound to ask this question, but I searched all the ny boards and couldn't find it!

I just moved to ny 2 months ago, live downtown, and am addicted to cheese... I know Artisanal has a lot of great cheeses, but I like smaller, cozier restaurants... I don't need a lot of choices, but I'm looking for places with interesting selections. Garnishes, fancy jellies & breads are fine, but I can do without them. The cheese is the important part!

Can you help me?

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  1. Casellula is small and cozy, and has a good selection. It's on 52nd and 9th, so might be too far, but...

    Check it out:

    http://www.casellula.com/index.html

    2 Replies
    1. re: banquo

      looks fantastic, definitely plan to try this one

      1. re: banquo

        I second Casellula. The staff is also very helpful and knowledgable, so you can feel very comfortable asking for recommendations.

        They do have condiments to come with the cheese!

      2. The guy at Celeste on the UWS does an elaborate presentation with each cheese plate. You get small samples of 10 or 15 cheese paired with honeys, compotes, etc, and he'll rattle off each one's origin and characteristics with such a rapid, heavily-accented delivery that you wont remember a damn thing. It's fun, though maybe not the purist's nirvana you are seeking.

            1. re: LeahBaila

              i hate otto but i cant deny their cheese plate was good.

              in park slope, applewood is a great restaurant with a fantastic cheese plate...they have some sort of blue cheese mousse that is crazy good...along with some other rare artisanal stuffs.

              1. re: sam1

                Artisanal has a bigger selection, Picholine has better cheese trolley theater, but Town's John Johnson simply has the best palate for cheese pairings in the city. Each offering is a miniature dessert composition consisting of three or so perfectly harmonized elements. Epoisses with apple compote and walnuts and an easygoing goat with blueberry and cured lemon were two recent favorites. The combinations vary with the seasons, the quality doesn't.

                A few others: Gramercy Tavern's selection is generous and especially good if you like to try domestic cheeses--Connecticut and California selections are superb. Trestle on Tenth, unsurprisingly, is good for rare Swiss cheeses. Finally, Taste on the UES has a decent trolley, largely due to the Zabar buying power. Boqueria's Spanish cheese selection, logically, is good, but they could do more with it. If nothing else, it's perfect with Manzanilla at the bar. Plenty of others. Only one I must advise against: Gordon Ramsay. It's overrated, overpriced and undercurated...boring, boring, boring.

          1. Add L'Impero to the list of winners. Great accompaniments, good all-Italian selection.

            1. 'inoteca on the LES has a great selection of cheeses. I am also a cheese lover but am not super saavy...the staff there knows their stuff and is patient and competent in helping you along. Nice wine list too