Casellula Cheese & Wine Cafe in New York City

A glass of rosé wine and cheese plate at Casellula in New York City.
Cheese plate, a glass of rosé and New York City. Doesn't get much better.

By the time Sunday rolled around on my New York City trip, I’d had a lavish dinner, seen the opera that inspired the trip and battled the snow via a hearty bowl of ramen.  Now it was time for an intimate, relaxing dinner before heading to a jazz concert.

A glass of rosé wine and cheese plate at Casellula in New York City.
Cheese plate, a glass of rosé and New York City. Doesn’t get much better.

My friend Jess recommended Casellula Cheese & Wine Cafe when she heard I was headed to New York City.  She declared it her favorite place in the city—and I don’t take her opinions lightly.  (Besides, she has a master’s degree in cheese chemistry so when she tells you to go a cheese place, you go to that cheese place!)

Casellula menu and glass of sparkling wine in New York City.
Starting the evening with a sparkle.

Casellula is a cozy space with an eye-catching bar wrapping around one side of the restaurant and tiny tables sprinkled throughout the other.  Flickering candlelight creates an intimate atmosphere that could have easily doubled as romantic if I wasn’t alone or sitting near a group of girlfriends chatting about relationship problems. :)  Cheese and wine are obvious focal points of Casellula’s menus, but don’t skip over the food menu :: it’s worth trying a plate or two.

Cheese plate at Casellula in New York City.
A trio of cheeses, picked by Casellula’s fromager.

The menu has a handful of small dishes (ranging $5-$10) to accompany wine, not to mention the plethora of cheeses available to create endless combinations of cheese plates (all $6/each).  Medium dishes like salads and chicken liver pâté range $9-14 while larger plates like the Pig’s Ass sandwich (a house favorite) and smoky catfish sliders are around $11-15.

I started with a cheese plate, letting the Casellula experts pick my selections.  The cheese trio came accompanied with passion fruit curd and marshmallows, an unexpected combination that worked wonderfully well; another with apple chutney, adding a spicy/sweet component to the cheese.

Shrimp tacos at Casellula in New York City.
Spicy shrimp tacos were an amazing main course.

I happened to be seated at the bar next to the owner, who suggested the Shrimp Tacos ($11), with avocado salsa verde, black bean purée and chili lemon chip.  I never would have picked shrimp tacos at a wine and cheese bar, but I can honestly say they were the best I’ve ever had.  I loved the crunchy green peppers and slight limey taste and how the spiciness of the shrimp complimented the savory bean purée.

Chocolate cake covered in cream at Casellula in New York City.
Ending the night with my favorite dessert :: chocolate cake.

Casellula was one of those places I wanted to stay for hours, sipping on wines from their endless list and munching on bites all night.  But New York City–and the jazz concert–was calling my name.  So I ended my meal with a piece of Chocolate Cake ($9) topped with Meadowbrook Farm Cream.  I’m obsessed with chocolate cake and Casellula’s, paired with a Pinot Noir, was a fantastic end to a phenomenal dinner.

Go to Casellula for :: a casual, yet exciting dinner or just for wine and cheese.  Notes :: Open 7 days a week from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.  Reservations are not accepted.  Friend Casellula on facebook or follow them on twitter.

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