Murray’s Cheese Bar – Small in Size, Big in Flavor

It’s not that a world without cheese would cease to exist for me. Rather, it’s that I simply wouldn’t believe in it. It would be the boogey-man, or some other scary figment of a child’s imagination.

I believe in cheese the way that some people believe in showering every day.

Murray’s Cheese Bar must feel the same way as I do. Run by the cheese-niuses (def: a cheese genius) this new restaurant right down the street from the Bleecker Street location of the shop had high acclaim from one of my favorite lactose loving gals. Of course, I promised to check it out ASAP.

The restaurant is very narrow and cozy. It manages to feel spacious thanks to a long, wide bar at which you can sit comfortably and order cheese and wine, though there are also a few tables. Come here with a close friend or 2 but not more than that you really want to be able to chat while you chow.

Ellsworth Creamery Buffalo Cheese Curds with celery and blue cheese dip

Squeaky, bouncy cheese curds, fried so that they are warm on the inside and crispy on the outside. Doused in a garlicky, spicy buffalo sauce, this is at least as good as my favorite wings- maybe even better, considering the high-end blue cheese dressing that accompanies it. Creamy and peppery with huge hunks of soft, assertive blue cheese. This is one of the best renditions of buffalo anything in the city.

Trio of dips with crackers:

Pimento Cheese, A Taste Of The South prairie breeze cheddar, pimento, paprika. Creamy, with hunks of medium sharp cheddar. A bit too mild for my taste, sweet with the pimentos and lacking any bite from cayenne or freshness from scallions. My least favorite of the dips.
Obatdza, A Taste Of Bavaria romadur, vermont butter and cheese creamery butter, horseradish, caraway. Easily the most unusual dish of the night. Romadur makes blue cheese look like low fat american cheese - subtly put, this stuff is stanky. Bottom of the sock drawer, wake up with your eyes tearing, stanky. I LOVED it. The soft dip had notes of wood, grass, and ocean air-  it was really that unique, all thanks to the fabulous ramudur cheese. The caraway brought out the woodsy notes, but butter helped tone down the strong flavors, and the horseradish cut right through the stank. If you love kimchi, steak tartare, or other strong foods…this may be for you!
Kopanisti, A Taste Of Greece feta, pepperoncini, dill – standard but tasty. Good, creamy Greek feta, none too bitter, mixed with tangy pepperoncini and grassy dill. Fresh, flavorful, and a crowd pleaser.

Haloumi with mint, lemon, and olive oil

Simple? Sure, but so well executed. The halloumi is crispy and salty, splitting to reveal melty insides, stretching like the  your favorite grilled cheese sandwich. The lemon caramelizes, turning sweet and deep in the oven, tempering the bright mint. A finish of sweet, rich olive oil brings the dish together in a way that proves that Murray’s really knows what it is doing.

Look, the food and atmosphere here makes it a destination eatery.  In fact, throw away the menu and just have the cheese-passionate staff choose your meal for you! If you like cheese, fair prices, and great service, you really must come here.

And if you don’t like any of these things, go find a technology blog, cause this one really isn’t with you.

Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    I hope I can convince James to take me here. Even though he hates cheese, it means more for me, right?

  2. They do fondue on certain days too. If you follow them on twitter you’ll see when they’re doing raclette :)

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