Tag Archives: cheese


27 Jan

It seems everywhere I looked, someone was raving about Bâtard.  It took us a few weeks to get a reservation, but we finally managed to squeeze in for a 6pm on a Friday night.

One thing everyone raved about was that you can do a Tasting Menu for $55 (2 courses), $65 (3 courses), or $75 (4 courses).  I love this concept because I love trying as much as possible.  They said they would course the meal depending on what we ordered. Great.


We started out with warm bread that was fantastic.  The olive roll was incredible and started the meal well.


We decided to split all our courses.

We started with Braised Artichokes with barley, poached hen’s egg, and eiswein sabayon.  It came with a chili flake on top, and when I asked about it, it was immediately whisked away and very quickly replaced.


With a non-allergenic version.  And it was awesome.  The sabayon was fantastic and the artichokes were super flavorful.  The chip added nice texture and I enjoyed the barley as a way of sopping up the sauce.


We also tried the short rib and tafelspitz terrine with smoked egg, german sesame, and apple.

The terrine itself had great flavor and texture, but that little fried piece of meat was heavenly.  The fresh apple complimented the richness well.


We then tried the sea scallops with carrot fondue, parsnip, and chervil.


The scallops were perfectly cooked, and the little touch of caviar on the one made it extra special.  The parsnips were caramelized and really flavorful.  The crumble added great texture and flavor (though I still have no idea what it was).


Our next dish was sweet potato agnolotti with parmesan mousseline, pecan, and peppercress.  These melted in my mouth and had this great balance of sweetness, richness, and a bit of bitter from the greens. I LOVED this dish.


We then had the branzino with butternut squash, grilled lettuce, and pumpkin seed vinaigrette.  I love branzino and this did not disappoint. Perfect cooked with slightly crispy skin, complimented with all the great squash flavors of the butternut and the pumpkin seed.  The grilled lettuce had a nice char and it came together beautifully.


There was a special this night with chicken schnitzel (partially on the bone) with potato salad.


This was very nicely seasoned, with a slight crisp, and I loved the piece on the bone.  The potato salad was mustardy, which Mike loved and I was a bit turned off by, but I could see the appeal.


For dessert, they had a selection from the menu or a cheese tasting of 3 for $15 (only thing a la carte from the tasting menu).  Mike went with the 3 courses plus the cheese and I chose the 4 courses with dessert.



Each of the cheeses were very good, and paired with a compliment (apricot, apples, etc)  to make the flavor sing.


I chose the caramelized milk bread, which I have been seeing pop up on menus a bit more very recently.  This came with blueberries and brown butter ice cream (which had a little bit of salt on top). Awesome dessert.  It was kind of like a french toast but with a beautifully caramelized outside to make it more desserty.  The blue berries were cooked a bit to sweeten them and add some sauce without losing the consistency and flavor, and the brown butter ice cream went very well with everything.


We were then brought a final tasting with marzipan cookies and truffles filled with black olives. Yes. Black olives.  When I took a bite, I was so confused by what flavor I was tasting, I had to ask.  I was surprised at how enjoyable this was once I found out it was black olives.  I also really loved the marzipan cookies. Delicious.



From start to finish, we really enjoyed our meal.  I felt like the quality was great with a good amount of innovation, that made me feel like we were getting a lot for our money.  Most tasting menus of this quality in NYC would cost a lot more, but this felt like a big value with a huge payoff in delicious food.

Highly recommended.

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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Murray’s Cheese Bar for Belated Birthday Brunch (BBB)

8 Oct

Every year, I go out to a celebratory meal with That Lori from Stuff I Ate since we have birthdays 2 days apart.  Typically, life gets in the way and we wind up celebrating a few months later, but this year we managed to schedule a trip to Murray’s Cheese Bar just a few weeks later.



The restaurant is small and narrow, but has great light streaming in and great red chairs in the mostly black and white restaurant.



We started with the mimosa sampler which had orange juice, lychee, and blood orange varieties. They were served in cute glasses on a lovely slate tray.

They were pretty, but not all that great.  If I were blindfolded I probably couldn’t tell the difference between the three.



They also serve Stumptown coffee, which I’m a fan of, so we woke up with a great iced coffee.

We also go a flight of cheeses.  We chose The Weekended flight which included Fresh Ricotta with honey, Green Hill with preserves, and Prairie Breeze Cheddar with apple.



This was so good. I loved each of the cheese choices and their pairings. But the ricotta and honey was awesome.  Creamy and rich with a great, flavorful honey.



We also split a main (so we could have room for dessert) and went with the Alpine Eggs.  This had two poached eggs on an English muffin, served with ham and mushrooms, topped with our 3-cheese fondue poured tableside.  This was all sorts of wonderful.



The eggs were perfectly cooked and the ham and mushrooms went very well with everything.


That fondue was a really great alternative to hollandaise.  I kind of wanted to ask for it to be packaged up so I could go home and pour it over pretty much everything I made for the next few days (or hell… eat it with a spoon) but I refrained.



For dessert, cheese ice cream was on the list.  And not just any cheese ice cream (because, truly, what is any cheese ice cream), but cheddar cheese ice cream with peanut butter and a honey drizzle.  Stay with me now.

Yes… all of these things together sound super weird… cheddar cheese ice cream? with peanut butter? and honey?

But this was a creation of beauty.  There were pieces in the ice cream that added great texture and the peanut butter mixed perfectly with the ice cream.  The honey on top was a bit of sweetness with the salty ice cream.  Such an original flavor and something I will never forget.



We really enjoyed our meal and the whole thing felt like the celebration it was.  I will be back. And hopefully soon!

Lori also wrote up a review. Check it out here!

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10


Artisanal Merliance Tasting and Brunch

28 Feb

I love cheese.

Like really freakin’ love cheese.

And wine?

I love wine.

So wine and cheese?


I’m in.

But Merlot and I have not been good friends (and I swear I didn’t like it long before Sideways made it a faux pas).  But Lori (of the blog Stuff I Ate) has been singing the virtues of Long Island Merlots for quite some time. We went to a few wineries with her and I actually did like it more than I thought I would. I still would choose a Pinot Noir over a Merlot any day, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

So when she invited us to an event at the Artisanal Cheese Center (10th Ave between 36th and 37th) with the Merliance (Long Island Merlot Alliance), we decided to give it a try.

We didn’t know what to expect, but when we entered there were glasses in the back with  merlot and a table set with cheese. My favorite of which was the Epoisses (which I just realized is the same cheese that I enjoyed so much in our Colicchio and Sons dish). It was creamy and farmy and delicious. 

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We were not sure if that was the entirety of the event, but we were pleased when we were led into a room next door, poured 7 glasses of wine, and presented with a wheel of cheeses.

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Throughout the tasting, the different wine makers from each of the vineyards represented spoke about their wine and the cheese it went with. It was very interesting and educational.  

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And I was a model student and finished all of my wine and cheese. (Please notice the half full glasses of everyone in front of me… whoops!)

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While I can’t say I fell in love with Merlot, I obviously enjoyed every glass.  But I ESPECIALLY enjoyed the cheese. There was one in particular called Roomano that I could not get enough of. It is the best crystals of gruyere and parmesan combined with a rich and creaminess that I have never tasted before. I loved it so much that Mike surprised me with it as a present over the holidays and we pursued it each time we were back near Artisanal.

Speaking of…

When I was looking for a brunch location one Saturday after going to my dress fitting with my mother and sister (OMG! I’m getting married!!!), I noticed that Artisanal Bistro had an opening.  So off we went to 32nd Street, just off Park Ave.

There is a full retail Fromagerie in the back of the restaurant.


And a really nice atmosphere, keeping with their maroon and butter yellow brand identity.


They even use cheese wrap as the table cloths.


We started with a cheese plate including a truffle cheese (WOW!) and, my new favorite, Roomano.  


We asked them to bring out some nibbles to go with the cheese, so they brought out some quince paste and some walnuts in (really good) honey. It was all perfect and  a great start to the meal. All of us were doing the happy belly dance (yes… all 3 of us dance in our chairs when we like our food… I’m sure it is a sight to see!)


My sister got a salmon eggs benedict. She gobbled it all up, so I assume it was damn good.


My mom and I got the same dish, poached eggs over pork belly hash and sweet potatoes. It came with a chipotle hollandaise (that mom got).



And I got mine with regular hollandaise.  It was so good. A little crisp on the pork. Perfectly cooked eggs. It all went so well together and while the bowl was small, it was a perfect portion and I’m glad there wasn’t more or else I would have stuffed my maw far too much.


I am a big Artisanal fan, especially after these recent two experiences. How can you beat a restaurant that specializes in cheese?

I had been there for dinner in the past, and very much enjoyed their fondue, but I thought their brunch was even better. We also sat in the restaurant for hours and no one bothered us or pressured us to leave. Service was very good, for the most part, and everyone enjoyed everything they ate.

Yay for cheese!

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

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