It’s 7 p.m. on a balmy, late-summer Friday evening, and Murray’s Cheese Bar on Bleecker Street is packed with patrons clamoring for the vast selection and cheery atmosphere that the freshly minted restaurant has to offer. Located only a few doors down from the fabled Murray’s Cheese Shop, which was originally founded in 1940 by Murray Greenberg, the Bar expands upon the infectious popularity and appeal of fine gourmet dairy products.
Opening the Bar was “just a natural extension of everything we do at the shop,” according to Beth Griffenhagen, marketing manager for Murray’s Cheese.
“We don’t have a place for customers to sit and enjoy cheese in the store, but we always wanted to offer that,” Griffenhagen said. “When the space opened up right down the street, it was an easy choice.”
Highlights include the $14 three-cheese “Flight,” a cheesemonger’s selection of dairy goodness curated to your tastes. Presented on a classy, black rock slab and accompanied by several, freshly baked bread options, this mouth-watering platter will satisfy any taste.
The delectable dairy options range from Up In Smoke, which is — you guessed it — smokey; to Nocciolo, a sweet Italian variety; to sharp Vermont Tarentaise. These tantalizing morsels come from Murray’s Cheese Shop right down the street.
“Murray’s sources products from all over the world,” Griffenhagen said. “A lot of it is aged in the caves beneath the shop, and every cheese is aged for a different amount of time. Some [are aged for] just a few days, others for several years.”
From the Buffalo Cheese Curds to the popular Rarebit Cheddar Burger, an 8 oz. grass-fed burger made with dark beer and smothered in a cheddar cheese sauce, gourmet cheese dishes are everywhere — however, options for the lactose-intolerant exist as well.
Though a little pricey for a fiscally frugal NYU student, Murray’s Cheese Bar is a can’t-miss for the amateur aficionado of Sbrinz and Fromager d’Affinois.
“Cheese is a companion to absolutely any meal,” CAS freshman Annie Weaver said. “It can be shared with friends or eaten by yourself and is great in really any situation.”
Helen Holmes is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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