There's nothing like a good wine bar to brighten up our weekend! With friends and family in the city, we ventured over to Hell's Kitchen to check out Casellula Cheese and Wine Cafe. It's a small, cozy space with an exposed brick wall. Though this popular spot does not take reservations, we were able to grab a couple of tables and squeeze our party of 6 in for an early dinner.
Bottoms up! Our group covered the spectrum of wines by choosing red, white, rose, and even mead (honey wine). My hubby and his BIL opted for Oregon's McKinlay Pinot Noir (2008, $14), a fruitier style of Pinot. Given the summery weather, I went straight for the crisp Substance Pinot Gris (2009, $12) from Washington State. My SILs stayed local, opting for the light and refreshing Wolfer Estate Rose (2009, $9) from Long Island. And finally, our friend went international with his sweet Lurgashall mead ($9) from the U.K.
And with wine must come cheese! The Petit Burrata cheese ($10) with oven-dried tomato toast and pistachio cream was milky and delightful. The Spanish White Anchovy Filets ($8) with fennel and pickled shallots lent a flavorful, savory bite. The Ricotta Crostini ($6) with orange blossom honey, hazelnuts, and lemon was sweet and airy (like biting into spring). We also shared a plate of Marcelli Ricotta Scorza Nera (paired with a marmalade), Taleggio Ca de Ambros (paired with an olive tapenade), and Blue di Bufala (paired with a honey) (3 cheeses = $18).
The large meat plate ($22 for 8 meats) was a great choice for our group of 6. We got to try chistorras, smoked goose breast, bresaola, chorizo traditionale, heritage Berkshire ham, Genoa salami, mortadella, and speck.
All of the meats were tasty, but I especially loved the Chistorras (or Spanish pork sausages). With its crispy casing and the side of mustard and gerkins, I enjoyed this elevated version of hot dogs!
Casellula Cheese and Wine Cafe is located at 401 W 52nd St (btwn 9th and 10th Aves) in NYC.