Casellula is a “cheese and wine cafe”. Note the order of those words. If you’re looking for a wine bar with hundreds of varietals and rare finds, look elsewhere. In need of a dark place to take a date so she can’t tell that your hairline is in full retreat? Keep it movin’. Casellula is about the cheese first, all that other stuff second. So, if what you’re after is a laid back spot where you can get a raw milk goat cheese from Italy, this is your joint.
Casellula is a cozy little room in Hells Kitchen, run by some serious fromage lovers. The owner was once the head cheese guru at The Modern, something I discovered when I saw a congratulatory letter from Danny Meyer hanging in the bathroom. You might think something like that should be displayed in the office or over the bar, but I guess I did read it while I peed. Well placed. The cheese selection is vast and some are incredibly tasty, each priced at six bucks. Don’t do dairy? Casellula is also good for a glass of wine and a casual meal. There are some nice bites on the menu – specifically the Pig’s Ass Sandwich – but only the cheeses and desserts reach mind-blowing levels. Don’t miss the chocolate cake. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
Sixty different cheeses from all over the world, and ranging from mild to offensively stinky. The flights are a cool way to sample, but the best way to roll it is to tell your waiter what kind of things you’re into and what you’re threshold for adventure is. You won’t be led astray.
Pig’s Ass Sandwich
Though this sounds like something taken from The Breslin’s menu, it’s not actual pig ass on bread. This is pork shoulder done two different ways, with pickles and cheese on ciabatta. The result is a pretty awesome take on a Cuban sandwich.
An endive salad with fancy blue cheese and macadamia nuts. Not bad at all, but there are better things on the menu.
Mac and Cheese
It makes sense that cheese experts do a good mac and cheese. It also doesn’t hurt when you add pork fat.
Chicken Wings Adobo
These were like wings that you make at home because you can’t figure out how to make real buffalo wing sauce. Breaded, with a tangy adobo sauce that had a familiar taste. We’re tough to please when it comes to wings, so these get a so/so.
A giant piece of chocolate cake, soaked in fresh cream. It’s lighter than you might think, and absolutely incredible. We’ll go back for this alone.