My Brie-loving friend Menage Cheddar & I attended the happy hour at Artisanal this past Friday. I wouldn’t say it’s NYC’s best deal but it’s nice to get tasty cocktails for $9 (normally $19), draft beer for $5, and most importantly, a cheese plate for only $10, which is typically the price of each cheese if ordered individually.
We didn’t get to pick the cheeses but beggars, or at least folks seeking a deal, can’t be choosers. The fromagers still selected some winners for us. That ash-rinded beaut in the upper left of the plate is the Délice du Poitou, a pungent Frenchie with an ooey-gooey center. Across the plate is another bon ami, Pont L’Évêque, which reminded both Menage and me of her beloved Brie. Finally at the bottom is the muy bueno Zamorano from France’s neighbor to the west, Spain. This brittle bro was similar to a Parmagiano.
I’m not sure if I had a favorite but I did enjoy smearing the green-grey ash flecked Délice across our little crusts of bread before popping it into my mouth and making big cheesy grins at Menage. Maybe it was the Pimm’s Cup bringing out this goofiness in me?
As the cheeses disappeared from the plate, Menage expressed curiosity about the fondues though I was pushing for an order of Artisanal’s light and airy gougères. In the end, we decided to try their truffle fries. It was Menage’s first experience with this flavor enhancer. I’m not sure she was completely sold because though good, they were not the best I’ve had. Jarls, you remember the other ones? I want those again. Still, if there’s one food I love nearly as much as cheese, it’s probably truffles, so I’ll end this post with an image of them.
I expect we will likely return to Artisanal in the near future for another happy hour; it’s weekdays 4-6, if you are in the area. I’ve marked up la carte des fromages with my favorites, so we’ll see if we can’t twist our server into popping one or more of these appealing cheeses onto our next plate!