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I'm looking to fill a few holes in our dining schedule for the upcoming week. This was reviewed in the latest issue of The New Yorker and I'm wondering what the eGullet opinion is. At this point, if we arrive for early dining, are we likely to need a reservation?

We're already booked for Lupa, Artisanal, EMP, The Little Owl and the Bar Room at the Modern. Hoping for neighbourhood eats at Kefi or Celeste and lots and lots of gelato.

Any feedback?

Cheers,

Kathy

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Hoping for neighbourhood eats at Kefi or Celeste and lots and lots of gelato.

If you're looking to eat at Kefi or Celeste, go early or be prepared for a long wait.

Gelato - you could try Grom on the Upper West Side. Also long lines.

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I'm looking to fill a few holes in our dining schedule for the upcoming week. This was reviewed in the latest issue of The New Yorker and I'm wondering what the eGullet opinion is. At this point, if we arrive for early dining, are we likely to need a reservation?

We're already booked for Lupa, Artisanal, EMP, The Little Owl and the Bar Room at the Modern. Hoping for neighbourhood eats at Kefi or Celeste and lots and lots of gelato.

Any feedback?

Cheers,

Kathy

If you're craving gelato, I highly recommend Otto's gelato (available at the restaurant and their cart in WS Park). For the record, I don't particularly recommend Otto on other counts...Lupa is way better. But go just for the gelato at some point...the olive oil is especially good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm surprised how little note Casellula has received on this board given the quality of its offerings and its pleasant, low key atmosphere. It calls itself a "Cheese and Wine" cafe, with the emphasis on the cheese - and rightly so. It's a small, brick-exposed bistro setting with welcoming, efficient staff, including a cheese sommelier. We arrived early, sans reservation, and that was fine, although it did fill quickly. Many of the other diners, uh, nibblers, seemed to be there for a platter of meats or cheeses and a glass of wine before moving on for the evening. Fine, it's well situated for pre-theatre, but the food is definitely worth lingering for. L. had the Chilled Carrot Consomme that was zinged with ginger. Perfect for a steamy day and so good and full-flavoured that I was denied even a taste. Cooled down, he moved on to the Mac and Cheese. Three cheeses (Fol Epi, Comte, and Chevre) with lardons and carmelized onions. This I did get to share and it was great- rich but somehow not too rich. We agreed that it rivalled the mac and cheese at Bar Etats Unis, until now our touchstone of comfort food. I started with the Endive salad. Be warned, this is not a "lite" plate of salad. As well as the endive there was an unholy but delicious amount of blue cheese (Roaring Forties Blue) with pear and macadamia nuts. Normal eaters would find the salad alone a satisfying meal; however, we're not and I was unable to resist the Pig's Ass Sandwich. Basically ham and cheeses made homey with the addition of bread&butter pickles. Good stuff, especially when dipped into the unshy chipotle aioli. I'm embarrassed, even in this company, to say we didn't stop there. We went on to share a cherry clafouti with lavendar ice cream ( I couldn't detect the lavendar) and a plate of three goat cheeses, the star of which was a French Tarentais.

If I were in the neigbourhood very often my cholesterol levels would be in peril.

Cheers,

Kathy

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I'm a little surprised as well. This place is a true standout for the neighborhood, serves late (always a plus), has knowledgeable staff (another plus), and the product on offer is really pretty stunningly good IME. I haven't really delved into the cooked offerings, since I usually just sit at the bar early evenings and have a glass of wine and some cheeses and charcuterie, but everything I've had (the meats, the cheeses, the paired condiments thereto) is very, very good. That said, I'm hoping it doesn't become TOO well-known. ;)

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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