Murray’s Cheese Bar – Marcella The Cheesemonger International Guilde des Fromagers
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Murray’s Cheese Bar

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Murray’s Cheese is expanding… literally down Bleecker Street in the West Village. Rob Kaufelt, with the help of Cheese Guru, Tia Keenan, has opened a Murray’s Cheese Bar serving many of the great cheeses he ages and sells at his 254 location.

As many of you know, The Lady travels to New York often to hang with her Cheese Geeks at Murray’s flagship store in Greenwich Village. She is there to continue her (and by extension…my) cheese education which I then share with other Cheese Geeks, my loyal readers… a win-win for us all…

She spent part of this week at Murray’s with two of our favorite Cheese Swells, Nathan “Roll Tide” Aldridge and Denise S. along with new Geeks from Louisville, Kentucky… our cheese friends keep growing… which just proves that yes, we do have many friends in cheeses… but I digress… but only slightly…

This trip The Lady and Denise had appetizers at Murray’s Cheese Bar and were treated to several of Tia Keenan’s specialties. Tia is the Director of Food Services for Murray’s Cheese. Before joining Murray’s she opened and guided the evolution of Casellula Cheese and Wine Bar. Far more important and as far as I’m concerned, she is a leading Cheese Swell.

In addition to the cheese flight offerings, Tia has designed a menu of small dishes sure to please every turophile and those who merely adore cheese…
Because The Lady and Denise had reservations at Otto, one of Mario Batali’s New York eateries, the two went “light” and ordered a trio of spreads: Pimento Cheese… now there’s a surprise; Fromage Fort and Kopanisti.

The pimento spread was made with Prairie Breeze Cheddar, pimento and paprika… as with most pimento cheese spreads that come her way, The Lady loved it. It had a nice biting finish and was perfect with both the yeast rolls and flatbreads that accompanied the trio.

Next on the plate was a spicy taste of Greece: the Tia-created Kopanisti combined Feta, Peperoncini and Dill. Another hit that finished with quite a kick in the heat department.

The third spread was a French marriage of Fromager d’Affinois and AOC-protected Bleu d’Avergne. A nice finish to cool the palate after the Kopanisti.
The two chose a Pinot Noir to accompany the plate.

Tia surprised them with her Gruyere Malakoff. Known in Switzerland as the soldier’s meal, Malakoff is fondue in a fried ball. Tia combined the ingredients that make a traditional fondue; set them on top of a rye crostini and deep fried it… my, oh my… The Lady and Denise were in heaven…

As usual I was left at home with The Man… evidently New York has some of those same “no animals allowed” rules that seem to plague me most everywhere I wish to travel… thank goodness for Holiday Inn Express and their pet-friendly attitude…

With another winner on his plate… one wonders what Rob is scheming to do next… you’ll learn more in my recent interview which will be posted here on the website on September 30th.

In the interim, The Lady declares Murray’s Cheese Bar a 4 Paws winner… how can I refuse to lend her my paws??? She holds the key to my heart… cheese…

You can follow Tia on Twitter @kasekaiserina

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