Posts Tagged 'wine'

Field Trip Friday: Beecher’s New York and the Grilled Cheese Martini

Earlier this year Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Company opened its doors in the Flatiron District of Manhattan.  On Tuesday, Ted capped his last day as an OHNY intern by braving the rains and heading a few blocks south to check out their new digs, and to try their much hyped Grilled Cheese Martini.

on the corner of Broadway and E20th

Beecher’s New York location is on the corner of Broadway and East 20th Street, a few blocks north of Union Square.  The street level storefront offers countless varieties of cheese and cheese accessories, food and drinks to compliment your cheese of choice, and a casual dining area overlooking their impressive cheese making facility.

so much cheese

we just missed the magic, but clean up is good, too

The hostess, a young Boston transplant, was friendly and knowledgeable, and pointed out some specialty cheeses in the display case.  Beecher’s has a number of award winning varieties, and also carries brands from New York, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Washington, among other states.

After sampling their Flagship cheese, as well as the Smoked Flagship (delicious, by the way), it was time to leave the go-go-go world of artisan cheese craftsmanship and head down into the shadowy underbelly of Beecher’s, The Cellar, where the Grilled Cheese Martini was waiting.

because hey, it was happy hour!

The Cellar is an intimately lit lounge and bar area below the main store, and is limited to those visitors lucky enough to be of legal drinking age. Sitting areas and comfortable chairs upholstered with cowhide are flanked by cascading arrangements of candles and chain-mail curtains, invoking a sense of romance and decadence.  The effect is so complete you may forget that one mere floor above are stainless steel tanks where cheese curds are made.

After a round of the house wine ($6/glass, happy hour special) and some delicious macaroni and cheese (recommended by the hostess as the do-not-miss plate of the Cellar), it was time to see what all the fuss was about.  Our waiter seemed none too surprised to be asked about the specialty martini (absent on the menu, but plenty mentioned online), and was more than willing to explain the process of infusing vodka with different flavors like lemon, bacon, and in this case, grilled cheese.

Finally, the martini ($15) was served, and it was time to taste.  While not as close in taste to an actual grilled cheese as one might have expected, the drink was still excellent.  Instead of the rich, creamy goodness of its inspiration, this martini boasts notes of basil and vinegar which may sound unappetizing, but worked well.  The general consensus was that the flavor profile was largely reminiscent of a basil, tomato, mozzarella salad.

What makes a grilled cheese sandwich such a classic comfort food is the perfect meeting of melted cheese inside warm crunchy bread… characteristics that are probably nearly impossible to translate into a cocktail.  Despite not making us feel like red-nosed nine-year-olds called in from the snow, the drink is well worth asking for.

And should you make the trip down to Beecher’s New York, and decide that the Grilled Cheese Martini is not for you, fear not, the bar has plenty of whiskey.

Beecher’s New York – 900 Broadway

Go Govino

Govino_credit Bruce McDonald (3)It’s always seemed that the only options when serving wine at an event were to risk breakage of stemware or pour the vino into a disposable cup, hardly befitting what’s been known for centuries as “the nectar of the gods.”

In search of an option that would provide the best of both worlds, our fearless Executive Director at OHNY, Renee Schacht, found the perfect solution: a beautifully designed, shatterproof plastic wine glass created by a great company called Govino.

Designed to mimic crystal’s properties of accentuating the color and aroma of fine wine, they are also the spitting image of their more fragile predecessors, with many OHNY patrons believing they were about to pick up a piece of glassware instead of a lightweight, unbreakable facsimile. With breakability removed from the equation, the only danger at events where we use these beauties is the risk of some folks bringing them home for their own personal reuse!

You might have seen them used at events sponsored by the Museum of Art and Design and Derek Lam, as well as at recent OHNY fundraisers, including the launch party for the 2009 Open House Weekend. And since Govino glasses are practically indestructible and meant for reuse, you’ll be seeing them at many more openhousenewyork events in the future!

Being an organization that highlights excellence in design, we’re thrilled to introduce these gorgeous, reusable, and recyclable (#1 plastic) pieces to our supporters. We’d like to raise a toast to Govino for the great work, and for donating their product to OHNY!

If you’d like to purchase your own, you can find a list of retailers or place an order here.

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