Fans of Havarti and Jack, rejoice: Seattle's most-beloved cheesemakers, Beecher's Handmade Cheese, have opened shop in New York, bringing their artisanal curds and whey to dairy enthusiasts this side of the Mississippi (or Hudson, as the case may be).
The just-opened Flatiron complex falls somewhere between general store, cheese factory and restaurant, which makes for a bustling atmosphere perfectly suitable for relishing simple, old-fashioned curds (indeed, all of the cheeses are domestic and many are made in-house from local cow's milk). Patrons can shop the pasteurized provisions, dine at the casual upstairs café--we recommend the super-rich mac and cheese--grab a glass of wine at the downstairs cellar bar or watch the cheesemakers hard at work.
We love the semi-hard Flagship ($18 a pound), a cheddar-Gruyère hybrid; the salty, peppery Marco Polo Reserve ($17 a pound), and the smoky, nutty No Woman ($17 a pound) whose Jamaican jerk spicing, in flavorful veins throughout the cheese, is unlike anything we've ever tasted.
Beecher's also sells a handful of non-cheese goodies, like spicy soppressata ($17 a pound) and sheep's milk yogurt ($5). But no matter what you end up buying, make sure to try the sample curds they hand out at the door.
Beecher's Handmade Cheese, 900 Broadway (at 20th St.); 212-466-3340 or beechershandmadecheese.com