2 Park Avenue
at 32nd St.
500 W. 37th St.
(only wholesale/mail-order and classes)
at 10th Ave.
The cheese mongers at Artisanal know their cheese and they keep it perfectly. Cheese is one of the most fragile foods and how it is packaged, handled, shipped and stored will have a huge impact on what we finally taste. Here about 250 different cheese varieties are kept in temperature-controlled caves, sold to both restaurant diners and retail customers right when the cheese is at its perfect stage. Tasting is always encouraged before you buy. You can also sit in the bar area, have a cheese plate made up of your own selection of tastes, and then buy what you like best to take home.
What to Avoid:
Try not to buy at the retail counter during the height of any meal service. The restaurant can be extremely busy and you will be competing for the attention of the cheese mongers at the same time they're filling restaurant orders. It's not an ideal arrangement to combine a restaurant with a retail shop so before you go, call ahead and ask when the best time is to stop by.
What to Know:
Terrance Brennan's love for and knowledge of cheese first came to New York's attention when he introduced one of the first great restaurant cheese courses at Picholine. He later opened Artisanal where you can order cheese as either part of a restaurant course or the major ingredient in a dish -- or even better for we city cooks, just buy it at the small retail counter that's inside the restaurant.
Artisanal also operates a wholesale/mail-order business out of its Garment District facility where it holds classes and tastings. No retail.