"I feel a little like a detective," reveals Luke Johnson, overseer of the cheese cave at Stinky Bklyn, to the New York Times. He continues, "I…try to steer people toward something new. If they say they don't like goat, I really push the goat because people don't realize there are so many varieties." And push they do. Staff members pass indulgent segments of their carefully aged cheeses, offering approachable wisdom to novices and a wide-ranging selection for aficionados. The charming Smith Street institution has opened a new location between Baltic and Butler, with fridges and pantries stocked with international morsels such as chocolates, oils, vinegars, and beer, as well as an impressive ham bar.
Visitors can request a peak at the temperature- and humidity-controlled cheese cave, where Luke and staff nurture each wheel through distinct aging processes. Cheeses dwell within the cavern for anywhere from a few days to a few years, undergoing washing, soaking in beer or brine, and the opportunity to view culturally enriching cave paintings. Owners Patrick Watson, Michele Pravda, and Chris Remy also added a green garden and patio behind the shop, providing an ideal place for tastings or a peaceful spot for enjoying one of the shop's artisan sandwiches.
A parade of bas-relief pastoral figures cavorts across the entryway of Delia’s Lounge, signaling both the spirit of revelry and the wealth of mesmerizing visual artifacts to be found inside. A fireplace warms a room stuffed to its plush gills with velvet sofas, leopard-print banquettes, wooden sculptures, and a giant reproduction of the Mona Lisa serenely surveying the cozy scene. Until the wee hours of the morning, the kitchen fills the small, candle-topped tables with a variety of appropriately shareable plates such as pan-seared crab-cakes, chicken quesadilla rolls, hamburger sliders, and shrimp cocktail with house-made horseradish sauce.
New York Magazine dubbed Delia’s a Critics’ Pick, averring that “you won't find tastier, or larger, cocktails in Manhattan.” Martinis range from the spare to the sweet: Hendrick's Gin bears a simple slice of cucumber, apple martinis blend liqueurs, vodka, and an apple slice garnish, and the Godiva white-chocolate martini presents vodka, cacao, and white-chocolate liqueur in a glass lined with a chocolate drizzle.
At Therapy Wine Bar, upscale bar fare and New World wines create the conditions for nightlife to thrive in the incubating glow of hanging lamps. Servers haul tapas and charcuterie past exposed-brick and lime-green walls en route to the bar, outdoor seating area, or private lounge area, which contains more pillows than an insomniac's trash can. A mishmash of tables and chairs populates the remaining floor space, where visitors can lounge while conversing or playing games of backgammon.
Cuisine crafters at Moomba embellish a menu of simple, quality Mediterranean and Italian fare with a plethora of wood-fired pizzas at this comfy, casual eatery. Reinforce carnivorous stomach caverns to withstand the force of any mouth monsoons with the coffee-dusted Angus NY strip steak ($15) or hang fangs on a veggie-riddled platter of house-made fettuccini, teeming with portobello mushrooms and plum tomatoes in a garlic and oil sauce ($10). Savory pies plucked from the in-house wood-fire oven include the Knockin' on Heaven's Door, a enlightening eat packed by hands of cherubim with pepperoni, sausage, and a deluge of garden dwellers, and the Heart of Gold, a dough disk dotted with artichoke hearts, spinach, sweet and hot peppers, onions, and mushrooms ($12 for 12"; $15 for 16").
The Castello Plan broadens sippable horizons with an array of guided tasting menus presenting guests with five half-glass pours of wine or belgian beer. Customers can dictate the theme of their tasting by choosing from one of three flight options (a $50–$75 value, depending on tastings selected). The Wine 101 tasting elucidates the fundamental differences between merlot, chardonnay, and Welch's with samples of varietally correct ambrosia. The Wines of France flight, meanwhile, dabbles in the vinous offerings of such notable regions as the Loire Valley, Burgundy, and Champagne. Beer tastings guide patrons through the hoppy labyrinth of belgian blondes and dubbels, delving into the brewing history of Trappist monks and alternative uses for waffle irons along the way.
Palo Cortado––reviewed in Grub Street New York and New York Press––sates palates with an authentic Spanish meal of four tapas and one order of pinchos. Elegantly plated on square white dishes, Palo Cortado's culinary masterpieces include the boquerones en vinagre, a vibrant congregation of marinated white anchovies, capers, garlic, and parsley ($10) that cha-chas across the tongue while high-fiving the taste buds. Poached shrimp blanketed with green sauce and accented with avo and crispy chorizo comprise the gambas en salsa verde ($9), and the pulpo a la gallega graces gums with a savory share of Spanish octopus clenching onto fingerling potatoes ($13). Meanwhile, the lemon-infused albondigas de cordero sports spiced lamb meatballs surrounded by a moat of mint-cucumber yogurt ($10), great for fueling whispered adorations or plans of building a castle out of meat. Finally, an order of pinchos ensures tapas tidbits safely journey through the tonsils with friends such as the fried chickpeas of the garbanzos fritos dish ($4).