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Best of New York Food 2004

Best Cheese Shop

  • Photo by John Kernick
  • Bedford Cheese Shop

    218 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-7588

    At a time when cheesemongers are growing as wearisome as sommeliers, you’ve got to love a cheese shop whose display signs make goofy references to Rick James and Ron Jeremy, or compare the pungency of an exceptionally funky fromage to a drunken sailor on shore leave. Okay, maybe you don’t. But there’s more to admire about Brooklyn’s Bedford Cheese Shop than its owner Frank Shuck’s subversive sign-writing skills. Somehow, in spite of its shoebox size—approximately equal to Artisanal’s Cheddar section—the shop maintains an impressive array of the stinky stuff. A request for a hunk of Boerenkaas, for example, is met with a prompt and enthusiastic “Would you like two-, four-, or five-year-aged?,” plus a mandatory taste test, followed by a recommendation for the Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, an excellent aged goat cheese that, as it turns out, has a caramelly, Boerenkaas-like finish, with just a hint of drunken sailor.

From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).