Tag Archives: Best grilled cheese NYC

Hudson Valley Cider pairing with Maille mustard Rarebit

My fridge is often filled with remnants of current projects, tastings and swag scored from recent events I’ve attended. Often these ingredients come together to create a impromptu meal on those late nights after work when I’m just too tired to shop for dinner.

Bad Seed Bourbon Barrel Aged Cider

Bad Seed Bourbon Barrel Aged Cider

Having recently finished a cider project I’m still swimming in delicious offerings, my favorites being the barrel aged beauties from Bad Seed Cider in Highland, NY. Bad Seed’s Bourbon barrel aged cider has just enough of a whiskey edge to appeal to my spirit loving side while being a stellar choice in cider. A bit edgy, and full of flavor, yet dry with a fabulous long finish. Pouring myself a glass after a long night I pondered what I could come up with to accompany it. Well apples and cheddar are a natural right?

Using some English Cheddar left over from a recent tasting, and a bit of Maille mustard I’d acquired at an event to launch Maille’s new NYC location in the Flatiron in NYC, I whipped up one of my childhood favorites with a few updates, Rarebit.

Rarebit is often made with dark beer and dry mustard but this version uses cider and Maille Dijon for a tasty twist. Maille makes a number of different mustards that could work in this dish but I prefer the original. The apple flavors play well with the spicy Dijon and salty, savory cheddar.

Rarebit, a tasty, satisfying snack!

Rarebit, a tasty, satisfying snack!

I love Rarebit as a midnight snack especially when evening stretches into night and, usually, when overindulgence in alcohol has taken place. Rarebit is also good in the afternoon, as a light supper with a green salad and  is made in a jiffy as it can be made in advance, save for the final toasting. To get it just right, toast the bread on a baking sheet until each piece is evenly browned on top. Then turn the pieces over and toast them about half as much on the second side before adding the cheese.

Rarebit with Cider and Maille Dijon

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Maille Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup Bad Seed Bourbon barrel aged cider
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
  • 1 pound extra sharp white English Cheddar, Double Gloucester or other English cheese grated
  • 4 to 8 pieces lightly toasted bread
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions


  • 1. Put butter in a saucepan over medium heat and, as it melts, stir in flour. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and very fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in mustard and cayenne, then whisk in cider and Worcestershire sauce.
  • 2. When mixture is uniform, turn heat to low and stir in cheese and scallions, again stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof container to set (you can refrigerate for up to a day at this point).
  • 3. Spread mixture thickly on toast and put under broiler until bubbly and edges of toast are crisp. Serve immediately.
  • Enjoy

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Filed under cheese pairings, cocktail recipes, Food and Wine Porn, irish cheese, NYC recipes culture, whiskey pairings, wine and food culture, Wine Pairing Recipes

Earl’s Beer and Cheese; A crazy, unusual must for hops and curd nerds

   My friend Karen and I tend to have some dangerously decadent get togethers. Together we have combed NYC on culinary safari leading us to discover some amazing food and drink! Planning a moveable feast of the Upper East side and Harlem we decided to start at Earl’s Beer and Cheese, a postage stamp sized spot on the UES  that surpassed any food porn dream I’ve ever had of one of my favorites, grilled cheese.

Located on a desolate block of Park Ave between 97th and 98th street Earl’s is the brainchild of Adam Clark and Michael Cesari. Clark and Cesari are also the great minds behind Vinyl Wine Shop, ABV Wine Bar and the newest addition to their growing empire a cocktail bar next to Earl’s the Guthrie Inn.

After hitting up the cash machine around the corner (cash only please at Earl’s) we wandered in to spy a long wood table, funky deer heads and an old school hunters mural covering the small wall next to the tiny bar. As we chatted with the friendly bartender I had the feeling I was in a suburban man room complete with a rotating selection of craft beer available in can, on draft and growlers to go. The menu also included some interesting wines by the glass but we decided on some smoked porter saving the wine choices for our next stop, ABV around the corner. The small but well thought out food menu includes mac and cheese, cheese plates, grilled cheese, a pasta dish and an eggo waffle topped with foie gras, Cabot cheddar, coffee cured bacon and maple syrup! The eggo sounded like a gourmet stoner food boner, something I may have whipped up in the 80’s at 4 am, I couldn’t wait to check it out! Super disappointed that they were sold out of the eggo we opted for an order of the beer cheese and a grilled cheese made with pork belly, kimchi, aged cheddar and a fried egg.

We selected another beer, a refreshing, local NY pilsner  as our snacks arrived. Biting into the crunchy, toasted bread a huge Cheshire cat grin beamed on my face, the bizarre combination of spicy, savory flavors incorporated with the magically melted cheddar put me in cheese heaven! I was already planning to recreate this at home. Completely awesome!

Genius in cheesy spicy deliciousness!

Finishing up Karen and I decided we LOVED Earl’s! Walking around the corner to the next stop ABV we started planning another visit to this great find! Try it you’ll like it.

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Filed under Food and Wine Porn, NYC Wine Bars and Restaurants, Wine Pairing Recipes