This is another posting in my quest to let you all in on the hidden gems of New Haven. If you are a cheese lover, this entry is especially for you. I am tempted to simply cut and paste the menu from this next restaurant, because it speaks for itself. But that would be cheating...
So, let's talk about Caseus (or cheese). This is a stop for people who appreciate food. The retail store sells over 100 artisan cheeses and products from local small producers. They also stock imported olives and olive oils, balsamic vinegar, chocolates, teas, and preserves. This is the best stop in town for hosting a wine and cheese gathering, following a stop into the Wine Thief (www.thewinethief.com) - another New Haven gem, but we'll leave that for a future blog post.
Before I give you the wrong impression, Caseus is not just a shop for picking up cheese and olives to go. It is also a fantastic restaurant. The bistro is as busy at lunch time as any place in New Haven. In the spring and summer this is the perfect place for a seasonal salad, but it is also ideal for a winter lunch. You can nestle into one of the wooden booths in the back with a warm Onion Soup Gratin or comforting Mac & Cheese.
For the true cheese lovers out there - yes, you can make a meal at Caseus on cheese alone. Order the cheese board.
For everyone else - the menu at Caseus is full of comfort food. At lunchtime they serve Steak Frites, Organic Half Chicken and the yummy Cheese Burger. They also serve a selection of sandwiches, from a Pastrami Reuben to, you guessed it, the classic grilled cheese. And can we talk about the Mac & Cheese? This not your childhood mac & cheese from Kraft or Annie. This is made with Raclette, Gouda and Comte, topped with brioche crumbs for texture and balanced with mixed greens. If you only plan to eat here once, get the Mac & Cheese. In the evening, Caseus has an expanded dinner menu, which includes a Venison Pot Pie, Carbonara and Short Rib. You can also order a charcuterie board of pates, dry cured meats and salami. Both menus are seasonal and centered on available local produce.
Caseus is located a few blocks from the Law School and is open for lunch every day except Sunday and dinner on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Now, go look at the menu, because my descriptions have not done the food justice: www.caseusnewhaven.com.
P.S. Rumor has it Caseus will soon be following in the footsteps of the Cupcake Truck with a Cheese Truck. The truck will stop at locations around New Haven and offer grilled cheese, tomato soup, daily sausages and salads. To stay updated, keep your eye on www.thecheesetruck.com.