i kept hearing about joe's dairy (on sullivan and houston) and used to walk past it on my way to the subway (and sometimes on my way to once upon a tart to get their chocolate bread pudding...), and finally tonight i went in. why had i hesitated? why? they make their own mozzarella, so i got some salted and some smoked.... mama mia. heaven. my fingers still smell smoky from the little piece i cut off and popped in my mouth.
but the real revelation was their cave-aged gruyere. i lived in switzerland for a while and got used to good gruyere just being everywhere; you really can't get bad cheese there, no matter how hard you try. i've been looking for it for ages, and in all the right places, i thought, but i always found only that disgusting rubbery stuff with no flavor. tonight i found the real thing. joe's has it, and it's the kind with a pungent, sweet flavor and the crunchy crystals of goodness in it. their prices are also SO much more reasonable than those ridiculous supergourmet stores.
BTW, the italian takeout across the street, where i had dinner, has a marinara sauce i love (on penne for five bucks, although tonight a bit too salty), and tonight one of their specials was orrechiette (sp?) with mushrooms, prosciutto (again, sp?), truffle oil and cream -- i loved it. not too creamy, great mushrooms (cremini?) and the truffle oil was so nice and earthy. you can sit in their tiny, wonderful space and eat from huge bowls and watch italian tv. the place has a loyal local following. they deliver. then pop down to once upon a tart for a piece of chocolate bread pudding (their brownies are too big and dry, they're like bricks; i avoid them).