93 Whitney Ave
New Haven, CT 06510-1236
Sometimes it’s hard for New Yorker’s to step outside of their comfort zones. This city can be so convenient, full of the best of everything just outside your door. For years we lived on the Upper West Side and were convinced that we lived two blocks from the best Chinese food in the city. I also lived near the best bakery, had the best wine store, best French bistro and the absolute best bagels. (That last part about the bagels is absolutely true.) The fact is I was really just lazy and the food was OK, but nothing to write home about. Nothing changed when we moved to Brooklyn. It takes quite an effort to get out of our neighborhood; thankfully new restaurants keep opening up on Dekalb Avenue.
Today we bring to you a restaurant that is worth writing home about, and one worth leaving the neighborhood for. Caseus in New Haven states that every cheese has a story. Unfortunately for us, we’ve never actually ordered the cheese. I mean…who goes to a renowned artisan cheese spot and does not order the cheese? Yes, it’s sad but true. The reason is quite legitimate however. The food at Caseus is so amazing, that we always get over excited, over order and end up rolling ourselves out the door.
What Caseus does so well is daily specials. Each day the menu has a special theme. Wednesday: Bacon, Thursday: Corn, Friday: Lobster Roll, Saturday: On the Bone. When in doubt go with these. Here are a few hits we have also come to love:
To start get the Charcuterie Board, which comes with a selection of seasonal, cured meats, salumi and paté. The chicken liver paté and American prosciutto are exceptional. Add the House bread and butter as well. Each day they make a new butter with flavors like chocolate, honey, or chipotle. Follow this with Poutine a French Canadian dish of cheese curds, pommes frites and veloute. Its like French cheese fries.
For entries we chose On the Bone: Duck Confit one night and Lobster Roll on another night. The Duck was perfectly cooked and tender, the Lobster Roll was very unexpected in a house made Barbeque sauce. I was skeptical at first, but the tangy barbeque with sweet lobster and corn ended up as a perfect match. Southern soul food meets New England classic. We also tasted the Mac and Cheese with chevre, raclette, comte, more cheese brioche crumbs and fresh shucked spring peas. Yum. It comes as a literal pile so get it to share. The Heirloom Tomato and Scallops has become a favorite as well. Sweet tomatoes add to even sweeter, plump scallops with crisp grilled pecorino bread. Steak frites is a classic done to perfection.
For the closer we tend to get the zeppoles, fried dough balls with powdered sugar. These are not the fried dough of county fairs. These are choice desert, not at all greesy with chocolate and caramel dipping sauces.
Caseus is an unassuming little place, but the space, almost more a café from the street is actually quite vast with a “cave” on the lower level for a more country cheese farm feel. We prefer the upper level as below can get a bit claustrophobic. They also have outside seating with heat lamps. The staff is knowledgeable and extremely friendly. Our waitress remembered us from a month’s visit past and the owner came out to chat with us as well. They gave us framboise beer and desert on the house for Jess’s birthday to top the night. Although we have never actually had the cheese plate, I can be sure it is as outstanding as the rest of the menu. Caseus in New Haven CT is a culinary experience. Get on a Metro North and get yourself there before it’s too hard to get a table. After a write up in Bon Appetite magazine it’s already a wait for a reservation. After a review in Brooklyn Plated? Forget it.