From Brooklyn’s Bergen street, Crown Finish Caves looks like any other funky old brick building. But as you descend 30 feet down a narrow spiral staircase, the temperature drops suddenly, and you’re greeted by something magnificent — 26,000 pounds of cheeses in various states of aging, sitting on shelves in a repurposed “lagering tunnel” originally built in the 1850’s for brewing beer. You’re still in New York City, but it feels like a different universe.
Everybody knows that New York City is the great melting pot. When it comes to looking for cheese, the whole world is, quite literally, a subway ride away. Manhattan’s cheese sellers have some of the most diverse and delicious selections of famous fromage from all over the world.
As guests stroll into the dining room of Osteria del Principe on Manhattan’s East 23rd Street, one of the first sights to greet them is a large glass display case built into the counter of the restaurant’s gleaming exhibition kitchen. The cabinet prominently exhibits a cornucopia of salumi, or cured Italian meats — prosciutto di Parma, speck, mortadella, bresaola, and, not least of all, aged prosciutto di San Daniele.