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Il bisogno si conosce l'amico.

You know a true friend when in need.

by Caroline Jackson


What better way to enjoy Shakespeare in the Park, a Bryant Park movie, or that crazy American past-time, tailgating, than with wine and cheese? August, though often hot and steamy, is your last chance at summer bliss before work and school functions take priority.

Who can escape the lure of a good Italian cheese, say a ripe Taleggio, a fresh Robiola, r the perfectly aged Parmiggiano Reggiano? Mario Batali and Gina De Palma recommend the following as fine purveyors of Italian cheese.

Corner of Cornelia and Bleecker
You practically breathe cheese when you step into this village one-stop cheese shop. Knowledgeable staff will open your senses and tastes to new and wonderful adventures in cheese. You will find the finest and quite possibly the rarest cheeses available in the U.S., from every corner of the world, even yak-cheese from Thailand. Gina De Palma, our pastry chef recommends you ask for a free sample tasting, or have them pair a mixture of cheeses for you to experience.

Corner of Grand and Mott
What is more appealing than buying cheese right where they make it? Nothing, says our pastry chef, Gina De Palma, who has purchased cheese from Lou DiPalo and his family for years. The mozzarella and burrata (a ½ cooked version of mozzarella) grace the menu at Babbo every season. And what’s more, you can buy several other varieties of Italian cheese at DiPalo’s, making it worth the trip.

Dean and Deluca
Corner of Broadway and Prince
For some of you, shopping at 10 places for 10 different items, the European way, may require too much time and effort. If so, Dean and Deluca’s offers a wide selection of cheese and many other ingredients necessary for your Italian pantry. The cheese counter is always teaming with several varieties from all over the world, though France seems to be the favored region. The staff is knowledgeable, that is if you can get their attention, patience is often required.