What Does New York’s Cheese King Love About New York?

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murrays cheese

Longtime New Yorker, Rob Kaufelt, still loves to eat cheese even though he’s owns one of the largest cheese shops  throughout the county. By the end of 2016 there will be more than 250 Murrays throughout the country—that’s more than six million pounds of cheese! We talked to this cheese-king about his unique NYC point of view and how he spends his time in the concrete jungle.

I bought Murray’s Cheese from the owner 25 years ago. But I am a third generation grocery. My grandfather was an immigrant butcher with a grocery store in Perth Amboy NJ and my father owned some supermarkets after the war. I went to work for him before they were sold. Altogether it’s 100 years! Murray’s started in the village on Cornelia street. The current shop on Bleecker is only fifty feet away but we have shops in many parts of the country now.

GO TO RESTUARANT The word favorite doesn’t work for me anymore, because there are too many. If you ask me which one i most frequent, then the answer is the Knickerbockers, on University at 9th Street.  It’s the opposite of trendy— it’s a very old-time American steakhouse,—village style, with old booths, wood panelling, jazz piano and  great steaks. You’ll see the police captains,  politicians and those sorts there, and I fit right in!

RECENT ENTERTAINMENT We just saw Hamilton and I fully expected to be cynical ( and not like it ) because of the hype but it was better than the reviews! My wife and I are taking the kids to see the revival of Fiddler On the Roof to give them a little pop-jewish education, plus they saw the movie and go around singing ‘a Blessing on your House, Mazel to, Mazel Tov.‘ As for sports, we just got our first TV and sit around watching the Mets,any football, but really got into the US Open tennis recently.

CULTURE HIT We go too Off Broadway theater, especially HERE, which always has cool stuff. i just went with a friend to see the U2 concert, and soon we’ll see Mark Knopfler. We also go to the City Winery a lot.  They have lots of good shows down on Varick: Michael Dorm, the owner, is one of NYC’s great impresarios, plus they sell Murray’s Cheese! restaurants, of course, and the philharmonic, 

We live and work in the village, and rarely venture too far. The last tour we did was the highline and the stroll along the Hudson River Park. My out-of-town friend took my kids to the top of the Freedom Tower. But if i were in the mood, and the weather was right, I might head to Coney Island!

Parmigiano Reggiano and Burrata.

Blackberry jam, butterscotch, pickled raisins, sesame caramel, whipped honey, apple butter, bread & butter pickles are all great. Also a hunk of cheese and some crusty bread is unbeatable. My six year old daughter made a slice of salami, a slice of comte and a dab of honey on top for guests and it was a great pairing! 

Spaghetti bolognese with pecorino romano shaved on top and a side of salad.

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