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Ideal Cheese Comes to Turtle Bay
BY DONALD HEISEL

The quality of culinary life in Turtle Bay improved greatly this June. Ideal Cheese has moved from Second Avenue near 62nd Street, and has settled nicely into the shop between the justly prized pair, Simchick's Meat and Pisacane's Fish stores on First Avenue near 52nd Street. It's a good addition, and it comes at the same time as the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza weekly Greenmarket.

Ideal Cheese has a firmly established reputation as one of the best places to get cheese in New York City. It is regularly cited in Zagat, Time Out New York, Gault Millau Best of New York and other guides to good food.

The shop has been in business for 46 years, first on East 59th Street, then on Second Avenue, and now in Turtle Bay. It has been in the Edelman family from the beginning. Edward Edelman, the proprietor, took over the business not long after his father opened the original store in 1954.

The shop has more than 150 different kinds of cheese on hand, imported from 15 different countries. (No surprise, the country that supplies the largest number is France.) If at any time you suffer an unrequited yearning for Stilton, Brie de Meaux, L'Explorateur, Pecorino con Truffle or even a genuine Limburger, search no farther.

When Edward Edelman's business outgrew his Second Avenue store not long ago, he resolved to stay on the East Side. On learning that the shop on First Avenue near 52nd Street was available, he easily opted for Turtle Bay. After making the move, he learned that a substantial part of his clientele was from this neighborhood; we'd been voyaging up to 62nd Street for our cheese, and now we can shop closer to home.

The Second Avenue location became too small because Ideal sells cheese by mail and over the Internet, as well as in the shop. The dotcom business has been growing rapidly. Ideal also sells to some of the better hotels, both in New York City and elsewhere along the Eastern seaboard.

In addition to marketing cheese, Edward Edelman is a writer, lecturer, and consultant on cheese. He has received the Ordre de Merite Agricole from the French Government and has been inducted into the Guilde de Fromagers, a fraternity of French cheese professionals. If you tell him or any member of his staff what you expect for the main course and beverage as you plan a memorable meal, they will offer their recommendations on the best cheese accompaniment. They are eager to discuss cheese and offer tastings at any time.

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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

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