Upper East Side Best Food: Earl’s Beer and Cheese is more than just Manhattan’s best bar food

Date October 24, 2011

Earl's Beer and Cheese

Earl’s Beer and Cheese has food that would make both Spicoli and Sifton swoon. Kimchi, fried pork belly, a fried egg, and shredded New York State cheddar on grilled Grandaisy sourdough ($8, above). Potato chips, Calabro mozzarella, dill pickles, and miso mayo on a toasted Thomas’ English muffin ($6, below).

Earl's Beer and Cheese

Asian gnocchi and beef ($8, below) featuring griddled Korean rice cakes, perfectly chewy and crisp, ground beef and chili garlic sauce, scallions, shredded cheddar, and potato sticks, all in a cast iron cauldron.

Earl's Beer and Cheese

Order the bread pudding ($8, below) quickly, it goes fast. On a busy Saturday night it also took a while to appear, but it’s worth the wait; a fuzzy crown of maple cotton candy crowns caramelized chunks of Grandaisy brioche soaking in a pool of sweet cream and cubes of Granny Smith apple like a French toast soup.

Earl's Beer and Cheese

The combinations of flavors and ingredients leave you shaking your head in disbelief – how does it taste so good and how did they come up with this? Chef Corey Cova went from a cramped US Navy submarine kitchen to Momofuku Ssam Bar before arriving at the closet-sized Earl’s, a path to success as unlikely as that of the menu.

Earl’s Beer and Cheese Link 1259 Park Ave b/t 97th and 98th Street New York, NY 10029 (212) 289-1581 Open Mon-Wed 4pm-12am, Thurs 11am-12am, Fri-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-12am, Kitchen closes 11pm nightly

7 Responses to “Upper East Side Best Food: Earl’s Beer and Cheese is more than just Manhattan’s best bar food”

  1. Adeena Sussman said:

    Oh yeah…and so close to my house. How come I’ve never been there?

  2. Team Mischa Missionary said:

    that looks and sounds absolutely ridiculous… only you can make me want to hit the bar at 9:30am on a Monday… wait, that’s my life that makes me want to do that.

  3. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Better late than never! Get on over there!

    @Team Mischa Missionary,
    It tastes even better than it looks. Thanks for the comment. Sorry about your alcoholism.

  4. Helena said:

    I feel like it’s those unlikely paths to success that make the greatest (and usually also strangest) chefs and menus.

    Also, I automatically love any restaurant/chef that’s as big a Grandaisy fan as I am.

  5. The NYC Food Guy said:

    The Grandaisy sourdough was perfect in flavor and texture, especially when grilled. What other places remind you of Earl’s in their unlikely success?

  6. Helena said:

    I can’t wait to try it!

    I was thinking about this article I read on Eater last month: http://eater.com/archives/2011/09/27/scott-boswell-interview.php

    I can’t think of any NYC places with chefs like this off the top of my head, but I know there are a handful I’ve heard of. But in general, I think it’s diverse experiences like these that lead people in general (and chefs in this case) to think creatively about their profession. Approaching things from a new perspective (dictated by experience) can give customers the satisfying difference they sometimes are seeking.

  7. Jon said:

    I love this place, unassuming little spot but the food is fantastic!! I had the prok belly grilled cheese, ridiculous flavor, also had some Rosemary Chicken Mac + Cheese which was also great and soul-satisfying. Now I need to go back and have that Asian Gnocchi.

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