601 Lexington Ave
(between 52nd St & 53rd St)
New York, NY 10022
This is a late post, as you can tell from my box. I went with some coworkers on Valentine’s Day for lunch because we decided that since we were indulging in chocolate all day, might as well go all out with a heavy, greasy grilled cheese for lunch. I rarely order grilled cheeses because I feel like it’s something I make quite well myself. It’s all about having good bread, decent cheese, butter, and a panini press. The last time I ordered a grilled cheese was when I was at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, and everyone knows that is a must-try. It turned out good but just as good as my own… anyway, I gave Melt Shop a try since I love specialty restaurants.
E.D. and I both ordered the Truffle Melt ($7.95) with havarti, arugula, cracked black pepper and truffle oil on sourdough. I remember distinctly it was freezing that day because the guy working the takeout window kept closing the window as soon as someone placed their order. Nonetheless, he was very cheery and told me to have a sweet valentine’s day.
The sandwich was bigger than Thomas Keller’s grilled cheese, which is the size of a classic square slice of toast. This is a little smaller than double that size, which only barely justified it’s $8 price tag. For just 50 cents more, I could get a fancy heritage smoked ham sandwich with poached pears, dijon mustard, and aged cheddar on grilled cranberry pecan bread from Chef Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft. If you know me, you’ll know that I really dislike being ripped off. There was a LOT of salty cheese, which kind of congealed when the sandwich cooled down. Unlike the vast amount of cheese, the arugula and truffle oil were both only sparingly added. The ingredients were good but I think the ratios were off. The bread should have been thicker, allowing it to crisp on the outside and be soft and buttery on the inside. It was quite thin and hard instead. There should have been more arugula to temper the heavy cheese. And since you’re advertising the sandwich as a Truffle Melt, more truffle oil please!
Honestly, I’m just sad I paid $8 for a decent grilled cheese. I will give this place another shot but will stick with the classic: white pullman bread with american cheese for $4.99. Stay tuned.