Last Friday, MS, RW, and I headed around the corner after work to the Little Cheese Pub for a celebratory end-of-week happy hour. After the boozeless debacle last time, I figured they'd have their liquor license fully in order-- at that time, about two or three weeks ago, they'd said it was coming any day. Well, at least this time I asked right as we entered the Pub, and sadly, the server said they still didn't have the license. Once again, she suggested BYOB, and this time, the three of us were up for it. We popped across the street, grabbed a $10 bottle of Torrontes, and settled in a few minutes later at a table in the back of the LCP.
It's worth noting that the Pub is small and not especially good for groups. Even as a trio, we had to rearrange the furniture to crowd around a small table; larger groups will have even more difficulty, unless you can snag the ideal configuration of seats around a communal table. But if you can get past those logistical difficulties, you're bound to have a lovely time.
The server was friendly and accommodating, and she quickly set us up with glasses of our Torrontes, which was crisp and fruity.
To complement the very food-friendly wine, we had to have some food, of course. We decided to choose three of their "snacks," selecting the Green Dip (stir-fried spinach, edamame), Spanish Olive and Chick Pea Dip, and the Pomace Brandy & Mixed Whole Olives. The sampler came with a bouquet of planks of toasted bread. Almost like lavash, the bread was quite crisp and sprinkled with poppy seeds on the crust.
How were the dips? Very good across the board. The favorite was the Olive and Chick Pea spread, which was quite flavorful and sported an appealing texture ably straddling the line between chunky and smooth. The Green Dip was creamy, but not as flavorful; still, it was a retiring counterpart to the crunchy bread. And the olives were a mustard-seed inflected twist on the traditional dish-o'-olives; with little spicy pops of mustard flavor, the olives added another flavor explosion to the party.
And while I'd originally felt that the $11 charge for three snacks was a bit steep, the portions here are truly generous. Even indulging to the point of fullness, the three of us couldn't finish all of these dips. My only suggestion would be for the LCP to offer different types of dipping implements-- the Green Dip especially begged for some crunchy crudites rather than bread alone.
But we were glad we decided to stick with the LCP, and we'll definitely be back. A friendly staff, a welcoming atmosphere, and a full menu of tasty snacks-- whether accompanied with BYO or house-supplied booze, it's a winning combo.
Little Cheese Pub
362 1/2 W. 23rd Street, near 9th Avenue