Caseus, New Haven
This is my kind of place, and if I lived in New Haven I’d hang here all the time, cholesterol be damned. Cozy hole in the wall restaurant tacked onto a, well, fragrant cheese shop, serving all manner of fromage fantasies and classic bistro fare. The grilled cheese sandwich (five melting cheeses on fresh rustic bread) is a ridiculous serving for one, so share the sandwich, order moules frites for the table, and throw in the perfectly dressed beet salad to cut the fat consumption. The macaroni and cheese is sinful but necessary. Super friendly staff, decent $6 glass house wine and a slew of cookbooks for browsing make for a very cheerful experience, indeed.
Note: this post was on one of our very first e-lists in 2008! Update 2017: still one of my absolute favorite restaurants in New Haven. Snuggle up to the bar, or grab a table outside on the patio, but don’t forget to bring home a selection from one of the best cheese shops in all of Connecticut.