A staple of the American diet, grilled cheese was practically plopped in our hands from the second we could walk. But now, Mom’s beloved sandwich is all grown up and being served in unusual — but delicious — combinations all around the Valley. In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, we’ve discovered four local eateries that are known for their interpretations of this classic sandwich.
The Cheese Plate New Paltz
With seven different grilled cheese options on hand, you’re bound to find something that you like here… even if you’re still convinced that Mom’s version is the best. The most popular: “Anything with a lot of stuff in ’em!” says Theresa Logan, co-owner of the specialty grocery store and gift shop. But it’s the Rock the Ridge grilled cheese that has people buzzing, a sublime combination of goat Gouda, prosciutto, caramelized onion, and a balsamic spread. For something more familiar, the All American combines New York State Cheddar, spicy mustard, and tomato. 845-255-2444; www.cheeseplatenewpaltz.com
Get the recipe: Rock the Ridge Grilled Cheese
Fresh Cornwall Cornwall
A comfort food classic, Fresh Cornwall’s “Grownz Up” Grilled Cheese (an ode to the 1996 cult classic film Swingers) melts Cheddar atop bacon, piles on roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions, and packs it all between crunchy sourdough bread — the perfect combo for those a bit hesitant to break away from traditional grilled cheese. 845-534-2558; www.freshcornwall.com
Get the recipe: Fresh Cornwall’s “Grownz Up” Grilled Cheese
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Elephant Wine Bar Kingston
2018 Update: Closed
Listen up, grilled cheese fanatics! Kingstonians are raving about this wine bar’s new grilled cheese variation. Don’t be put off by the nontraditional name, because the Jamon & Manchego Tosta doesn’t joke around when it comes to flavorful ingredients. The Spanish-inspired dish combines a gratin of Spanish ham, cheese, and crème frâiche on peasant bread.
Get the recipe: Elephant Wine Bar’s Jamon & Manchego Tosta
Hudson Hil’s Cold Spring
Move over, Mom! A must-have on this café’s lunch menu, the grilled cheese is made with thinly sliced Granny Smith apples, house-made fig paste, and Gouda, all grilled to perfection between slices of European bread. Talk about a grilled cheese makeover! 845-265-9471; www.hudsonhils.com