I arrived at Kashkaval at 7 p.m, and only seats at the bar were available. By 7:20 the place was quite crowded. The crowd, a mix of locals enjoying the last few days of summer and coddling couples, happily dipped bread into melted cheese and pita into heaping piles of hummus.

At first, the menu is hard to navigate, but the staff was very helpful. I decided to try the small cheese and meat plate ($14), which allows you to choose three cheeses and charcuterie from a wide selection, arriving with a cut baguette. But, to my surprise, it also came with olives, cornichons, artichokes, walnuts, cashews, cut jalapenos, and a small watercress salad. I settled on the smoked Gouda, Kashkaval, and Manhón. The Manhón was my favorite, buttery and rich with a semisoft texture. By the time I left Kashkaval, it was so crowded that people were eating standing up.

Kashkaval, 856 9th Avenue (between 55th and 56th), New York, NY; 212.581.8282; kashkavalfoods.com