There isn’t a general agreement over what this national food holiday is really for: what kind of a cheese ball best befits a national holiday? Is it the puffy cheese doodle, that already had a (rightful!) food holiday of its own? Do you mean the big balls of cheese served for guests at pseudo-fancy dinner parties, soft cheddar soaked in port wine or covered in crusted walnuts? Or is today for the light cheese ball confection, a baked or fried dough filled with soft cheese, rounded into a ball, and served as a delicious appetizer? There will be a lot of food holidays throughout the year where the exact food we’re celebrating is up for debate (just wait until Truffle Day in May!) But today I decided to chuck the redundant and the pedestrian and head straight for the selection that’s deep fried 😉

So, where do you get yourself a cheese ball on National Cheese Ball Day? Try out the high-class Per Se at Columbus Circle, where one of their appetizers takes you for a French twist on the borderline-cheesy-catering-appetizer cheese ball. Here, the cheese is gruyere inside a delicate dough, and the flavor is intense the moment you bite into one. They’re baked, not fried (a small setback), but that means the balls aren’t greasy at all, and you’re not tasting the flavor of the oil, you’re getting hit by cheesy goodness full-throttle. It’s one small start to Per Se’s fantastic menu, which matches and may even surpass the five-star view of the circle and the park you get from its fourth-floor vantage. If you’re looking to treat yourself to a great dinner, Per Se definitely has it all to give yourself a real classy treatment–and start with the cheese balls!

Per Se
10 Columbus Cir (between Broadway & W Central Park)

Some reviews from

“The waiter arrived with a little decadent ball of dough baked to perfection filled with cheese. Yes. A dream come true.”–Lama B.

“Started with 3 amuse bouches: a warm gruyere cheese/toast ball, melt-in-mouth explosion started off the dinner with a bang. That was followed by a Salmon cornet, with marinated Scottish salmon with a sweet onion creme fraiche in a black sesame cone. And as if that weren’t enough, they brought out a third amuse bouche, a cold melon soup with curry oil. Wow. All that and the appetizer was accompanied by a glass of white burgundy.”–Rick F.


Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!