Mac & cheese is a perfect winter dish: rich, creamy, and hearty with more than a hint of decadence, it can warm the cockles of your heart and stomach on the gloomiest winter evening. Here’s the funny thing about mac & cheese: we need it to either be incredibly high-brow (lots of exotic cheeses and interesting pasta shapes) or incredibly low end (we love both the blue and purple boxed versions, although we don’t add butter, just milk). In restaurant situations, we obviously prefer the former. Below, a list of four of the Hub’s best fancy-pants mac & cheese offerings.
•Figs tries to pretend it’s too highbrow for mac & cheese by calling its version Macaroni Simone, but the dishes true identity cannot be hidden. Baked orzo pasta is topped with Vermont cheddar, fontina, mozzarella, and parmesan and tossed with peas, toasted crumbs of garlic bread, and parsley. The presence of peas totally makes it healthy.
•Beehive one-ups the ever-popular lobster carbonara with lobster and asparagus macaroni & cheese. At $23, it’s one of the more expensive items on the menu, but hey, decadence rarely comes cheap.
•Picco Pizza & Ice Cream’s mac & cheese proves the old Mae West maxim that too much of a good thing can be wonderful. The pasta is sauced with cheddar, gruyere, taleggio, and parmesan and can be topped with roasted garlic, wild mushrooms, bacon, and/or sausage. If you choose to add them all, you are definitely our kind of person.
•The mac & cheese at B Side is almost a casserole. The macaroni is served with goat cheese over a bed of honey-glazed snap peas, carrots, and roasted cippolini onions. We can’t think of much finer for a cold winter’s night.