Macaroni and cheese is a dish synonymous with American food, specifically American Southern food. Interestingly enough, the history of cheesey pasta dates back to the medieval days. It became an American specialty thanks to President Thomas Jefferson. It is said that in the late 1790s, he requested an Italian macaroni machine, which turned out to be a bust. Following his memories of cheese-covered pasta in France and Italy, Jefferson began serving a simple version of the treasured dish at dinner parties.
These days, macaroni and cheese has become a must-have on menus for many restaurants. Some uphold traditional standards, while many others veer in the latter direction to wow diners with tastebud-bending recipes. Elbow noodles versus shells, breadcrumbs or extra cheese, spicy instead of mild, eight cheese rather than two. It is a never-ending list of possibilities that allows anyone to throw their name in the hat for the best dish in town. Here are a few restaurants that serve a mac and cheese that you must try.
West 4th Jane
Executive Chef Ryan Turner takes a German twist on an American classic. Instead of traditional pasta noodles, the bubbling pot is full of spaetzle and Gruyère with crunchy, fried shallots sprinkled on top. It is reminiscent of the Austrian dish Käsespätzle, which makes it stand out for more reasons than just the name itself. All of the ingredients are made in-house as well. Pair the dish with one of the restaurant’s craft beers, and it’s a meal made in beer and cheese heaven.