By Ian Alterman
I have tried macaroni and cheese in dozens of diners and restaurants. The best I have ever had is at The Smith at Lincoln Square. The Smith uses small elbow macaroni and four different kinds of cheese — mozzarella, cheddar, fontina, and parmesan (making it a “quattro formaggi”) — then adds a little lemon and heavy cream, and bakes this magnificent comfort-food extravaganza in an iron skillet (which comes out piping hot), complete with a layer of crusty cheese on top. Indeed, this crust is as important to great macaroni and cheese as the crusty cheese on the side of the crock is to great onion soup. For me, it is, quite literally, “the way mother used to make it.”
Paired with their tomato and watermelon gazpacho (another treat) or one of their salads, this is a macaroni and cheese that can serve as a main dish. In fact, I have never made it through an entire skillet (it is very rich), and end up bringing some home in a container. It reheats very nicely in a microwave or toaster oven.
1900 Broadway (63rd)
Hours: Mon–Fri 11:30 am–10:00 pm, Sat, Sun 9:30 am–10:00 pm
Featured dish: Macaroni and cheese ($17)
If you’d like to submit a review of a favorite dish of yours, send it (in the format above) to westsiderag at gmail.com.
Read the first Here’s the Dish column here.