...Outstanding, that is! What were you thinking?
I'm pretty sure I'm writing this article from the afterlife because I have died and gone to heaven. Thank you to EOW reader Jeff for chiming in on last week's top five dressed-up macaroni & cheeses and pointing me in the direction of Capital Grille. With all due respect to Joanna O'Leary and her choices, I have to declare them null and void and appoint Capital Grille's Lobster Mac & Cheese as the ultimate best ever. Sorry. It was just that good.
I literally had an out-of-body experience. Jeff, describing this dish as "phenomenal" has to be the understatement of the century. I've tried many a mac & cheese in my day, and nothing beats this. Why?
Let's start at the very base: campanelle pasta cooked perfectly al dente. And I love that they use campanelle; its flowery, bell-like shape helps hold the creamy cheese sauce quite well and makes for a truly dressy mac and cheese. No common, Kraft elbow noodles here.
Next, the sauce: a combination of Mascarpone, Havarti, and Grana Padano cream. Grana Padano is like Parmigiano-Reggiano but less salty and when mixed with the sweetness of the Mascarpone and the buttery nature of the Havarti, it was a literal explosion of flavors in my mouth.
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Large chunks of fresh, buttery lobster meat swims peacefully in this bowl of cheesy goodness, as Panko bread crumbs and grated white cheddar grace the top. A trip to the oven allows for all these ingredients to blend, melt and brown. The result is an out-of-this-world taste sensation sure to rival any and all mac & cheese dishes that dare to stand before it. And it doesn't even contain truffle oil, a usual mac & cheese must for me.
It's true perfection -- definitely rich, but decadently fabulous. And though I'm $15 poorer and 15 pounds heavier, it was well worth it. Jeff & Capital Grille, I salute you.