Off the Wall: Capital Grille Delivers The Big O with Lobster Mac & Cheese

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...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.

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.

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