228 W. 10th St., 212-645-0200
Before you get the wrong idea, you should know we’re taking some license here. This is not the gloppy, crusty pabulum of your youth, but Cesare Casella’s whimsical take on penne à la vodka. Because it is made with fusilli, tomato sauce, and bourbon, he calls it Moonshine, and the cheese—a tangy aged Grana Padano—is more a subtle enhancement than an all-out dairy assault. The sauce seeps into the nooks of the pasta, and the bourbon mostly cooks away, leaving just a faint trace of some ineffable quality that makes this a mac ’n’ cheese for grown-ups.