- Queens Kickshaw
40-17 Broadway, nr. 41st St., Astoria; 718-777-0913
First things first: We know we shall never find another love quite like the love we have for Blue Smoke’s mac ’n’ cheese. It’s our gold (Velveeta-orange?) standard of mac ’n’ cheese excellence. But Queens Kickshaw’s comes close. Yes, it’s pure, unbridled fancy-pants, a combination of Cheddar, Gruyère, and smoked mozzarella with a squiggle of creamy tomato sauce and—what’s this?—green beans? What the dickens are green beans doing in my mac ’n’ cheese? Still, a more judiciously calibrated ratio of cheese to elbow macaroni would be hard to find. And there’s some clever business with the technique: The relentlessly gooey thing is cooked in a loaf pan, refrigerated, sliced into thick slabs, then griddled and baked again to form a nice crust without the cheat of bread crumbs. It’s so good you’re willing to overlook the legume transgression.
Best Mac ’n’ Cheese
From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).