Oh, The Waverly. Back in my salad days (i.e. as a disgruntled nightlife reporter), I spent far too many a night there, sipping non-alcoholic cocktails at the bar while darting surreptitious glances toward Beyonce as she picked at her roasted veggies in the corner. While I certainly don’t miss spending all of my dinners there, I do miss getting to expense Waverly’s insane truffle mac and cheese.
In around 2008, when the Waverly was essentially the only restaurant in the West Village, you would see an order of this on almost every table. What made that outrageous was the price tag on this baby: white truffles could send it soaring to somewhere around $200, if memory serves.
Now, while I never saddled my company with the bill for my own serving, I was lucky enough to get to sample this on quite a few occasions. This was thanks to the generosity of those few bankers who somehow managed to escape the recession and wanted everyone to know about it.
Yes, it is expensive. But I would rather not eat for two days (or two weeks) if it meant I got to scarf this down. My favorite part about this dish is the type of pasta they use: hollow corkscrews. I believe they’re cellentani. Between the spiral shape and the tube, you get a large amount of sauce both stuck to and inside each piece of pasta, which is extremely satisfying. The sauce itself is a mix of Monterey Jack and Cheddar, so it’s gooey but not really stringy. A quick pop under the broiler ensures a nice crispy crust, as well.
But, the kicker is the truffles. I, for one, never get tired of white truffles, regardless of whether or not they’re currently trendy. And cheese and truffle might be the best combination of them all. The fragrance of this mac alone is worth about $50 (in imaginary money in my head).
Side note: another reason to love this place? It’s where Mike took me right after we got engaged.
The Waverly Inn, 16 Bank St., 917.828.1154