the cecil, harlem

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I was alerted to The Cecil‘s mac by my dear friend, Alex of Citiphile. As she never steers me wrong with food recommendations, I added it to my (ever-growing) list immediately. Another feather in this spot’s cap? Esquire voted it their favorite new restaurant in the country in October. Not too bad.

The Cecil’s mac and cheese features garganelli blended with a super flavorful sauce that gets its kick from strands of caramelized shallots, chopped chives and a proprietary cheese blend that our waiter said the kitchen was rather evasive about. He seemed to think there was white American, Cheddar and maybe some provolone. Regardless: why does’t every bowl of pasta have caramelized shallots in it?! They can do no wrong. You may also notice the trowel-like object in the bowl. If I could have fit that whole thing in my mouth, I would have (“That’s what she –,” forget it.).

Mike thought this was one of the best bowls of mac he has ever had, even trouncing Blue Smoke‘s. The sauce is definitely unique (in a great way); I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a dash of liquid smoke stirred in. My only complaint: I could have used a little extra sauce to slurp up after we scraped the bowl clean.

The Cecil, 210 W. 118th Street, 212.866.1262

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