I’m going to posit something: steakhouse mac is better than barbecue joint mac. Of course, there are always exceptions, but there must just be more butter and bechamel floating around in a steakhouse kitchen. How else to explain the creamy concoctions that accompany your meat? (That’s what she said!)
A wonderful example of “steakhouse mac” (just trademarked that phrase, BAM) is at Old Homestead Steakhouse in the Meatpacking district. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big red meat person, but I LOVE steakhouses because the sides are always so decadent.
Homestead’s mac and cheese is listed as a truffle mac, but even this truffle hound couldn’t really detect much of a truffle essence. I think it was for the better though, it would be gilding the lily on this rich sauce. Our waiter told us that the cheese sauce was made from SEVEN different cheese, including Blue, Cheddar and Parmesan. It shows: the flavor is complex and almost tastes as if there’s a bit of sherry hiding in there. I would say its closest cousin is the sauce at Blue Smoke, which is also very thick and rich.
And like Blue Smoke, Homestead also uses traditional elbow macaroni, which holds up well when your sauce is pretty viscous. This is definitely a mac to be eaten as soon as it’s served — in a very pretty Staub pot, I might add — or else the sauce starts to thicken too much.
Overall, a winner.
Old Homestead, 56 9th Ave., 212-242-9040