heidi’s house, upper east side

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Heidi’s House is a place that has been on my radar for years, but because of its location (far, far away from downtown), it wasn’t until this week that I finally made it uptown to check it out. I wasn’t the only one with a craving for winter dishes that night: even at 6 PM the wait was almost an hour. Part of this, of course, has to do with the fact that the restaurant is tiny, but you can definitely attribute a large part of its success to its macaroni and cheese. Almost every table had an order, which is served adorably in the clay pot pictured above.

So, what sets this place apart from others? The attention to detail. Not only does HH use solely organic cheese in their mac, but they make each one to order. There’s a helpful note on the menu that the dish will take about 25 minutes to cook, so you can request it for your main course while still deciding on your appetizers.

It arrives, bubbling (please do yourself a favor and wait a few minutes for it to stop steaming before you dig in!), and perfuming the air with its wonderful mix of cheddar, mozzarella (underused mac cheese!) and parmesan. You can opt for various mix-ins; I went for broccoli, but the bacon seemed to be the most popular. There’s a wonderful crust, thanks to the combo of the mozz and parm and the interior sauce is more cheesy than saucy; this is the kind of mac that will have strings of cheese hanging off your fork as you reach for a bite. As for the flavor, this is lightly seasoned, the cheese blend is really the star here.

My one complaint was the noodle: HH uses the rotini, which is fine as a mac-scooper, but it was just a tad overcooked.

Is it destination worthy? I would say it’s neighborhood destination mac, but not quite as awe-inspiring as some of my other hands-down favorites.

Heidi’s House, 308 East 78th Street #3, 212.249.0069

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