Don’t cooler temps make you want to tuck into a big bowl of comfort food? Mac and cheese is appealing to so many different palates because it can be dressed up or dressed down, even modified to take on multiple cultural influences. Here are our Top 5 favorite varieties around town for the next time you’re in the mood for this creamy and delicious dish.
1 Zinc Bistro
Because Zinc Bistro is a fine French restaurant, one would expect their take on mac and cheese to be elevated to new and elegant heights. And with a mixture of Mimolette and Parmesan cheeses and bechamel sauce over elbow macaroni (and is that a hint of nutmeg we taste?), the dish definitely doesn't disappoint. The concoction is super creamy, and bits of smoke ham throughout are a bonus for extra flavor. (Side dish, $6.)
15034 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85254 480.603.0922 web
2 Roaring Fork
Macaroni and cheese receives a Southwestern-style update at the Roaring Fork. Called "Green Chili Mac and Cheese," it incorporates pepperjack cheese for some kick, plus plenty of red and poblano chile peppers, corn, red onion and just the right amount of garlic to take the flavor up another notch. The result is a Southwest comfort food dish made using fine dining cooking techniques. (Side dish, $7.)
4800 N. Scottsdale Rd., Suite 1700, Scottsdale AZ 85251 480.947.0795 web
We're so in love with the delicious crust covering the wood-fired mac and cheese plate at Bandera that we could almost eat an entire meal of just that. A crumbly crust of focaccia bread crumbs, oregano and olive oil is baked over the macaroni shells (perfectly al dente) mixed with Parmigiana-Reggiano and Tillamook cheeses and bechamel sauce flavored with rosemary. (Side dish, $5)
3821 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251 480.994.3524 web
4 Cheuvront Restaurant and Wine Bar
For when you want to die and go to mac and cheese variety heaven, there's Cheuvront Restaurant and Wine Bar, serving half a dozen different options. Choose from traditional, bleu cheese, pancetta with caramelized red onion, spicy Italian sausage with peppers and onion, butternut squash and sauteed shrimp. Designed as an entree, you can select any one ($8) for your meal, or a trio ($10), if you can handle that much mac in a single setting.
1326 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AS 85004 602.307.0022 web
5 The Yard House
You wouldn't think of The Yard House, better known for its selection of beers on tap, as having some killer mac and cheese -- but we have to admit, we're very impressed with the "(Mac + Cheese)2," as it's called here. Incorporating a satisfying blend of cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, plus tender and juicy chicken breast, applewood smoked bacon and mushrooms, then drizzled with white truffle oil, this blend is decadent and very filling. (Entree, $16.)
Multiple locations web