Delicatessen’s Macbar: Best Mac ‘N Cheese in New York City
From the owners of the super-trendy (but nonetheless pretty good) Delicatessen in Soho, comes the super-trendy (and, actually, very good) Macbar, the newest entry into a surprisingly crowded field of players vying for the title of NYC’s best macaroni and cheese. (See also: the suddenly venerable ‘Smac in the East Village, and the under-looked Supermac in the east 30s). And with its artisanal cheeses, organic ingredients, twelve varieties, a location on a heavily trafficked block and an open-til-2:00 a.m. weekend door, Delicatessen’s Macbar Soho has to be considered a serious contender for the crown .
Inside Macbar Soho
Macbar is loud, extremely yellow, and designed to within an inch of its life. The plastic utensils, for example, are the coolest knife-and-fork combo we’ve ever seen. The medium- and large-sized mac and cheese portions come in plastic macaroni-shaped containers, which are also very cool, if not even remotely environmentally conscious. The stools and tables at Macbar in NYC (of which there are only about six; oddly for this stretch of Soho, the emphasis here is on take-out), the counter areas, the endless logos, the salt and pepper shakers, are all very sleek and contemporary and, it must be said, very mac-and-cheesy. So concerned is Macbar about design, in fact, that when we asked about the publicized toppings bar, we were told that they hadn’t put it out yet… not because they didn’t have the actual food, but because the identifying labels (picture: “Crumbs”, “Bacon”, etc.) weren’t ready.
So What About this Mac and Cheese?
And what about the macaroni and cheese itself? We tried two of the dozen varieties, and both were winners. The Mac Stroganoff was chunky with marinated strips of beef, earthy stewed mushrooms, and had just enough sour cream goodness to matter, but not too much to overwhelm the essential mac and cheese nature of the dish. Even better was the Four Cheese, an exceptionally rich and creamy (and not oily) combination of queso blanco, fontina, emmental and gouda. In both dishes, the pasta had bite–no mushiness here–and both were well charred with that great, chewy, baked-on-cheesiness on top. Despite all of the front-room emphasis on design, clearly the Macbar kitchen is focused on the food, and so far, are doing it well.
Delicatessen’s Macbar NYC details
Delicatessen’s Macbar NYC is located on Prince Street between Lafayette and Mulberry Streets, and is open on Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday nights until 2:00 a.m. For a complete menu and an excellent window into the restaurant’s design sensibility, go to the Macbar’s website, here.