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Playing off the dual trends of comfort food with a twist and affordable indulgences, chefs across the country are combining lobster with various pastas and cheeses, and menuing the increasingly popular dish as “lobster mac & cheese.”
At Coolfish, in Syosset, N.Y., the $18 lobster mac & cheese is prepared with coin-shaped orechiette pasta mixed with a blend of four cheeses — truffled pecorino, aged gouda, white Cheddar and, to make for a better melted, gooier texture, Monterey Jack — added to a shallot-and-wine reduction. The ingredients are mixed with about 8 ounces of lobster meat, and drizzled with truffle oil and finished in the oven to give it a gratin crust.
At Tremont 647 in nearby Boston, chef Andy Husbands attracts a brunch crowd with his $14 lobster mac & cheese, topped with Ritz crackers and chopped chives. At Macbar in New York, the “mac lobsta’” is a casserole-like dish of pasta and lobster mixed with a cognac, tarragon and mascarpone sauce that sells for $8.99 for a small order and $17.99 for a large one.
Also in New York, The Mermaid Inn sells a $9 dish of lobster mac & cheese topped with a truffle panko crust. At The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar in Philadelphia, orzo is combined with Gruyère and fontina and sold for $18. In Denver at Mizuna, chef-owner Frank Bonanno’s $18 mac & cheese calls for actual macaroni mixed with mascarpone cheese. Bonanno says his lobster mac & cheese is a permanent fixture on the menu.