Restaurant: Hogan’s Hideaway, 197 Park Avenue, Rochester, NY (585) 442-4293
Chef: Jesse Bohnet
From food trucks to fusion menus, macaroni and cheese is the latest comfort dish to find new life as a gourmet foodie favorite. Dressed up in everything from truffle oil and lobster to chorizo and avocado, mac and cheese is the new comfort-food-with-a-twist dish du jour, and the Buffalo Cluck and Mac at Hogan’s Hideaway is an excellent example of what can happen when comfort meets technique and talent. Definitely not your kid’s boxed macaroni and cheese, Hogan’s spin on their original (and already popular) 3 cheese Mac and Cheese is a spicy, creamy, hearty take on their classic you thought you knew. The addition of blue cheese and a traditional buffalo sauce adds both tang and a balanced amount of heat to the silky cheese sauce, while the panko topping adds welcome crunch. Chef Bohnet also adds slow roasted chicken to the mix, diversifying the texture and making this a hearty, satisfying and sophisticated dish that has little in common with that blue box mix you remember. This pairing of two classic comfort favorites – rich, creamy mac and cheese and spicy, tangy buffalo wings – is one of our favorite reinventions so far, hitting all the right notes from creamy and crunchy to spicy and rich to create an uber-comforting dish that also manages to be interesting and complex. Definitely a reinvention worth revisiting.
– Keith Johnson, A-List Contributor
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