4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Mac' & Cheese — Hold the Mac

I'll be one of the first to admit...OK, RANT...that certain dishes seem to be on every menu in town for no good reason. Short ribs, flatbreads, pork belly, ahi tuna, etc.; as a guy who eats a lot and sees lots of menus, I admit to being downright disappointed at such blatant instances of culinary copy-catism...EXCEPT, when dishes are done right. That's the antidote — a chef putting a spin on a dish that keeps it from being boring or a replica of something some other chef is already offering somewhere else.

Macaroni and cheese has been on well over 50% of the menus out there for the past few years. It was the perfect addition in the midst of a tanked economy where diners' dollars were suddenly scarce and their tastes were veering toward the comfortable, familiar staples of better, simpler times. Now, the economy's coming back, but the mac 'n' cheese is still everywhere. Typically, the only punch-up chefs provide is an interesting blend of cheeses or the addition of a protein like lobster, chicken, or pork in one of its many decadent forms.

Tony Miller, the newly-arrived chef at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar's Arterra, adds plump chunks of lobster (and a whole honkin' intact hunk of claw) but goes far beyond the other aforementioned pedestrian improvements, getting rid of the macaroni altogether and subbing in orzo. He also loses typical fromage such as Cheddar, jack and Gruyere, instead opting for creamy mascarpone, which makes for the smoothest texture of any cheesy mac I've come across in years. A second cheese, Parmegiano-Reggiano, is served as a crisped frico garnish, making for a textural add-on that provides a nice crunchy counterpoint to this risotto-like offering. A drizzle of white truffle oil adds earthiness, luxury, and a lovely scent. Hats off to Arterra's toque.

Image

Arterra's lobster and orzo version of macaroni and cheese. (Don't worry, this is a tasting menu-sized portion.)

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

What do you get when you cross Stones, Roses, and Guns?

“Anything that’s funny, we put it in there”

I'll be one of the first to admit...OK, RANT...that certain dishes seem to be on every menu in town for no good reason. Short ribs, flatbreads, pork belly, ahi tuna, etc.; as a guy who eats a lot and sees lots of menus, I admit to being downright disappointed at such blatant instances of culinary copy-catism...EXCEPT, when dishes are done right. That's the antidote — a chef putting a spin on a dish that keeps it from being boring or a replica of something some other chef is already offering somewhere else.

Macaroni and cheese has been on well over 50% of the menus out there for the past few years. It was the perfect addition in the midst of a tanked economy where diners' dollars were suddenly scarce and their tastes were veering toward the comfortable, familiar staples of better, simpler times. Now, the economy's coming back, but the mac 'n' cheese is still everywhere. Typically, the only punch-up chefs provide is an interesting blend of cheeses or the addition of a protein like lobster, chicken, or pork in one of its many decadent forms.

Tony Miller, the newly-arrived chef at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar's Arterra, adds plump chunks of lobster (and a whole honkin' intact hunk of claw) but goes far beyond the other aforementioned pedestrian improvements, getting rid of the macaroni altogether and subbing in orzo. He also loses typical fromage such as Cheddar, jack and Gruyere, instead opting for creamy mascarpone, which makes for the smoothest texture of any cheesy mac I've come across in years. A second cheese, Parmegiano-Reggiano, is served as a crisped frico garnish, making for a textural add-on that provides a nice crunchy counterpoint to this risotto-like offering. A drizzle of white truffle oil adds earthiness, luxury, and a lovely scent. Hats off to Arterra's toque.

Image

Arterra's lobster and orzo version of macaroni and cheese. (Don't worry, this is a tasting menu-sized portion.)

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close