The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Doing justice to those quintessential American comfort classics, macaroni and cheese and the melted cheese sandwich, is the new Mac & Melts in Garden City. This is the kind of food that picks up your mood on a bad day oozy, gooey, melty, delicious fare.
On a recent visit, a Southwestern mac and cheese ($6.50 small; $10.75 large), served in a cast iron skillet, proved both spunky and soothing al dente elbows mixed with andouille sausage, jalapenos, Cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, the creamy, bubbling mixture capped with crunchy crushed tortillas. The smaller size was ample enough to feed two. A plain and perfect classic melted cheese sandwich of American and Cheddar on white Pullman bread ($5.25) paired well with a resonant tomato bisque ($3.95).
When the bright counter-serve spot opened, a couple of months back, Stuart Brown was its chef. However, he is no longer there. As of this week, Jared Drew, brother of Mac & Melts marketing director Jordan Drew, has been wearing the white jacket. Drew, who is on Long Island temporarily, is training the kitchen crew. Which raises the question of whether the level of cooking will remain at its current level once he departs.
An observation: The place needs a front vestibule, to ward off the cold winds that whip their way inside every time the door opens.
Mac & Melts is at 684 Stewart Ave., Garden City, 855-622-6358, macnmelts.com