Kraft korrupts, we all know that. Poor college students, lured in by the call of a twenty-nine cent a serving meal, can't help but mac 'n' cheese out. But m'n'c, like wine, should not come from a box. And in some of us, the quest for the perfect m'n'c might continue as a lifelong mission....
and there was Marliave. So if you're in Boston, wind your way about the down-at-its-heels Downtown Crossing, in a place where nothing this simple yet sophisticated might be, to a place that has been around since 1885, sort of--it's very refreshed, now, but has that air of having been around a bit that gives the place some gravitas.
The important thing is to order the mac 'n' cheese. It's listed as an app, but it makes a perfect lunch even for me with an appetite. It comes out in a white porcelain pot so you have to pop open the lid and then let the scent hit you, a warmth of homecomings. Yes, it's got what's listed as black truffle, and perhaps they actually do some grating magic, for it doesn't have that perfume you tend to get when places just use truffle oil; you know what I mean, as if the meal put on truffle perfume to hide it ain't really truffly at all.
But even better, it's the mac that's the star here. It's house cut ziti, something substantial, and they let it stay that way, as it's all al dente. Too often this dish can be mush-a-roni and cheese, but not at Marliave. And then, it's unclear what the cheese combo is (the menu mentions a vague "farmhouse cheeses"), but they, too, are rich and full and turned into a velvety sauce that covers every bite of the ziti.
I want some right now.