We’ve been hearing the term “farm to table” thrown around excessively as of late, but regardless of the overuse, we’re big believers in the concept. And Alice’s Arbor in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn is doing it well.
With a strong emphasis on authentic, seasonal, full-flavored food from local or nearby farms, their menu (and in-house “store,” where you can buy local and organic maple syrup, preserves, tea, oil, even polenta) brings life to feel-good food.
The restaurant is super fun and eclectic with funky feature artwork from a local artist–on both the sidewalk and interior walls–and chalkboard throughout. With twine-hung terrariums, exposed brick, repurposed wood, hanging lightbulbs, and hipster tunes, Alice’s Arbor just exudes good vibes. The restaurant was established by 15-year friends who met in New York’s LES, including chef Mike Franzetti who took us into the kitchen to teach us how he makes a slammin’ mac-n-cheese.
Now, we all know you really can’t go wrong when you combine pasta with fresh dairy, but this recipe is special for a few reasons. Chef Franzetti uses creamy goat cheese (reason number one) that plays a pivotal part in the overall ooze of the final product, Cabot Creamery white cheddar, whole milk, and butter… lots of butter. He tops the cheese-sauce coated spirals of pasta with house-made breadcrumbs from bread made by the local bakery (delivered daily) and throws it into an authentic, Italian-made, wood-burning oven (that can heat up to 850 degrees–hot damn).
The result? A molten mess of gooey cheese underneath a crusty, golden-brown crust of salty breadcrumbs. It’s a cheat meal, for sure, but it is so worth it. Wash that down with any of their cocktail concoctions (or a selection from their extensive whiskey list–bourbons, ryes, scotches, and single malts) and you’re set.
Click here for the full recipe and try it at home!