For a while there, every restaurant's mac and cheese appeared to be minimally concerned with its two main ingredients. Chefs seemed hell-bent on adding gobs of bacon, lobster, truffle oil and whatever other decadent mix-ins they could get their hands on. But what about those of us who simply want a bowl of macaroni and cheese? Keeping nostalgic dishes simple seems to be a lost art, but Swingers has always nailed it. For more than a decade, Swingers has been serving moderately portioned orders of its $6.25 basic mac, which hides on the “starters” menu. Real cheese melts around spiral macaroni that's topped with a few bread crumbs to create one of the easiest, most consistently pleasing bowls we've had. A touch of cayenne is as fancy as it gets, and the dish's restraint is a reminder that just because you can add more doesn't mean you should.
Credit: Sarah Bennett