Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Icon-ic, indeed!

Icon Grill's mac 'n' cheese is touted by many as one of the best in town. It seemed like an ideal way to begin our quest. I've had it a handful of times and have never been disappointed. Eventually, we'll have to make it to the Icon's sister retaurant, Zephyr Grill. We'll be able to see if the recipe differs at all as you venture down I5 to Kent Station.

What I like about Icon Grill's preparation is that they keep it simple. It's made with elbow macaroni and good cheese. It doesn't have shitake mushrooms or lobster added. And, while I can't wait to venture out and try these interesting varieties - Icon truly honors a traditional recipe. It's baked to perfection - giving it a nice crust. The tomato and basil, both served fresh on top, add just a little extra pizzaz to the dish.

An added bonus - I love to play with my food. The molten cheese served on the side gives this dish unique interactivity.

All in all, there's a reason this mac 'n' cheese is hailed as one of the best in town!

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being creamy and 10 being cheesey - I give this a 7. But I don't like it too cheesey - so that's perfect for me!

Noelle's grade: A

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


"Mmmm... WHAT is that SMELL?" a co-worker and one the students asked as I heated up my lunch today. That, my friends, was the leftovers from last night's dinner. The two mac-n-cheese connoisseurs finally made it to our first tasting. Noelle suggested the Icon Grill. We ordered two glasses of a taut pinot noir and the Icon's mac-n-cheese ($12.95). It arrived steaming hot and beautifully mounded, a pile of pasta and cheese topped with cheery tomatoes and festive basil. A small carafe of molten cheese sat to the side. Noelle demonstrated the way a previous server had cut an X into the top of the dish and poured the melted cheese inside. We giddily snapped pictures and posed our meals for the camera before, at last, diving in.

Ahhhh... Straight up, no foolin', comfort food mac-n-cheese. No frou frou Gruyere. No truffle bits. Just a big warm heapin' helpin' of elbow macaroni and cheese sauce. The additional molten cheese helped the dish seem even more homemade. The tomatoes and basil added unexpected yet utterly pleasing and natural flavor. The enormous portion left each of us with enough for another meal, bringing the per portion cost down to a reasonable (but not Kraft blue box) $6.50. Surrounded by the Icon's plush bar and beautiful Christmas decorations, the mac-n-cheese brought welcome warmth on a rainy December night. The service was cursory, even after the evening rush subsided. But the mac-n-cheese is worth returning for.

Susanna's grade: A