If you’re a massive basketball fan residing in New York, I’d predict you will at some point end up at The Barclays Center (if you haven’t, you should see a game there — the arena is pretty sick). And if you find yourself in a position needing comfort food (team not so hot that day?), make a pit stop at Elbow Room, a haven for the mac and cheese enthusiast. Don’t confuse it with typical stadium-eating fare though — they give a gourmet spin to the traditional dish with 12 masterpiece varieties.
As you can tell, I didn’t hold back. With choices like Mushroom Mac (crimini mushroom, spinach, Vermont gruyère, crispy shallots), Margherita Mac (San Marzano tomato, housemade mozzarella, and fresh basil), and Lobster Mac (lemongrass, ginger, and roasted red pepper), why would you?
Each dish was decadent and the greatest part about the ones I tried was you could taste every fresh ingredient (and they are fresh: artisanally crafted cheese, locally-grown organic veggies, Maine lobster, and 100% grass-fed beef…depending on what you order) that all come together in a medley of complimenting flavors, all thanks to their genius Chef Luis Ulloa.
For some reason, I was not expecting the Lobster Mac salad to be one of their cold dishes, but if you’re not one for cold pasta (not I), opt for the traditional or margherita. You can ease your way into the more adventurous ones. The rest of you seafood-loving foodies can dive right in. All the recipes though are clearly well thought-out, from presentation to inventive blends of ingredients. Considering their prices ($6-$12), there’s almost no excuse not to try a different take on a favorite classic dish.
And note, you don’t actually have to attend a game to eat here (and they also have locations in Newark and on Flatbush Avenue), but once I go back for the next time my Bulls are in town, you can bet I’ll be right back here for seconds.
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ** (It’s not a big place, so it’s somewhere to make a pit stop or visit during half time)
Would I go back?: Over and over again.
Elbow Room Barclays
614 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
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