Have you ever met a child who refuses to let the separate components on his or her dinner plate touch? Growing up in Union, South Carolina, Peter Sibilia was the opposite kind of kid—always blending his mains and sides together into one unanimous bite.
It's a habit he never grew out of. So when Sibilia began serving macaroni and cheese at —the new 1930s-style restaurant he opened with co-owner Damian Vizuete at 243 Degraw Street —he approached the beloved comfort food as though it were a casserole, layering different blends of cheeses and pasta with meats, vegetables, seafood and even potato chips.
"I like mac and cheese," Sibilia said. "It's got a high fat content. But it's always treated as a side. So basically if you were somewhere else getting an entrée of pulled pork or short ribs, you would push it all together and get this. That's the basic idea."
The faux-retro space, featuring red-capped diner stools, vibrant floral wallpaper and various homey accents like Ball jar lighting fixtures, offers a total of eight different macaroni and cheese variations ($7-$15), with add-ons that range from fried bourbon chicken to Chinese five-spice duck.
"The Sadie's Mac, which is stewed tomatoes, potato chips, bechamel sauce and a bunch of cheeses, was inspired by the version that a woman Sadie used to make for my family growing up," explained Sibilia. "So that was the armature for all of the other creations.
"Each version has its own bechamel sauce," Sibilia added. "The lobster mac and cheese has a lobster bechamel, the oyster mac has an oyster bechamel. So they all have more pronounced flavors as a result."
The most popular mac at the restaurant to date has been Ms. Fi Fi's, which contains pecan bacon, gruyere, Swiss cheese, green onion and cornmeal breadcrumbs. If, however, you're looking for something a little less cheesy, Sadie's Kitchen also serves an array of sandwiches served on squishy sorghum-flour biscuits made in house ($8-$10). Golden, fluffy and roughly the size of a hockey puck, the biscuits act as a vehicle for transporting BLTs, BBQ pork or fried fish Po' Boys to hungry bellies. But they are just as tasty pulled straight from a grease-flecked brown paper takeout bag, still warm as you tear off a bite on the go ($2 each).
Of course, if you have neither time to sit inside or stop by for a pick up, Sadie's Kitchen recently signed on with Seamless, Grub Hub, and Delivery.com to bring their Southern comfort fare to you. If you go that route, don't forget to add on a slice of Sinners Shoofly Pie ($6). You can thank us later.