It ain’t easy being cheesy, but some places do it oh so well. These are the 8 Greatest destinations Phantom has found for cheese lovers.
Mohegan Sun, CT
Ballo inside Mohegan Sun in Connecticut is undoubtedly one of the biggest and best Italian restaurants in New England. The 17,000 square-foot space features stone columns and soaring arches, reminiscent of a Roman cathedral. Their upscale mac and cheese is just as impressive. They roll a wheel of Grana cheese to your table, light it on fire, and let the flames melt the cheesy goodness inside. Then it is all mixed up tableside with some additional cheese, fresh pasta and shaved black truffle.
Umelt in Providence is a fast casual spot serving everyone’s favorite childhood comfort food, the grilled cheese sandwich. Here, they top it with anything and everything, whether you want something simple like the Tomato Basil, or more elaborate like The Chipster, stuffed with Cape Cod potato chips, cheddar cheese, and crispy apple cider bacon. Then there is the super indulgent White Trash Grilled Cheese, featuring pulled pork and mac and cheese.
Manchester & Portsmouth, NH
Mr. Mac’s in Manchester and Portsmouth, New Hampshire specializes in mac and cheese, served hot and steamy by the skillet. If you want to keep it simple, go for a Classic All American, or there is the option to load it up with veggies. For something truly original, there are selections like the Taco Mac, or the Papa’s Mac, which puts all the taste of pizza into your mac and cheese.
L’Andana in Burlington is an elegant Italian restaurant built to look like a Tuscan farmhouse, with soothing earth tones, reclaimed wood, and dim romantic lighting. The menu focuses on everything from housemade pastas to enormous steaks and chops, grilled to order over charcoal. The must order item on the L’Andana menu has to be the four-cheese fonduta. This Italian spin on fondue comes with spicy sopressata, roasted garlic, and thick-cut Tuscan toast for dipping.
Worcester & Leominster
Mezcal Tequila Cantina in Worcester and Leominster is a fun, lively spot offering authentic Mexican cuisine and outstanding, refreshing Margaritas. Nothing goes better with a cold drink than some hot cheese dip, like their bubbling Queso Fundido. It is a mix of Mexican cheeses, with jalapeno and tomato. You can also add bacon or chorizo.
Ithaki in Ipswich is an upscale Greek restaurant serving all of your favorite Mediterranean specialties, from tender lamb tips skewered over rice, to a soul-satisfying crock of Moussaka. If you really want to light your taste buds up, there is nothing tastier than the flaming Cheese Saganaki. This pan-fried cheese is doused in alcohol, set on fire tableside, and served piping hot.
Longmeadow & West Hartford
Max Burger in Longmeadow, Massachusetts and West Hartford, Connecticut specializes in all things beefy and cheesy. There are signature burgers, like the Miss Daisy topped with brie, the melty gooey Fatty Melt, and the gluttonous grilled cheese stuffed with cheddar, gruyere and comte cheeses.
La Cantina Italiana
Rounding out the Great 8 is La Cantina Italiana. This Framingham institution serves big plates of hearty, homestyle Italian eats. They are not shy with the cheese, whether you have creamy ricotta stuffed inside their jumbo-sized fried ravioli, mozzarella smothered on crunchy garlic bread, or over their famous square pizza.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.