Mac and Cheese and a Bite of the Middle East
This week's new and noted restaurants.
Lily & Bloom
When we heard that a handful of Hong Kong’s best chefs were coming together for an all-out mac and cheese battle, we only had one thought: Why did no one think of this earlier?! The carb-loaded battle pits chefs from Little Bao, NOM, Sushi Kuu, Stone Nullah Tavern and Lily & Bloom against each other in the ultimate “Mac Attack,” with all five gloriously cheesy versions—think black truffled carbonara and Applewood cheddar mac with foie gras—available on Lily & Bloom’s menu through Feb 29 ($188 each). The chefs with the two top dishes—one with the best social media response via hashtag #theMacAttack, and the other with the highest sales—will take the crown, with 10% of proceeds going to their choice of charity. But with five great reasons to go on a strict mac and cheese diet this month, can anyone really be called a loser here?
One of the latest outlets to join French Creations’ stable of casual neighborhood bistros, Comptoir’s weekend brunch is a must-try, with four delicious courses for $200 per person, and free-flow wine for an extra $180—one of the better value brunches in the city. Well-portioned and served piping hot, the meal is best enjoyed at one of the alfresco café’s counter seats, with refreshing house sparkling wine to wash down lashings of butter and cream (the more the merrier when it comes to French food, right?). The changing brunch menu currently stars a hearty roast chestnut soup and truffle scrambled eggs, but it’s also worth checking out the à la carte selection—all small plates designed to share—including seared sea bass with green peas in a fish emulsion ($88), tuna-stuffed piquillo peppers ($60) and sautéed octopus with Thai asparagus ($98).
Maison Libanaise and Belon
“Why quit when you’re ahead?” seems to be the motto at Black Sheep Restaurants, which recently announced the 11th and 12th additions to its growing restaurant empire. This time the Black Sheep compass points west to the Middle East and Paris, with two unique and ambitious offerings: Set to open next month, Maison Libanaise (10 Shelley St., Central) celebrates the vibrant culture and delicious cuisine of Lebanon, with three stories evoking a 1960s Beirut house including a ground-floor takeaway, “Le Salon” serving mezze and mains, and the rooftop “La Buvette” wine bar. Moving from “The Paris of the Middle East” to the real deal, Belon (41 Elgin St., Central)—set to open in March—will be a neo-Parisian bistro showcasing French-rooted cooking with local ingredients. Expect to be blown away yet again by thoughtfully appointed interiors and unmistakably authentic food.