where can i go for a fun family dinner with the best mac and cheese?
not too casual but not too stuffy.. just casual night out, my son wants mac n cheese..
anywhere in the city is good
Maybe at Artisanal or Blue Smoke. I actually haven't tried the mac and cheese at either, but both have good food (w/Artisanal in the very good range) and are the not-too-stuffy-not-too-casual mix you're looking for. You might also try Le Zie for their mac and cheese w/truffles (I believe). Haven't tried it, but have tried some other pasta dishes there that have been very good.
Le Zie is a great fit, not too casual but not stuffy at all, real neighborhood feel. The mac and cheese is very good but they also have a lot of other great choices if you are looking to try something else. (spaghetti and meatballs is fantastic). Blue Smoke is also a good choice. You can't go wrong with either. Have not been to Artisinal but I hear it is great but maybe not as casual as you want.
Pink Teacup in the w. village has delicious mac and cheese, as well as a lot of other good southern home-style food.... fried chicken, collard greens, etc.
Their breakfast food is also great... the cheese omelet is thin and perfectly cheesy, the bacon is thick and crispy, and they have delicious corn and apple fritters.
There is also a new place in the e. village called S'mac that serves only mac n cheese. I haven't been there, but it is getting mixed reviews.
re: Ali B
This is a great option for a family with young kids. The Pink Tea Cup is cute, though since it's southern food don't expect it to be too healthy. Good pork chops.
Chat&Chew is a comfort place near Union Square well known for their mac&cheese, but I'm not a big fan of the place. Cowgirl Hall of Fame has a similar kid friendly menu.
The Mac & Cheese at Mama's on 3rd btwn Ave A & B is to die for. It's a small location (not sure how big your fam. is), but the portions are gigantic.