100 Favorite Dishes: Lobster macaroni and cheese from Mizuna

mizuna lobster.jpg
Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 91: Lobster macaroni and cheese from Mizuna

Macaroni and cheese, once a comfort-food staple of every Sunday supper (not to mention the elementary school cafeteria), isn't what it used to be. And thanks to chef Frank Bonanno, who makes no apologies for food steeped in indulgence, the slightly chewy, sauce-soaked elbow macaroni and cheese at Mizuna is definitely not your grandmother's version -- unless, that is, your nana favors poached sweet lobster meat in place of Oscar Meyer ham and silky mascarpone over Velveeta.

See also:
- The 100 Favorite Dishes of 2013 archive
- Chef and Tell with Frank Bonanno of Luca, Mizuna, Osteria Marco and Bones
- Part two: Chef and Tell with Frank Bonanno

The immodestly rich recipe, which originated with Thomas Keller, is completely hedonistic, its base of butter, heavy cream and wine a luxurious invitation to submission. Every chef, every cook, every kid and every home kitchen tongs twirler has their own version of macaroni and cheese, but Bonanno's orchestration, finished with a lusty swirl of lobster oil, is so sensual -- so wonderfully immoral -- that it makes your heart race just thinking about it.

Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2013 countdown are linked below:

No. 100: Foie gras oysters from Sushi Sasa
No. 99: Porchetta from Parisi
No. 98: chocolate caramel sea salt tart from Spuntino
No. 97: Nachos from the Pioneer
No. 96: Fried pickles from TAG Burger Bar
No. 95: Breakfast burrito from Jalapeños Mexican restaurant
No. 94: Jajangmyeon from Yong Gung Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant
No 93: French fries from Jonesy's EatBar
No. 92: Fried rice from Benihana

Location Info


225 E. 7th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

I don't care what the portion size is, Mizuna lobster mac is absolutely delicious and shows more finesse and restraint than most others in town, regardless of the price (ahem pretzels and goldfish on top, anyone?).  The only surprising thing to me is how high up this is on the list...would put this in my top 20 for sure!


Portion size is not always a great indicator of how good something is.  This mac and cheese is so rich that a larger portion is not necessary.  My ex always thought the best meals were the largest. Stupid.

ScubaSteve topcommenter

I agree with Denver Dave.  I had the lobster mac and cheese at Mizuna a few months after the place opened and I was disappointed with the portion size.  It's just not worth the $$$.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

Well, at $20 for that three bite appetizer portion it should be better than the best sex you ever had.  What do you suppose the food cost is for an ounce of lobster and some elbow macaroni?  Total silliness. 

Mantonat topcommenter

@Denver Dave I was thinking along the same line, only my conclusion was that you should probably start paying more than $20 for sex.


Read some time back, maybe part of a story with the recipe for this, that Bonanno says this is a loss-leader item on his menu. So, $20 might actually be a deal.

ScubaSteve topcommenter


Frank Bonnano's Food Network recipe is for four servings.

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