On a recent trip to Oro in the Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E. Houston St., chef Chris Cook knew the right words to get me to throw away my low-carb lifestyle for the evening. He had me at the name Mac N Three Cheese.
As if I needed further enticement, the menu went on to mention that the cheeses in question were an intriguing combination of goat cheese, queso blanco and smoked cheddar.
When the plate arrived, the tender elbows were swimming in a dense, cheesy sauce that showcased the creaminess and tang of both the goat cheese and the queso blanco, while a distinct but not overwhelming smoky touch came from the cheddar. Then he tossed in a touch of truffle oil for an earthy sensuousness.
Buttery breadcrumbs provided a pleasant contrast in texture, but the real crowning glory of the dish was the addition of pulled brisket. From the name, I was expecting the beef to be shredded, but the fork-tender meat was sliced. It was also supple and simply seasoned so that it complemented the other rich flavors.
Oro Mac N Three Cheese is served as a starter (for $11; brisket is $2 extra), but it could easily be a main course.
Oro at the Emily Morgan Hotel
705 E. Houston St.