Mac and Cheese Madness: Bar Bistro

By Ron Swarner on August 1, 2014

Like wine, you can tell much from mac and cheese by smell, color and presentation, and though you may balk at using connoisseur techniques for such an Americana-addled food, it helps. With that in mind, take a drive over to Bar Bistro in Midland between Tacoma and Puyallup. Within the confines of the sleek bastion of delicious food and craft cocktails, I was served a beautiful, aromatic, tasty creamy mac and cheese in a fancy wide bowl. I stepped outside to check if I was in downtown Tacoma or Seattle. Nope, farmlands still surrounded the joint.

"Chef Jason Blessum takes fusilli pasta, roasted garlic puree, heavy cream and a balanced blend of smoked cheddar, aged white cheddar, pepper jack, Parmesan, Asiago and Romano cheeses, tops it with bacon bread crumbs, shaved Parmesan, then garnishes it with grape tomatoes and basil oil," says Bar Bistro owner Eric Poulin.

The Bistro Mac and Cheese ($12/$18) is a creamy delight. The al dente pasta is added to the cream, garlic puree and cheese mixture off heat until melted through. I enjoyed the dish as is, skipping the chorizo, jerk chicken or crabmeat additions. It doesn't need the extra flavors.

I'm also happy to report Bar Bistro has a Craft Beer Club. Text CRAFTBEER to 72727 to join. You'll receive a free craft beer after purchasing five. Bar Bistro has 20-plus beers, including local brews. Harmon Brewery will be in-house toward the end of this month for a four-course IPA dinner paring with a bonus summer blonde during the reception. Craft Beer Club members will receive the latest details on reservations and early bird specials on beer dinners and events.

BAR BISTRO, noon to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 1718 99th St. E., Tacoma, 253.537.3655

LINK: More mac and cheese dishes in the South Sound


Flair to Midland: Bar Bistro is worth the drive