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Impress With Recipes From AAA Diamond Rated Restaurants

macaroni and cheese

Concoct expertly crafted dishes in your home with the help of AAA Diamond Rated restaurants. These recipes will ensure you three courses of fancy summer fare.

1. A fresh start

Start sophisticated with the Champagne mango salad created by chef Jean Georges Vongerichten for his AAA Five Diamond Rated, self-titled restaurant in New York City. This summer starter features ripe mango, creamy baby goat cheese and a ginger-lime vinaigrette.


Ginger lime vinaigrette:
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon lime segment, diced
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon brunoise ginger

Combine all in a bowl, whisk well and reserve.

1 perfectly ripe mango, preferably a Champagne mango
La Tur cheese (or similar young goat cheese), diced
6 Thai basil leaves
6 mint leaves
1 tablespoon scallions, sliced
3 slices serrano ham
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon passion seeds
4 halved green olives


  • Peel the mango, remove the pit and slice into ½-inch thick pieces. Place the sliced mango on a cold plate and position the diced La Tur cheese on top of it.
    Spoon the ginger lime vinaigrette over the mango and cheese. Scatter Thai basil, mint and scallion on top of the mango salad. Add a few slices of serrano ham.
  • Season with sea salt, black pepper and olive oil.
  • Finish the salad by adding some passion seeds and green olives.

Serves 2.

2. An oceanside option

Lobster mac and cheese might be the ultimate seafood dish. This recipe from the AAA Five Diamond Rated Ocean House in Westerly, R.I., has sweet lobster meat, pasta and two types of cheese.


12 cups orecchiette pasta, uncooked
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup pancetta, diced small
3 quarts heavy cream
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
¼ cup truffle oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1¼ pounds lobster meat, diced into large chunks
1½ teaspoon chives, thinly sliced
1 cup panko breadcrumbs


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Bring 1½ gallons of salted water to a rapid boil in a large pot. Cook pasta according to specifications on package (8-12 minutes). Drain, transfer to a sheet tray and coat with extra virgin olive oil. Refrigerate.
  • Render pancetta in olive oil in a small saute pan until crispy. Remove pancetta from pan, reserving fat.
  • Bring heavy cream to a light simmer in a saucepan, and whisk in pancetta, Parmesan and Gruyere. Reduce by a quarter over medium-low heat while whisking constantly to prevent clumps. Whisk in truffle oil, and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and reserve warm. (Sauce should be creamy but thin as it will thicken when combined with the pasta).
  • Mix breadcrumbs with reserved pancetta fat.
  • To plate, combine pasta, lobster and sauce. Season as needed. Divide into small, oven-proof casseroles or ramekins. Cover with panko breadcrumb mixture.
    Bake in oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and cheese bubbles. Garnish with chives.

Serves 8.

3. Perfect farm finish

End dinner with a dessert from the AAA Five Diamond Rated Restaurant at Winvian Farm in Morris, Conn. One scoop of this butter pecan ice cream, with brown sugar and toasted pecans, and you’ll think you’re in the Connecticut countryside.


1 cup pecans
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cream
2 cups milk
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt


  • Cook pecans and butter in a pan until the nuts are toasted. Strain so that only the butter is left in the pan. Set aside pecans.
  • Stir in sugar and salt. Slowly add cream and milk and bring to a boil. Temper in the egg yolks.
  • Stir constantly for 2 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add vanilla. Freeze.
  • For the garnish, bake the pecans with sugar and salt. Bake until toasted. Cool and sprinkle over ice cream.

To learn more about AAA Diamond rated restaurants and hotels, visit AAA.com/Diamonds.


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