Cheese on mac 'n' cheese: The indulgent soufflé at Rise n˚2.

Image: Cory Garcia

I’ve been on a bit of a cheese kick as of late. Mozzarella sticks, grilled cheese, and my personal favorite, mac 'n' cheese, have been on the menu more times than is probably healthy. Just because Houston weather doesn’t want to give way to fall doesn’t mean there isn’t room in life for comfort food. Luckily for me, Rise n°2 feels the same way and has brought on a seasonal favorite for people like me.

Back for September is its Mac & Cheese Soufflé. It’s exactly what it sounds like: cheesy soufflé with a few pieces of macaroni mixed in, covered with a cheese sauce and bacon. The waiter mentioned that bacon pieces were mixed in the soufflé as well, but I saw no evidence of that, so your mileage may vary. It makes for a pretty plate—not quite as stunning as their escargot presentation, but inviting all the same.

If you’re skeptical about the depth of flavor you can get from a cheese soufflé, it works surprisingly well, though there isn't a lot separating the texture of the macaroni from the creaminess of the cheese sauce. And the cheese sauce, while pretty great, does seem like a weird choice considering we're already talking about a cheese soufflé. It feels like Rise is hedging its bets on the soufflé being cheesy enough for the dish. It sends mixed, though delicious, signals. And the bacon brings some additional flavor to the party but could stand to be just a little bit crisper; it’s a dish that could benefit from a contrasting textural element. 

You’ve got a few weeks left to check it out at Rise. No, it won’t change the color of the leaves or lower the temperatures, but for a few bites you might be able to fool yourself that fall is a thing that exists. A good cheese dish has that power.

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Rise nº2

$$ French 1700 Post Oak Blvd., Ste. 290

Soufflés are notoriously mercurial—even the best restaurants often falter in their preparation. But they're done right every time here, whether they're flavo...