Glad to see Hops & Pie won! Their mac n cheese got my vote and was one of my "Best Things I Ate in 2011," thought it might be a long shot for the category though.
Best Mac and Cheese - 2012
Hops & Pie
While most people who head to the newly expanded Hops & Pie are looking for craft beer and pizza, we'd hop over to this friendly spot for the mac and cheese alone. An order brings a mound of elbow macaroni glazed in a sharp cheddar sauce mixed with pudgy peas and strands of smoky braised ham hock, then spackled with breadcrumbs. But lifting this dish above all others is the deep bite introduced by adding India pale ale to the pot: It lightens the heaviness of the cream and leaves a seductive tartness lingering on the tongue. The mac and cheese is served in a ceramic bowl delivered on a Sicilian pie pan to catch stragglers — good idea, since you don't want to let a single bite escape.
Readers' Choice: Steuben's