June 19, 2008

Hungry Mother

apparently everyone is going gaga over the new Cambridge restaurant Hungry Mother, and since we ate dinner there last night with a group of friends, i see why. We pretty much had one of everything, and all of it was fantastic.

They do a mini-starter course, which of course I am rabidly in favor of, then starters, then mains and dessert, and the wee post-dessert sweet that arrives with the check. Also cocktails, which are inventive and rather lovely -- I had the #1, which is rye + dr. pepper + bitters, and the bitters override any overly-sweetness to make a pretty awesome drink.

If you've not guessed it from the ingredients of that cocktail, there is a strong appalachian theme to the cooking at this restaurant, combined with fine dining service and presentation, and strong haute cuisine execution. The overall feel is comfortable and rich, relaxed and refined.

The mini-starters:

deviled eggs, satiny, spicy and fresh-tasting, the equal or better of my own, topped with crispy bacon.

very spicy pimento cheese with toast triangles and celery sticks. i could eat vats.

boiled virginia peanuts with gray sea salt. lovely with the cocktails, i must say.

the "real" starters:

shrimp & grits, dark, savory and spicy with very nice creamy grits.

salad greens with radishes and almonds and goat cheese - sounds boring, wasn't.

barbecue ribs with some sort of orange-peel relish and cornbread with no sugar, huzzah!

summer sausage & tasso ham with fantastic pickled peppers and ramps, spicy grainy mustard and more grilled toast.

fried oysters, dear sweet jesus, so yummy. The equal of the amazing ones we had on the California coast at Duarte's Tavern. Came with some sort of buttermilk-dressed salad, also tasty but I was distracted by the oystery goodness.

the mains:

roasted chicken with kale and beets and red-eye gravy. delicious, just a shade oversalted.

flatiron steak with super-creamy roasted yukon golds & crispy fried vidalia rings.

french gnocchi with peas and mushrooms and pea tendrils.

fried catfish with mustard-caper sauce (yum), rice and collards.

grilled bluefish with olive sauce, potatoes, arugula and sea salt.

the desserts:

bourbon pecan sticky bun with sorghum ice cream

perfectly light yet rich chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and a glass of milk

buttermilk pie in a graham crust, lemony and creamy

fantastic rhubarb sorbet with strawberry sauce

It was all very good, but if I went back tomorrow, i would get the eggs, the pimento cheese (maybe two), and two orders of the oysters and call it a (very happy) day. Yow!

Posted by foodnerd at June 19, 2008 11:47 AM

I had the #25 (or was it 26?) which was Bourbon, Tequila, and Ginger Beer. Also amazing. If I were to go back, I would do the Pimento Cheese, the oysters and the catfish. Or the ribs and the oysters. Definitely on my list of top places now :)

The only thing I didn't like was how noisy it was -- at a table of 7, I couldn't really hear anything that was said at the other end of the table...

Posted by: TallMatt at June 23, 2008 05:10 PM
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