Thursday, February 5, 2009
Tonight I finally had a chance to try out the Hungry Mother, located in Cambridge, MA. After trekking through arctic winds, I arrived at the small, cozy restaurant and was greeted with a napkin to wipe down my frosted glasses.
We started off with an order of the Allan Brenton's Country Ham served with 'angel' biscuits and pepper jelly. These turned out to be little mini biscuits, light, buttery and perfect for the thinly sliced serano-like ham. They went down easy like wee appetizer poppers.
Next we tried the Shrimp & Grits - little Maine rock shrimp with hm tasso ham, new orleans barbeque, and cornbread croutons. The shrimp tasted fresh and flavorful in the sweet, smokey barbeque sauce. The grits were tasty and not too heavy, and the tiny squares of crispy cornbread added just the right amount of crunch to the dish. I could have licked the bowl.
The French Style Gnocchi with foraged mushrooms, kale, butternut squash broth and sage was possibly my favorite dish. The little perfectly shaped gnocchi were lightly, flavorful and perfectly balanced by the delicious mushrooms, the slightly bitter kale and fantastic broth. I loved every bite.
The Fried Chesapeake Bay Oysters with 'kohlslaw', tobasco and lemon were also fantastic. They arrived hot and crispy, but light and oyster-y on the inside. My only caveat about this dish is that the breading and tobasco may have overpowered the oyster flavor just a little.
We finished it all off with the Lemon Chess Pie with buttermilk ice cream, and earl grey caramel. The pie had a perfect crust - hot, light and buttery with a lemon-curd like filling. The buttermilk ice cream perfectly complemented the slight tartness of the dessert. It was better than I'd expected - and not at all what I'd expected. I would order this again in a heartbeat.
And of course, the Hungry Mother is also known for it's classic cocktails. The no. 43 with old overholt rye, 10 yr ferreira tawny port, maple syrup, and bitters was perfectly balanced and delicious. A bit on the sweet side for rye, but the flavors really pulled out that 'rye' flavor, which I liked. There was just the right amount of maple syrup - enough to flavor the drink, but not overpower it.
Service was attentive and friendly. I think the owner or maître d' even stopped by to ask us how our meal had been. Be sure to reserve ahead - this tiny spot tends to pack up in the evenings. There are seats at the bar, but I've heard these can pack up as well.
I'll be dreaming of that gnocchi tonight...and the pie...and the cocktails...
Image lifted from www.hungrymothercambridge.com
The Hungry Mother
233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave
Cambridge, MA 02141