Monday, May 31, 2010

Graduation Dinner

My sister Sam's graduation from Boston College was last weekend. After a bit of research, we decided to celebrate the evening before at a restaurant called Hungry Mother in Cambridge.

Initially, I was drawn in by the website. It's unique, antique and modern at the same time. My initial search was for a neighborhood spot that cared about serving seasonal, local food. As I explored the site, I knew I was in the right place.

The space is small, intimate and inviting. The decor is simple, warm and very much in line with the look and feel of their website. We were greeted by a friendly host and seated almost immediately.

The menu is unpretentious and approachable. It reflects the chefs southern roots and the desire to highlight the best of what the season has to offer by using classic cooking techniques. We decided to try the boiled Virginia peanuts, the spicy pimiento cheese with celery and the ham and biscuits. They were great starters. Just enough salty, spicy, savory to satiate and entice at the same time. The best part was that those boiled peanuts reminded Gramma of trips to the South years ago.

We all tried different entrees. I had a couple of first course offerings as my main in order to try more than one dish. The smoked blue fish pate with crackers and bread and butter pickles was fantastic. My sister had asparagus with a perfectly cooked soft poached egg. It is my belief that if you add an egg to anything it is always better and this tried and true dish did not disappoint.

Chris had Carolina rainbow trout. It was cooked just right and served with the most beautiful, seemingly just picked vegetables. There was also delicious gnocchi with guanciale and pea tendrils. Those little tendrils are so tender and delicate, they taste sweet and just like the peas that grow from them. If you haven't tried them they are a springtime must.

All in all each plate was prepared with care and creativity. Our server was incredible, knowledgeable and passionate about both food and wine. The evening was memorable and I look forward to our next visit to this truly inspiring spot.

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