Mama’s Boy – Southern Hospitality in South Norwalk


After several visits to Mama’s Boy Southern Table and Refuge in SONO I can highly recommend this restaurant for its food and ambiance.  Fairfield County native and owner Greer Fredericks, and her business partner Ami Dorel, bring a southern feel to the décor, and Chef Scott Ostrander is making his mark on the menu with some great dishes.

The “BBQ Pulled Pork” contained great texture and flavors that were accented with a touch of spiciness from the jalapeño corn pancakes. The Mama’s Bourbon Q sauce added a deep rich element to the dish.

The “Charleston Crab Cakes” were served alongside a medley of tomato, corn, butterbeans, and lemon herb aioli. The cylinder-shaped cakes were full of crab and the accompanying vegetables were a perfect complement for sweetness and texture.

DSC_1551-001The menu also offers “Deviled Eggs” with house-smoked Tasso, and okra pickles. The Tasso added smokiness to the creamy yolks, and the major difference between Mama’s and others is the pickled okra. Combining a piece of okra with the deviled eggs was like no other Deviled Egg I have ever tasted. The “Salt ‘n Vinegar Fried Oysters” were fried perfectly and were delicious with the addition of the vinegar.

The Soup & Salad contains two great options. The “BLT Salad” was delicious, but not a reduced calorie recipe. It included fried green tomato, candied bacon, artisan lettuce, and topped with a buttermilk-herb dressing. The combination of the sweet and peppery bacon, the crispy fried green tomato (a thicker slice would have been preferred) and the sweet field lettuces created a delicious salad.

The “Shrimp and Grits” is becoming their signature dish and it just kept getting better. On my latest visit the appetizer-sized dish contained three U-21 southern white shrimp, sitting atop Fall’s Mill grits, topped with house-smoked Tasso, spring onion, and finished with pimento cream gravy. The shrimp are sweet and the grits were fantastic; the texture was creamy with a little crunch.

True to southern cuisine, Mama’s offers its version of the traditional chicken ‘n waffles. “The Little Yardbird” includes pieces of hens that were first marinated in pickle juice and hot sauce and then deep fried. The result was an incredibly moist meat with flavor and texture from the crispy coating. Paired with the waffles, bourbon infused NY sorghum (I prefer a sweeter, more maple-y sauce) and braised greens.

SONO now has catfish on the menu. Mama’s Boy serves its “Corn Bread Crusted Catfish” with Carolina Anson Mills rice, okra, Vidalia onion and smoked tomato.  The filet was moist on the interior and crispy on the exterior while the corn bread coating gave a sweet component to the fish. The sauce was delicious and contained dices of both okra and additional tomato; the rice was a soft textural complement to the dish. I added a few drops of hot sauce to give the dish a little kick.

The “Mushroom and Dumplings” is actually “potato gnocchi, exotic mushroom blend, herbs, and a sunny side farm egg.” The potato gnocchi were sautéed to achieve a crispy exterior and then combined with Mitaki, Oyster and Cremini mushrooms. Sitting atop was a fried egg, awaiting the release of its creamy yolk, which added a great flavor and creaminess when released. The seasoning was slightly off on the dish I sampled with the gnocchi under-seasoned, a little too much vinegar in the mushrooms and a little too much salt sprinkled on top. This is definitely a re-try for my next visit.

And save room for one of the best desserts, Mama’s Boy’s Pecan Cheese Cake. A creamy wedge of moist cheesecake was accented with a sweet topping of maple and pecans. This was a perfect way to end the evening.

DSC_1376-001Overall Mama’s Boy Southern Table and Refuge is an excellent choice in SONO. The food is creative, inventive and offers a new cuisine to the area and the atmosphere is relaxed, fun and very southern.

Mama’s Boy Southern Table & Refuge

19 North Water Street – South Norwalk, CT – (203) 956-7171

Really Liked:

  • BBQ Pulled Pork
  • Charleston Crab Cakes
  • BLT Salad
  • Shrimp & Grits
  • Little Yardbird
  • Pecan Cheesecake

Liked:

  • Salt ‘n Vinegar Fried Oysters
  • She Crab Soup
  • Corn Bread Crusted Catfish

Needs a revisit:

  • Mushroom and Dumplings
  • John’s Island Frogtown Stew

A more detailed review appeared in http://www.ctbites.com at

http://www.ctbites.com/home/2013/6/23/mamas-boy-southern-table-refuge-southern-in-sono.html

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