I wasn’t very excited to be going to Pammy’s. It didn’t even seem to me to belong in this group. It’s only been around since 2018, by comparison Grill 23 is thirty-five years older. On top of that, the one time I had been there, to have a drink, it just didn’t impress me much. I have no problem admitting when I am wrong and in this case, I was very wrong.
Entering the restaurant, you move through the bar and lounge area into the bright and airy dining room with large widows looking out onto Mass Ave. A row of fresh flowers runs down the middle of the long communal table at the center of the room. Service is knowledgeable and friendly. Pammy’s is well staffed and attentive, showing no signs of the current hiring challenge.
The menu is a three-course choose your own adventure. It’s easy to pick one light dish, one pasta, and one main course, but there is nothing stopping you from having three heavy dishes or three pastas for that matter. Maybe you should, because their pasta is outstanding, but we will get to that. They also offer a wine parings, which I, of course, recommend.
I began with the Madeline, a fresh gin cocktail featuring Pammy’s house-made Meyer Limoncello. The bread should not be overlooked, and while it isn’t innovative, it is perfectly executed, light and fluffy with big air pockets and a toothsome, salty crust.
The first course was octopus, sandwiched between plantain and a fried egg, dusted with paprika. It was paired with Edelzwicker by Union Sacré, and Alsatian style white blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Pinot Blanc. The richness of the egg, the slight sweetness of the plantains, and the exceptional octopus make this a beautiful dish.
We then moved into the pasta course, I opted for the delicate Tajarin, a long, very thing pasta served with dried apricots, fava beans, and buffalo butter. This was paired with Los Chuchaquis 2021 sparkling wine, made of Californian Albariño grapes. A heavenly summertime dish, I have not enjoyed a pasta dish this much since Erbaluce closed. And really that might be why I love Pammy’s so much, though quite different, there is something similar in the soul of both restaurants, you feel how much they love food. This was likewise true when we visited Asta earlier this year, and it makes all the difference.
My dinner finished with lamb chops over pistachio couscous and a savory, verdant sauce. The lamb was pleasantly fatty, but if you are one to avoid fat (I am not.), you might want to find a different dish. It was paired with a Grenache, the 2021 Margins Paicines. I was also fortunate to taste a few bites of my wife’s pork milanese topped with arugula and jicama. The natural sweetness of the pork and the peppery arugula was magnificent. When I return, I will make sure to get more than a few bites of this.
For dessert, a Grappa and the creamy strawberry panna cotta. Here is another reason to love Pammy’s, they take a dessert as basic as panna cotta and make it perfect. It isn’t all about giving you something you never had before, it’s also about giving you something you have had a hundred times just better than you’ve ever had it.
The three courses cost $69, and wine pairing is an additional $45. With cocktails, dessert, and tip the total bill came to almost $400. My only objection is the 6% kitchen fee. I know this is a thing these days, and I am all for paying the back of the house, but without going into a long rant, let’s just get rid of all tips and fees and charge what you need to charge to pay your staff. But I digress, Pammy’s is worth the money and if you are on a budget, you can always sit at the bar or in the lounge and order a la carte.
This was sixth Hall of Famer we visited, and right now it’s absolutely in the top three. The food was amazing, the service on point, and the atmosphere energetic but refined. It was everything a modern restaurant is supposed to be, relaxed but not casual. It’s a serious restaurant that seriously loves food but makes you feel comfortable and welcome every moment of your visit.