Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mama's Boy Southern Table and Refuge in South Norwalk CT

This week we headed up to Fairfield county to the eclectic South Norwalk CT and experienced some good ole' southern hospitality at Mama's Boy Southern Table and Refuge.

As part of their fall promotion, they invited a great mix of media representatives to sample some of their fall offerings. The cowboy was FINALLY able to accompany me, and was equally excited to try some southern goodness. Since he's a good ole' boy from the hills of Virginia, I knew he'd really like a place that bills itself as a 'southern table and refuge'!

Mama's Boy Southern Table and Refuge

Mama's Boy Restaurant is incredibly easy to find! It's located directly across from the Norwalk Maritime Center, and steps away from an easy access parking garage. Just look for the red and white 25 foot high sea buoy, and the restaurant is right there behind it!

Mama's Boy Restaurant - The 25 ft buoy pictured above on the right acts as a great landmark!

As soon as we arrived we were warmly greeted by owner Greer Fredericks who gave us a quick tour and some background info on her beautiful new restaurant. Meanwhile, bartender Chris gave us the libation menu and I happily selected their famous "Georgia Peach" cocktail made with Ciroc Peach Vodka, Amaretto, Orange Juice, and Lemon Juice.
Chris prepared a Georgia Peach Cocktail
I absolutely loved the combination of the highly aromatic peach vodka, mixed with both orange and lemon juices, giving the martini both a sweet and tart flavor. I'm always leery of a too-sweet cocktail, and the tang from the lemon juice was the perfect addition!

After greeting our dining companions for the evening, we settled in to our corner section  to experience some of the low-country favorites featured at Mama's Boy! In attendance for the night were Kait from 4LoveofCarrots, Jenn from That'sSoJenn, Anatoli from Talk-a-Vino, Dee from Dee'sCuisine, Chris and Jeff from Cooking with Jeff and Christina, and new friends Frank from EpicCures / RestaurantsCT, and Valerie from BonVivant.

We started with  galvanized buckets of steaming hot boiled peanuts and a basket of delicious corn muffins!
(L) Redneck Edamame Georgia peanuts boiled in a house spice blend
(R) Basket of fresh made corn muffins fruit preserves and honey butter
Next up, fried chicken skin and deviled eggs with okra pickles. I'll sheepishly admit, that my favorite part of Thanksgiving is eating so much crispy, salty, turkey skin, that I don't have room for the Thanksgiving bird. The fried chicken skin had the same flavor profile and was amazingly good. Make sure you sample it on your visit!  The deviled eggs were equally good, and something I've never seen on a restaurant menu before. But you and I both know a good deviled egg is a favorite snack to almost everyone! Go on, admit it!

(L) Deviled Eggs house-smoked Tasso, okra pickles
(R) Fried Chicken Skins with pickled beets and jalapeno-garlic honey dips
Then we were treated to a cast iron cauldron of low country bouillabaisse! The broth was light, fresh, and flavorful and each and every item was cooked to perfection.

Low-country Bouillabaisse, made with grouper, white shrimp, mussels,
house-smoked andouille, baby corn, potato, shrimp broth
The mussels were sweet, the potatoes salty, the broth buttery, the grouper delicate, and the fusion of flavors was incredible! Each item was incredible. And, although the cowboy isn't a big fan of mussels or shrimp,(what's wrong with that boy?)  he loved the broth and kept going back for more grouper! And me? Well, of course, I kept going back for more of EVERYTHING!

Next up on our sampler menu were: The Charleston Crab Cake, a scrumptious chock full of lump crabmeat crispy cake sitting atop a bed of creamy sweet corn. Shrimp and Grits followed, and were served 'southern-style' perfectly centered in a cast iron skillet. The presentation was beautiful, as was the dish, flavorful shrimp, luscious grits, and a heavenly pimento cream gravy. The BLT Salad, but not your typical BLT, this one had a twist and was made with spicy candied bacon, artisan lettuce, and fried green tomatoes in a tangy buttermilk dressing!
(L) Charleston Crab Cakes, with creamed corn, house smoked bacon, red pepper, green onion
(C) Shrimp and Grits with white shrimp, Fall’s Mill grits, house-smoked Tasso, spring onion, pimento cream gravy
(R) BLT Salad made with fried green tomatoes, candied bacon, artisan lettuce, buttermilk-herb dressing
Time for the entrees! As if we weren't already full!! Next up was a Country Fried Game Hen served with collard greens and corn bread waffles. So good! The poultry was juicy and delicious on the inside, and light and flavorfully crispy on the outside. The cowboy was in collard green heaven.

And lastly, was what our waitress Nicole called "a mini-stegosaurus" a Crispy Pork Shank.
(L) The Little Yardbird marinated country fried game hen, corn bread waffle, braised collard greens
Brookside Farms maple syrup, habanero jelly
(R) Crispy Pork Shank Sea Island red pea maque choux, herb infused braising liquid

Don't ask me how, but we somehow found room for coffee and dessert! I had a wonderfully creamy rich cappuccino and at our table we shared thick gooey slices of spice cake, red velvet cake, and carrot cake.

A trio of Cakes and Cappuccino

Some must mentions from our visit.

Owner, Greer, was the consummate host and purveyor of hospitality, and a true appreciator of the southern style and charm. When I asked the Ridgefield CT native, "Why southern cuisine" - she immediately quipped "Why not". And I was an instant fan from there.

I agree. Why not!

Greer and her staff embody the true southern way of cooking, that doesn't necessarily mean 'dripping with butter' but is instead centered around the flavors of the south, and a love of good food, good conversation, and good company.

Chef Scott Ostrander, a CIA graduate, brings a decade of experience from around the south, and has even prepared his cuisine for two Presidents, Clinton and Bush. His love of the farm to table movement is evident in his use of so many locally sourced items and ingredients.

Pastry chef Natalie Duplessy, is a goddess. It's as simple as that. The cowboy is in love with her and her spice cake, and only begrudgingly, allowed others at the table to partake in our shared slice.

The atmosphere is relaxed, service is friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive. Tables are roomy, and seating is comfortable. Of special note are the dinner napkins, oversize cotton kitchen towels that sit nicely on the lap, and are soft and comfy to the touch. Much better than an overly starched white dinner napkin!

Large jugs of water are placed on the table. A relief for those of us that love to have a clear beverage with our meals. AND...If available, ask for "The Drink" a mix of gin and mint and Chris's secret ingredients. Oh so good, and the perfect accompaniment to a southern meal.

And classic blues music floats lightly in the background. Pure bliss.

We absolutely loved Mama's Boy in South Norwalk. And you will too! Stop by for their Madmen Lunch Specials, Sunday Brunch, and Happy Hour Specials.

19 North Water Street 
South Norwalk, CT 06854

Like them on facebook: facebook/mamasboy
Follow them on twitter: @mamasboyct
Follow them on instagram: @mamasboyct

Have you been to Mama's Boy?

Do you like southern style cooking?

What would you like to try from our sampling menu?

I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. 


Disclaimer: We were invited to this promotional  sampling at the Mama's Boy Southern Table and Refuge, however, the views and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Mama's Boy Southern Table & Refuge on Urbanspoon


  1. Yum. Now I'm craving their bouillabaisse. It was great seeing you that night. Hope to dine with you again soon.

    1. The bouillabaisse, the shrimp and grits, the crab cakes, I'm craving everything!
      Denise, always good to see you! Hope we meet up again soon!

  2. Denise, I had a great meal here earlier in the summer, and now you have reminded me that I definitely need to go back, especially to try the bouillabaisse! Yum!

  3. This one is going on my to do list!


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