It seems like every time we drive by this particular spot in South Norwalk by the Maritime Aquarium, it’s a different restaurant.  Which is too bad because it’s in a great location and a beautiful building.  We’ve been living in SoNo for almost 3 years now and we’ve never visited any of the previous restaurants that were there.

But when we saw the new Mama’s Boy signs being put up, the name itself intrigued us. Then when we realized it was southern style food, we were definitely excited to check it out. As people who cook, we get excited to go out and try different cuisines that we don’t cook at home.

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As we walked up to Mama’s Boy, fall was in the air and in the decor.  Our stomachs were rumbling after a long day of work and we were certainly ready for a drink… or 5.

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If you know your way around SoNo, you’ll know that there really aren’t a ton of options for outdoor seating (which is certainly a miss).  So you’ll be happy to know that Mama’s Boy has outdoor seating with a great view of the historic Maritime area of South Norwalk.

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We were greeted by our friends and fellow blogger friends, Linda from MaxExposureTalk-A-Vino, CT BloggersThat’s SO Jenn, For The Love of Carrots, Home Place Blog, Dee Cuisine, and Bon Vivant.  Our hosts were lovely and immediately grabbed us a drink menu.  There were SO many great choices that we didn’t know what to try first!

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Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour – Maker’s Mark, Rosemary, Maple Syrup, Egg White

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Pear Necessity – Pear Vodka, Prosecco, St. Germain, Pear Juice

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Watermelon Mint Vodkarita – Salty Watermelon Vodka, Mint, Lime, Watermelon

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Scarlett O – Ciroc Peach, Ginger & Beet Infused Simple Syrup, Lemon

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Southern Peach – Ciroc Peach, Amaretto, Lemon, Orange Juice

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The Drink – Barrel-Aged Gin in Cucumber, Lemon and Lime, and Mint

The owner and creator of Mama’s Boy, Greer Fredericks, took us on a tour of the restaurant before we sat down.  The decor is spot on – classy, comfortable with a southern flair, but not forced at all.   image[8]The bartenders at Mama’s Boy, besides just being talented, are also some of the warmest and most inviting that we’ve encountered in our travels.  If you are unsure of what to order from the innovative drink menu, ask for a recommendation and you will not be disappointed.

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The Chef’s Table – where you can sit and watch the magic happen!

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The Community Table – they say strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet… Sit at this long beautiful table and you can mingle with other social folks.

image[9] After our tour and introduction to the cocktail repertoire, it was time to sit down for dinner. After thoroughly getting into the spirit (or spirits!) of Mama’s Boy, the hits just kept on coming!  On our table we found mini cornbreads, freshly baked, soft and warm.  The cornbread is served with house made pepper jelly and herb butter.  Each gave the cornbread a fantastic flavor boost leaving us wanting more!

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Mini Cornbreads with Pepper Jelly and Herb Butter … a delicious way to start the meal!

Ever heard of Redneck Edamame? Neither had we… Apparently, we were missing out.  Who knew peanuts boiled in spices could be so amazing?! Trying not to stuff up on these delectable treats was a challenge, but once the Chicken Skins and Deviled Eggs rolled out we had a couple new loves.  The Chicken Skins can be best described as the best part of any good fried chicken.  Take the amazing herby crunchiness of the fried chicken skin and serve it with pickled beets and jalapeño garlic-honey and you have a winner. For those of you that love deviled eggs, you would be hard pressed to find better!  The pickled okra and house smoked tasso add a distinct element that is unique to Mama’s Boy.

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Redneck Edemame – Georgia Peanuts Boiled in the House Spice Blend… AWESOME and so different!!

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Chicken Skins – pickled beets, jalapeno garlic – honey

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Deviled Eggs – House Smoked Tasso, Pickled Okra

The next gift from the chef was the Charleston Crab Cake.  This is what a crab cake should be, lots of crab! Beautifully seasoned and served over creamed corn with house smoked bacon, red pepper and green onion, this appetizer showcases all of the ingredients on the plate.

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Charleston Crab Cake – Creamed Corn, House Smoked Bacon, Red Pepper, Green Onion…. TO DIE FOR!

If there is something that Cristina enjoys thoroughly, it’s a good bouillabaisse.  It was a nice surprise that our next course was just that!  The Low-Country Bouillabaisse brought all of the elements to satisfy any bouillabaisse lover.  There was a plethora of seafood, including grouper, white shrimp, and mussels. Combine that with the smoky depth of a house smoked andouille sausage as well as baby corn, potato, and shrimp broth, and you have everyone at the table reaching for anything on the table to soak up the liquid gold.

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Low-Country Bouillabaisse – Grouper, White Shrimp, Mussels, House-Smoked Andouille, Baby Corn, Potato, Shrimp Broth … this was Cristina’s favorite!

Next up was the BLT Salad. This is NOT your typical BLT… it’s like a BLT on steroids!  The fried green tomato was fried to perfection and the candied bacon just hit the dish out of the park!

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BLT Salad – Fried Green Tomato, Candied Bacon, Artisan Lettuce, Buttermilk-Herb Dressing

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We’ve had shrimp & grits a lot of places, but this one totally takes the cake!  The flavors of this dish were unique, but still stayed true to the real southern “shrimp & grits”.  This was probably our second favorite, but who’s counting?

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Shrimp & Grits – White Shrimp, Fall’s Mill Grits, House-Smoked Tasso, Spring Onion, Pimento Cream Gravy … this was also one of our favorites!

Chicken & waffles always seemed like a weird combo to us until we finally tried it!  This waffle was the perfect amount of sweetness and was paired flawlessly with the fried chicken.  The texture of the waffles was something we have never really tried before – the cornmeal gave them such an interesting texture and kept them from getting soggy.  If you’ve never tried chicken & waffles before, we suggest you try this!!

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The Little Yardbird – Marinated Country Fried Game Hen, Corn Bread Waffle, Braised Collard Greens, Brookside Farm’s Maple Syrup, Habanero Jelly… This was unreal! The texture of the waffle was perfect and the dish was a flavor explosion in your mouth.

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Just when we thought we couldn’t fit anything else in our full stomachs, the Crispy Pork Shank came out.  It’s a good thing there wasn’t much meat on this because we were beyond stuffed.  But the flavors of this dish were impeccable and the name certainly does it justice – it’s amazingly crispy.  Plus, the beans & corn salad underneath complimented the shank very nicely.

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Crispy Pork Shank – Sea Island Red Pea Marque Choux, Herb Infused Braising Liquid

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Well… we HAD to find room in our stomachs for the dessert!  We haven’t tried cake like this in, well,  EVER!  It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the Fall Spice Cake definitely tickled our fancy.  If you love Red Velvet, you NEED TO TRY THIS!!  It’s light and fluffy, but not light in flavor.  And the same goes for the Carrot Cake.  And the frosting was too good to be true.

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And just when we were about to pop, we had the Trio of House Made Cakes – Red Velvet, Fall Spice, and Carrot Cake. Each cake was simple divine. We wish we had more room!

So needless to say that we’ve already been back to Mama’s Boy twice since our first visit! We are so impressed with all Mama’s Boy has to offer and we are looking forward to trying everything on the menu!

Not that you need MORE excuses to get out and visit Mama’s Boy, but here are another few goodies!

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Mama’s Boy Southern Table & Refuge 

Website: http://www.mamasboyct.com/

Address: 19 North Water Street, South Norwalk, CT 06854

Phone: 203-956-7171

Price: $$$

Do they take reservations?  Yes, Open Table

Attire?  Smart casual

Vibe?  Southern Rustic, Trendy, Medium Noise

Hours:

Closed Mondays

Tuesday – Thursday
Bar open at 4:00 pm
Dinner 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Friday – Saturday
Lunch 11:30 am – 3:00 pm
Dinner 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Saturday
Lite Fare Menu 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Sunday
Brunch 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

-Cristina & Jeff