By Molly McDonough · 08/02/2018    Cambridge · Italian · New American · $$$

A restaurant is a bit like a garden. If overly manicured, it feels awkward and stuffy; when done right, its unexpected splashes of color and light catch our eyes, its tangled botanicals draw us in. Stepping into Pammy’s, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the coastal Italian giardino of your dreams. In this eclectic setting, marbled and mirrored surfaces mingle with rustic wood, and a statue of a Greek goddess framed by greenery presides over a heaping plate of citrus fruits. Staff with genuine smiles welcome you. Want a cocktail? No problem. Quickly poured via draft, your Negroni is practically waiting for you.

Interior of Pammy's

And while any great garden conveys a whimsical effortlessness, it still requires a carefully executed plan, one that balances chaos with organization, mystery with approachability. After a year of drawing the crowds, Pammy’s is known across town, and its team—a group of friendly, unpretentious restaurant pros with a clear passion for food and service—nails it.

Here, homey Italian-influenced dishes are turned out with a mix of honed skill and splashes of inspiration. Chunks of gooey burrata are dolloped into a cool, creamy, featherlight cucumber soup on a hot summer night. Snail-shaped Lumache pasta is doused in a Bolognese rendered spicy with Korean gochujang. A sweet crostata, stuffed with whatever’s ripe and in season, sends fresh-baked-pie aromas wafting through the dining room.

Lumache Pasta from Pammy's

From behind the marble bar come some of the city’s best cocktails, from the squash and cognac-laced Ichabod to the Casper, which blends hazelnut orgeat with rose and nutmeg. Meanwhile, general manager and wine director Lauren Hayes curates a tight list of natural wines guaranteed to guide you to a new favorite.

From aperitivo to passito, expect a series of revelations in this neighborhood gem, all presented with the right blend of attention to detail and effortless flair. You’re in good hands.

Food at Pammy's

Upholding one of Italy’s best traditions, Pammy’s offers an aperitivo hour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Head to the bar and lounge for special cocktails and snacks.

Want to start your meal in style but don’t want to commit to a full cocktail before diving into a natural wine? Pammy’s slings aperitif-sized versions of its draft cocktails, including the Negroni, at just over half the price of the full size.

Pammy’s is booked out nightly, but keep in mind that the bar and lounge area is open for walk-ins. The lounge’s marble tables are tiny, but it works: especially on winter nights, when your pasta and Negroni are framed by the glow of the fireplace.

Must Haves

  • Praise the pecorino and melt into that liver mousse. When this gracefully composed plate of cheese and meat appears, Pammy’s will officially steal your heart.

  • Plump and oh-so-fresh, these beauties are dolloped with a silky lime leaf aioli and wedged next to balls of squid ink arancini.

  • A Bolognese sauce with Korean spice. Taste it and you’ll understand why.

Fun Fact

Heard of the Willis brothers (David and Will) behind Bully Boy Distillers? Their brother Chris is the co-owner and chef of Pammy’s. So, it’s no surprise that this restaurant is a solid spot to sample the Roxbury distillery’s spirits.

Tastes of Pammy's

So good we can't stop writing about it. Read more about Pammy's!

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