Saturday, June 23, 2012

M3: First Impressions

I walked by Alfresco, a small Italian restaurant on the edge of Davis Square, many times; it was one of those places I always wanted to try, dining in candlelight at a table for two on the sidewalk. Joel rarely craves Italian food, though, so we never made it over there. (Me? I could eat pasta for every meal for the rest of my life.) It's closed now, and the founder of South Boston's Local 149 has recently opened M3 in the space. M3 is apparently Southern code for "meat 'n' three sides." I can get behind that.

I met Tasted Menu colleagues around 7 PM on Friday, unsurprisingly facing quite a wait for a table in the relatively small space. Four stools at the counter opened up quickly, though, so we settled for that instead of a table. For noise reasons, I wouldn't recommend a party larger than two or three taking a seat at the counter; I could barely hear the conversation the entire night. It was fun, though, getting a peek into the kitchen and chatting with various staff members as they passed by.

The ambiance is lively and cozy - and by that I mean loud and cramped - but in a good way. It feels a bit like the lovechild of Highland Kitchen and Trina's Starlite Lounge, two of my absolute favorites, so I feel right at home. The walls and even the tables are covered with chalkboard paint, and food and drink specials are scrawled in pastels, different sections set off by empty picture frames. Funky chandeliers hang from the ceiling, and the lighting is enhanced by a string of mason jar lamps.

Amongst the four of us, we covered a good deal of the menu, which features charcuterie, appetizers, small plates, entrees, sides, and desserts. The entrees, all in the $18 range, include three sides; sides alone are $4 each. I was particularly attached to the lime garlic chili fries, but I was pretty happy with everything overall. Since the restaurant has just barely opened, I won't review it fully until it has had a few months to settle in, but my first impression is quite positive. I will definitely be back, and I think it will do very well in the neighborhood. And now, a peek at the food:

fried cheese curd: state of Maine cheese, flash-fried, red gravy
duck drumsticks: duck legs, superberry bbq, apple jicama slaw
peaches & cream: frisee, soft goat, arugula, walnut, pistachio, blackberry vin
crab deviled eggs: farm fresh, blue crab
hot water cornbread
brussels sprouts
macaroni 'n' cheese
lime garlic chili fries
thin pan-fried catfish: fresh water, cornbread, white harissa
beer can hen: porkslap ale, garlic & herbs, honey butter
strawberry cake
strawberry cake
coconut cream cake
derby pie

M3 on UrbanspoonSee my favorite dishes at this restaurant on Tasted Menu

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