Acclaimed Kendall Square restaurant Hungry Mother closed in July 2015, breaking Cambridge diners’ hearts, but the team (minus chef Barry Maiden) promised to eventually open something new in the “much beloved cozy corner space on Cardinal Medeiros.”
The forthcoming restaurant, Cafe du Pays, made its debut on Instagram earlier this month, describing itself as a “French-Canadian kitchen coming soon to 233 Cardinal Medeiros.” So far, the account features two photos: an old 45 of the song “Un p’tit verre du p’tit vin du pays” (a little glass of country wine) by Georges Guétary and some lamps.
Stay tuned for more details on Cafe du Pays; Eater has reached out to the team, and this story will be updated when more information becomes available. In general, French-Canadian cuisine is hearty and meaty, featuring dishes such as meat pies (tourtières), pea soup, and of course poutine. Maple syrup is also an important ingredient in French-Canadian cooking.
Since Hungry Mother’s closure, John Kessen, Rachel Miller Munzer, Alon Munzer, Heather Mojer, Tyler Sundet, and Rachel Sundet have been busy nearby, operating State Park (which opened at the end of 2013) and opening Mamaleh’s, both located at One Kendall Square. This week, they also added an outdoor bar by the elevator outside of Mamaleh’s (appropriately named The Bar by the Elevator).
But over at 233 Cardinal Medeiros, the team has been quietly working on Cafe du Pays for a while now. Earlier this year, they successfully petitioned for a variance that allows them to avoid installing a third bathroom, which would have negatively impacted the unique layout of the space and “the viability of a successful business.” Hungry Mother operated for seven years with no problems with the existing two-bathroom setup.
Stay tuned for an opening timeline — and perhaps some poutine.
Update, 6/16/17: Cafe du Pays will open in June, according to a newsletter from the State Park/Mamaleh’s/Cafe du Pays team, featuring a menu developed by head chef Dan Amighi (La Brasa, Little Big Diner) and the Sundets. Expect “hearty cuisine, balanced with lighter New England seafood and produce.” On the beverage side: “Quebec and New England breweries” will be featured alongside “French wine and spirits,” and the cocktail list will feature ingredients “from Canada down through Massachusetts.”
“We’re not trying to do the Martin Picard-sugar-shack authenticity,” Mojer, who has French-Canadian heritage, told Boston Magazine earlier this month. “We’re doing the New England version of it, when you had meat pies at Christmas or New Year’s, or you had those dishes that your friends without a Mémère didn’t grow up with.”
Cafe du Pays is currently hiring for many positions.
• Cafe du Pays [Instagram]
• Cafe du Pays [Official Site]
• Hungry Mother Team Tackles Plumbing Problems to Open New Concept in the Space [EBOS]