As the wind picks up and the skies turn grey, students across campus are starting to realize that falling asleep with your cases is 1) an ineffective studying strategy, and 2) no substitute for a warm body. HBS, welcome to cuffing season.
Recognized as the inverse relationship between the temperature outside and the desire to be coupled, cuffing season appeals to our basic instincts to seek shelter, sustenance, and someone (literally anyone) to avoid #SingleAF status at holiday parties. And while satisfying that last need here is about as easy as coordinating an EVOLVE dinner, fortunately, there exists a place for the first two.
Enter Pammy’s, the first restaurant from wife-and-husband team Pam and Chris Willis (of course it’s owned by a happy couple). It feels appropriate that a crackling double-sided fireplace greets patrons before they are ensconced in buttery leather booths or at the central communal table. The size of the latter allows for a sense of intimacy, as besotted lovers sit next to each other, their eyes sparkling under the Edison bulbs.
Conversations blossom over drinks and starters: th
e frothy, piquant Pepe di Rosa cocktail, softened by honey; a rich foie torchon, studded with pistachios and seduced by the sweetness of figs. The Italian-leaning menu finds its obvious strength in the handmade pastas, perfect portions for sharing with your beloved. Try feeding each other bites of the ridged lumache, coated in a subtly spicy gochujang bolognese, or go full Lady-and-the-Tramp with the spaghetti pomodoro, covered in so much grated pecorino that I thought it was already EC Ski Weekend. Rounding out the meal are the artfully plated mains: an unctuous and hearty Berkshire chop (because it’s too late for them to leave you), or a bavette of Wagyu (red and tender, like your heart).
Of course, relationships are never perfect. Couples averse to working out together should avoid the overly-vegetal P’s & Q’s drink, which my companion likened to a vodka-green juice. Those who struggle with confrontation should steer clear of the octopus, whose tough exterior prevented any easy resolution.
Pammy’s cozy charm and delightful dishes make it a welcome addition to the neighborhood, but single diners beware: being surrounded by the heads tilted back in laughter, the hands clasped over affogato, and the endless chorus of “No, you finish the last bite,” may just make you lose your appetite. Table for one? More like Seamless and run.
- Pammy’s—928 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge—pammyscambridge.com
- *** (Out of four stars)
- $$$ (Out of four dollar signs)
Aki Terasaki (HBS ’18) spent the last eight years satiating his appetite (and emptying his wallet) in the city of New York. Now he enjoys regaling anyone who will listen with tales of #startuplife and fulfilling the role of Old Section A’s Chief Snark Officer (unofficial title)