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« Invites: Happy Hour on The Patio @ Artisan Southport | Main | The Beer Garden @ Harbor Point Stamford Opens Tonight »

Mama's Boy Southern Table & Refuge Opens in SONO

With little fanfare, Mama’s Boy Southern Table and Refuge, the newest addition to the SONO food scene is slowly opening its doors. Based on traditional Southern hospitality and cuisine, the restaurant will deliver the comfort food of the south combined with a relaxed atmosphere.  As the website states, “Mama’s Boy is putting the “South” in South Norwalk.”

The interior has been completely redesigned. Using woods and material from an old water tower from Florence, South Carolina, owners Greer Fredericks and Ami Dorel created a warm environment from top to bottom. The lighting is soft and inviting, the music gives a perfect background through various genres and the service is straight from Charleston, friendly and incredibly helpful. Upon entering you can choose a seat at the long bar or one of the tables along the wall with a long comfortable banquette. In the rear is a second dining area that is guarded by two windows that were reclaimed from Al Capone’s summer residence. This dining area features a traditional “mirror wall,” you have to see it to completely understand and appreciate.

Executive Chef Scott Ostrander is overseeing the kitchen and he brings his southern roots and recipes to SONO, plus his experience cooking for Presidents Bush (both) and Clinton. Chef Ostrander is sourcing many of his ingredients locally, to complement many that are arriving straight from South Carolina. The menu contains traditional choices, including Fried Oysters, She Crab Soup, Shrimp & Grits, Fried Chicken & Waffles and, of course, Fried Catfish.  A quick taste of the chicken immediately placed this dish on the Must Have list. Leave room for desserts, as the kitchen is currently creating some outstanding Banana Pudding Crème Brulée and Pecan Cheesecake.

This will be a great addition to SONO.

Stay tuned as CTbites return to Mama’s Boy in a few weeks for a complete review.


19 North Water Street - South Norwalk, CT - 06854 - (203) 956-7171

Mama's Boy Southern Table & Refuge on Urbanspoon

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Reader Comments (13)

Looks awesome! I sure hope they can give it go in that spot cause all others haven't. We'll be there this weekend for chicken and waffles. Anything brunch activity??? Or a website?

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJP

Looking forward to it. It's just the excuse I needed to take a jaunt over to SONO.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

I stopped by today and the space is beautiful. They actually aren't starting lunch service until Tuesday May 14th but they are now open each night starting at 5pm. I hope that they will stick around in that space. I can't wait to try the food!

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Ate there today. For a place open four days, there were definitely some very impressive aspects as well as some misses. Space is oddly shaped but attractive. Service was friendly and pretty competent but definitely still working out kinks. Prices are gentle. We started with a delicious BLT salad with candied bacon, fried green tomato and buttermilk ranch. Seriously one of the tastiest salads I've ever had. A half portion of shrimp and grits was very nice - creamy grits and a nice, subtle sauce. My husband's half portion of fried guinea hen was cooked really well but the meat/waffles/okra needed more sauce. The dish was a bit dry. My hanger steak entree was nothing special, though the fries on the side were good. Husband got the cornmeal crusted catfish and though he didn't care for it, I enjoyed my one bite. Overall, there's definitely room for improvement but they're off to a good enough start that I would definitely give them another chance.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermla19

This looks pretty good. I hope they make it. SoNo is famous for turnover.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRK

Fine for fans of fried.

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Iseman

Fabulous space - attentive staff and innovative chef!
"Southern bistro" describes this new, fun SoNo
Establishment... Definitely putting the South in South Norwalk!

When one thinks of a Southern menu, one immediately
Thinks of "fried" but this is not the case with this
Very special menu where locally sourced fresh ingredients
And special flavors come to life! A refreshing change!

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouise

Thank you Louise, your comments are informative and welcome.

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTWJ

Love everything about this place from the serious Southern chef Scott Ostrander to the hands-on owner, Greer Fredericks, to the reclaimed wood tables built by the staff to the innovative drink menu. Mama's Boy offers a rare combination of friendly hospitality and great eats. And, no, you don't have to choose the heaviest items on the menu - although the cheese grits are certainly worth the splurge. In fact, they might just be the best grits we ever had - and we lived in the South for ten years. My husband had the fried chicken biscuit with sausage gravy. I enjoyed the BLT salad with grilled chicken. Their shirts may say "Kiss my Grits" but this restaurant is no Mel's Diner. They are serving up Cheers hospitality and Fat Hen cuisine.

May 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

AMAZINGLY good chopped salad with AMAZINGLY good grilled shrimp for lunch, but for $17 for a LUNCH salad, I'll have to save it for "special occasions". Love the decor, staff, menu! Thrilled to have you in Norwalk!

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlazy runner

Went to check out Mama's Boy last Saturday. For a rainy evening on Memorial Day weekend, the place was packed. The two of us were seated towards the front at a comfortable table near the bar. First things first — as a born & raised Southerner, I thought the ambiance was just incredible. Everything from the music and reclaimed wood to the lighting fixtures and light bulb flower vases on the table made me happy. I found our server to be a tad awkward at first (polite, sure, just not as warm as I expected), and I think most of that was due to the use of an iPad or some kind of tablet to take our order. You kind of say what you want and you're done, then the server is left to stand there for another minute or so while he repeats it and enters it into the tablet. Small detail, I know, but it kind of makes for awkward interactions.

Now, on to the food. I was SUPER excited to have some candied bacon as an app because I saw it mentioned on their Facebook page days earlier. The server said they only have it on their BLT sandwich, not as a standalone item. I was disappointed, but we ordered the mac and cheese as an app. The bread crumbs were abundant and the chunky pieces of bacon were awesome. Not amazingly crazy about the corkscrew-shape pasta (reminded me of Boston Market), but it was good nonetheless. I had the Cheerwine braised short rib with greens and roasted potatoes (no grits for me), and he had the sirloin steak. Being a Southerner originally, I was psyched about the Cheerwine (a very popular cherry soda down South), but sadly, couldn't taste anything like it in the dish. It was a good short rib (not the most tender or moist I've ever had), but B+ for effort. Wish it was more moist and maybe slightly more Cheerwine-inspired zest. His steak was good. We had to ask for the cornbread (seemed like most tables didn't get it unless they asked), and damn was it good! Especially loved the soft butter, and the jalapeno jelly was TO DIE FOR (so, so good!).

We were full and ended the evening with a MASSIVE piece of the red velvet cake and took it to go. We both enjoyed it later that evening. Saw some other desserts on neighboring tables and everything looked great.

On our way out, a woman in black who had earlier given tons of attention to a large party near us asked us if everything was good. I assumed she was the notorious Greer who owns the joint, and she was. I took the time to tell her about my candied bacon idea, and we talked to her in the entryway for about 5 minutes. She was AWESOME, warm, full of hugs and laughs, and my kind of sense of humor. She told us about upcoming brunch ideas and all about her process and journey in opening Mama's Boy.

Looking forward to taking friends back again soon. I'm hoping as the seasons change, so does the menu as we all love a little variety. Overall, REALLY ecstatic to have a taste of Southern spirit in Norwalk.

May 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Ate here today during my lunch break with some co-workers. Very good food and beautiful atmosphere. I loved all the fresh cut flowers and can't wait to go back for a cocktail soon.

June 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterelise

Any Michelin stars?

July 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFoodie online

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