Fall-ing for Ma Maison
The greatest season is upon us. Bring me the foliage. Bring me bulky sweaters. Bring me every pumpkin spice product you can find. I may be thirty … err…something, but I’m forever that six-year-old girl jumping into pile of leaves. Autumn makes my heart glow.
The best part of the season? Comfort food- all of those hearty dishes that fill us with euphoria. Maybe they give us a sense of nostalgia. Maybe they just warm us on a blustery day. I wanted to kick-off the season with a spectacular dinner- something to warm my soul.
I wanted Ma Maison. No, not my actual house. You’d be lucky to find expired breadcrumbs in my cabinets lately. Boston’s Ma Maison serves classic French fare with sophistication. Perhaps when I mentioned ‘comfort food’ you were thinking piles of mashed potatoes and chicken pot pie, but traditional French cuisine is the ultimate comfort food. You can eat a serving of Coq au Vin, feel full, but not so full that you cramp from breathing. French food is filling, but the portions are just right. All the great tastes without that gluttonous feeling of eater’s remorse.
Ma Maison takes its patrons directly to France. Through the giant velour curtain, guests are greeted by the subtle ambiance of candlelit tables, nestled close together against exposed brick, and a beverage cart that might have stepped out of La Belle Époque– you’ll feel as though you’ve been teleported to Montmartre. Absent of overdone frill and kitschy themes, the restaurant’s beauty resides in simplistic, wholesome décor, and of course, a phenomenal menu.
Apart from esthetic, the service at Ma Maison is nothing short of stellar. Our friendly server was tentative to our needs, but not overbearing. That’s what I love French restaurant culture. When I’m engaged in great conversation with friends, I don’t want to be interrupted thirty times to make sure I have enough soda. The French respect the camaraderie a good meal can provoke, and you should expect no less here.
Trying to decide my meal game plan was torture. At Ma Maison, you should expect to find the classic French dishes: French onion soup, escargot, steak tartare, coq-au-vin, beef bourguignon, and steak frites. However, don’t be fooled- these are all the basic staples with a slightly modern twist. My sinfully tender Duck Magret à L’orange was served with mouthwatering mashed Brussel sprouts. The beef bourguignon, served alongside a croquette potato, melted at first bite. The croquette had the crunchiest exterior pairing impeccably with a fluffy, mashed potato filling. Feeling thirsty now? Don’t forget about the wine and spirits! The wine selection accommodates all tastes and budgets- even offering special vintage varietals. The cocktails are just as impressive. My group started with the Cocktail Ma Maison– champagne with raspberry liquor- and it was the perfect way to begin our experience. Also concluding the meal on a sweet note, we managed to use the little room left in our bellies to indulge in a light dessert of scrumptious macaron and a Grand Marnier soufflé.
The atmosphere and staff made me feel at relaxed and at home. The flavors stirred my own comforting memories of France. The timeless meals made me envious of anyone lucky enough to grow-up with such fare. Even if you are not from France, Ma Maison will take you to the french childhood you never had.
À la prochaine!
272 Cambridge St.
Boston, MA 02114