The Dinearound had developed an aversion to white tablecloth dining.
On our last visit to such a restaurant we had been amazed at the bread service. A member of the waitstaff traipsed through the dining room with a basket and tongs bestowing bits of baguette on the patrons. For us, it was too precious, too twee and too cheap! We would now seek less ethereal eateries. And so, having enjoyed Tupolo several times – but not so much Hungry Mother – we thought a visit to M3 was in order since this “concept in Southern dining” of “meat n’ three” – a meat entree with three sides – spoke to us.We picked the perfect night for comfort food – Greater Boston was plunged into near arctic cold.
First off, the beverage menu. M3 – true to its down-home roots – features beer in cans, lotsa cans. There are several beers on tap, two wines on tap from the Gotham Project and Prosecco. Prosecco? My guess is this is for those who brunch since M3 does serve brunch. I was torn – one of my favorite beers was available in cans, “Porkslap”, while “Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale” was on tap. I went with the “Kentucky Bourbon Barrel”; after several of these at 8.2 ABV, I wouldn’t care about the weather.
To begin with we ordered the duck drumsticks and a charcuterie plate. Charcuterie? Again a bit of cognitive dissonance – charcuterie in a Southern-inspired resto? The menu did appear bonafide Southern-inflected. Anyway, the speck caught our attention as did the salami and duck terrine. The drumsticks were wonderfully tasty, succulent and falling-off-the-bone tender; the BBQ sauce and house made ranch dressing – with dill! – perfect condiments. The charcuterie plate was generous and delicious – good portions of the meats and terrine – and a melange of pickled veggies. The only off element was the bread that accompanied the plate which was just a bit industrial for my taste.
Entree time – fried steak, meatloaf, statler- cut breast breast of chicken with vegetable stew – the blue plate special of the day – and shrimp and grits. (How could we dine Southern-style without grits?) All were well received. The meatloaf and chicken-fried steak both came with a choice of three sides. And choosing those sides can be difficult since there are a dozen plus listed on the menu. Both eaters were happy. The resident Dinearound foodie declared the chicken breast to be better than it sounded. I had the shrimp and grits and was pleased – expertly cooked shrimp, good okra, creamy grits and enough heat from the jalepenos to make the dish most interesting.
The dessert menu is short but adequate considering the size of the mains. Just how thin is the line between “down home” and “white trash”? Whatever it may be, we chose a classic of white trash cookery, the fried fluffernutter sandwich with blueberry sauce – and ate it all.
M3 had been worth visiting – interesting tasty food well prepared and resonably priced. The restaurant is cozy but not cramped with a friendly neighborhood vibe – relaxed and casual not precious and twee.
382 Highland Ave. Somerville Ma 617-718-6666
web – http://imwithmeat.com
twitter – @M3DavisSquare