a new american
Pammy’s is a New American restaurant inspired by the feel of an Italian neighborhood trattoria. Perched between Cambridge’s Central and Harvard Squares, Pammy’s is a cozy yet sophisticated neighborhood destination. For husband and wife team Chris and Pam Willis, who live right up the street, Pammy’s is an extension of their living room. They’ve brought together their love of great food, easy hospitality and chic vibe to create a lively space that is welcoming to all looking for a memorable meal. With dishes that lean heavily on Italian flavors but are not restricted by any rules of the cuisine, the food is unpretentious and delicious. As the kitchen pulls from Italian culture and American innovation, the wine list also juxtaposes New and Old World wines from small vineyards in both countries. A dual-opening fireplace wrapped in white ceramic, an oversized salvaged communal table designed for side-by-side dining and rich leather banquets are just some of the design elements that make up Pammy’s charm.
Pam + Chris Willis
Chris Willis was going to be a drummer. Pam had her sights set on acting. But deep down, it was always their fate to open a restaurant.
Chris’ life has been surrounded by food - growing it, cultivating it, cooking it - even from his early days on his family’s fourth-generation farm. There, he was inspired to appreciate the nuances of produce and discover the delicate seasonality of flavors.
Hospitality is in Pam’s blood. The daughter of a hotelier and a restaurateur, Pam lived in New York City hotels when she was a young girl, finding herself often left with cooks and busboys as babysitters. She spent hours with Maître D’s after school, folding napkins and steaming silverware.
Chris built his impressive resume across many fine establishments, but attributes his career to five impactful experiences: the fundamentals of cooking at Rialto; discipline at Clio; balance, texture and spice at Cafe Gray; how to cook pasta at Sfoglia; and the importance of maximum flavor impact at ABC Cocina. The combination of all of these things is what makes Chris the chef he is today.
In defining his approach to food at Pammy’s, Chris believes in power of simplicity. Showcase just a few star ingredients in a dish and allow the care, knowledge and skill to shine through. Together, Chris and Pam’s goal is to serve unfussy, great food and channel their natural knack for hospitality.
Lauren was the first person to join Pammy’s and continues to inspire warmth and polish in the service team. While studying painting at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Lauren began working restaurant jobs to pay for school. It didn’t take long for her to catch the hospitality bug as a part-time job evolved into a full time career. Her passion for wine and spirits eventually lead to a roll as the Beverage Director at Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain. At Pammy’s, Lauren’s wine list is made exclusively of small production, natural wines from growers and makers who embody the restaurant’s ideals of quality, care, and compassion.
At a very young age Scott Como knew that he wanted to be a cook. He enrolled in a four-year culinary program where he was given the chance to work in a restaurant open to the public within the high school. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University with a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and foodservice management, Scott jumped into the world of fine dining and began his journey learning from great chefs around New Hampshire, New York and Boston. He studied the importance of agriculture at the Black Trumpet in Portsmouth; how to use technique to coax flavor out of those ingredients working at Public and the Musket Room in NYC; and how to put the two together as a sous chef at Townsman in Boston. Most recently, Scott was the executive chef of a fine dining restaurant, Piedmont, in Durham, N.C. Having lived in New England for so long, his roots called him back to be part of the team at Pammy's, working together to make a difference in the Boston hospitality industry.
At the start of his career, Rich left his hometown of Providence, RI, to explore Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles and quickly discovered a passion for cocktails. While in California, Rich opened Soho House in West Hollywood, Big Bar in Los Feliz and Harvard & Stone in Los Angeles. He created the bar program for Areal in Santa Monica and was a consultant for The Edison in downtown LA. His talent did not go unrecognized and led him to opportunities such as being a brand ambassador for Tequila Ocho, Kubler Absinth and Right Gin. A desire to return to his New England roots brought Rich and his wife (a fellow bartender) back to Boston, where he is the bar manager of Pammy’s. While not afraid of a bitter brown and boozy cocktail, Rich’s creations bring a culinary approach to the bar and appreciate ingredients that reflect the season and compliment the food menu.
James (Jimmy) Dunne found himself unexpectedly behind the line one day when a cook called out sick at the restaurant where he was working front of house. He had been immersed in restaurant culture for several years, running and preparing food, and loved the energy and camaraderie that it had to offer. That first evening behind the line was such a rush that Jimmy never looked back and his enthusiasm for cooking was born. After a few corporate stints, Jimmy came on board as sous chef at the popular Back Bay Social. From there, he spent four years developing classic techniques as well as an appreciation for working closely with farmers at 80 Thoreau in Concord, Mass. Jimmy most recently delved into the bold world of spices and exotic flavors at the renowned Sarma in Cambridge. As Sous Chef at Pammy’s, Jimmy enjoys working closely with Chef/Owner Chris Willis, focusing on the details and elevating local ingredients to create a special experience for the neighborhood.
MAKE A RESERVATION
928 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
4:30pm - 12am Mon - Thu
4:30pm - 1am Fri - Sat
5pm - 10pm Mon - Thu
5pm - 11pm Fri - Sat
Interested in hosting a special event with Pammy's?
We can host full buyouts for groups of up to 65 guests with 2 months notice.
For a Standing Reception, we can accommodate up to 80 guests.
For smaller groups of 15 - 22, we offer our lounge Monday through Wednesday for cocktails and passed canapés beginning at either 4:30pm or 8:30pm with a 2 hour minimum.
The largest party we except for regular dinner service is 6 guests.
We look forward to serving you!
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“Top 50 Nominee for America’s Best New Restaurant 2018” by Bon Appétit
“Best of Boston 2018 Winner: Best New Restaurant” by Boston Magazine
“Owners Chris and Pam Willis call it a New American trattoria; we call it perfection in a neighborhood restaurant.”
– Jenna Pelletier and BoB editorial team
“Restaurant of the Year” by The Boston Globe
“The staff is warm and knowledgable, the space is lovely (that fireplace!), and the details are seen to with care. Eating here just kind of makes you feel good.”
– Devra First
“At Pammy’s, Pleasure is the Principal,” a 3-star review by Devra First in The Boston Globe
“Pammy’s pork chop deserves its own paragraph. First it’s brined, then rubbed with peppercorns, cardamom, and fennel seed. It’s served with cream of (freshly ground) wheat, a salad of matchstick-cut radishes, and a pool of pancetta dashi, the traditional Japanese stock enriched with cured pork. It’s all smoke upon smoke upon spice upon spice, every element building upon the last. It’s darn near perfect, both in design and execution.”
– Devra First
The Boston Globe
“Under the Influence of Italy” by The Boston Globe
“The Hottest Restaurants in Boston, Right Now” by Eater
“The Very Best Restaurants in Boston Right Now” by Thrillist
“The Willises clearly want Pammy’s to feel like a modestly elevated, unpretentious neighborhood joint, but the polish and urbanity behind the facade are impossible to miss.”
– MC Slim JB
“Hottest Restaurants in Boston” by Zagat
“Pam-tastic” by Where Boston
“There must be a golden ratio that governs the balance of menu and interior design in the ideal restaurant universe. Achieving it can be very tricky but Cambridge newcomer Pammy’s comes pretty close.”
– Mike Hodgkinson
“Best New Restaurants” by Boston Magazine
“Chris’s beautifully restrained, Italian-influenced cooking…lets top-quality ingredients and textbook technique shine.”
– Jenna Pelletier
The Boston Globe Magazine
“Best of the New” by The Boston Globe Magazine
“Do we really need another Italian-inspired trattoria? We do when it’s this good. A quintessential neighborhood restaurant that might make you want to move to this neighborhood.”
– Kara Baskin, Devra First and Sheryl Julian
The Improper Bostonian
“Boston’s Best 2018 Winner: Boston’s Best Pasta” by The Improper Bostonian
Travel + Leisure
“This College Town Just Might Have New England’s Best Dining” by Travel + Leisure
”This welcoming spot from husband-and-wife team Pam and Chris Willis is quickly becoming a favorite haunt for locals — and a standard-bearer for the city’s revitalized restaurant scene.”
– Hannah Walhout