I saw no mother and no sons at Durham’s Mother and Sons. I did see a very chic sommelier/manager in the most bomb ass long wool skirt accented with a thick belt and a 20″ waistline. File that under, people who should not be allowed to work in a pasta restaurant. Several skinny waitresses later, I curled up in my cocoon of a sweater and dove into course after course of mostly carbs.
Our waitress descended on us too immediately then didn’t return for hours. When she did, she recommended the most expensive wine by the glass, which was a little annoying. We committed to the recommendation anyway, and I was REALLY disappointed to have a glass full of tannins. This black worm looking ones, which are a mark of a good bottle, but totally gross me out. Most of this wine was left behind.
First up, we tried the featured bruschetta. Grilled bread, strachiatella cheese, and smoked tomatoes The bread was cut into thirds which was a little odd for mostly tables of two. And I must say the ratio was all wrong. The cheese you couldn’t even taste for the abundance of tomatoes that had the consistency of sun-dried. They were large and difficult to bite or cut through which made for a bit of a mess for me. Glad I wasn’t on a date, I persevered through the appetizer, tossing off excess tomatoes as I went. I would not order this again.
Next up were the Bombettes. This is where our waitress really started to frustrate me. When she was around, she was correcting our pronounciation and this is where it began. With bombetta-AHS. Alrighty. This is a tiny piece of cheese wrapped in lamb, wrapped in prosciutto and grilled. The size of a mini-meatball, these were OK and certainly not the $12 price tag. Not pictured, VERY dry foccacia.
Finally, the reason we visited Mother and Sons…pasta! We ran our selections past our waitress who agreed they were winners. She did not mention that they would look nearly identical.
Here is the cavetelli pasta with cime di rapa, Calabrian chiles, and fennel sausage. Not bad. Not life changing.
The second dish, which looked basically the same, was the star of the meal. The slightly chewy orecchiette was perfectly cooked orecchiette was served with pork cheek and bitter greens. Dark meat and bitter greens, just like the first. However, the sauce and pasta were nicer on this dish. If you have to visit on Mother and Sons, this is the one you want.
All in all, I’m glad that I tried Mother and Sons, but after a meh experience now here and at the sister restaurant, next door, Mateo, I think I’m finished with this restaurant group. Keep trying, Research Triangle!