Restaurant Openings

Pammy’s Opens Tonight in Cambridge

The New American trattoria is the ownership debut from chef Chris Willis.
Pam and Chris Willis of Pammy's Cambridge

Pam and Chris Willis of Pammy’s Cambridge. / Photo provided

A new restaurant debuts tonight near Central Square, but it may feel like familiar place. Pammy’s, the debut from chef Chris Willis and his wife, Pam, aims to be an extension of the proprietors’ living room, with cozy hospitality and a menu of unpretentious, Italian-inspired cuisine.

“We want the atmosphere to reflect who we are as people,” Chris Willis told Boston via email back in March, while the Massachusetts Ave. storefront was under renovation.

Details that add warmth to the former India Cuisine restaurant include a white ceramic, wood-burning fireplace, which opens both into the lounge area and dining room; a salvaged, oversized table for communal dining, and rich leather banquettes. The Willises’ close friend, artist Rebecca Walsh, has painted a large mural that spans from the exterior facade inside to the lounge, and there’s a statue of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, salvaged from the Hudson Valley.

Cradling a bouquet of wheat, the statue is in homage to the seasonal ingredients at Pammy’s. Willis, who, along with his brothers, Bully Boy founders David and Will, grew up on his family’s fourth-generation farm in Sherborn, plans to make pastas and breads in-house from freshly milled grains, the Cambridge Day previously reported.

“Growing up on a farm probably planted a seed in all of our heads to explore careers that somehow tie us to the land,” Willis told Boston. The chef previously cooked at Rialto, Clio, and New York City restaurants Café Gray, ABC Cocina, and Sfoglia.

Pammy’s calls itself “a New American trattoria.” A menu isn’t yet available online, but people who checked it out during friends and family services over the past couple weeks enjoyed dishes like octopus and polenta, foie gras torchon, heirloom tomato salad, fusilli with clams and shishito peppers, bolognese pasta, red snapper with cauliflower, and Wagyu bavette steak, according to Facebook reviews.

Known negroni lover David Willis noted a trio of house takes on the classic aperitif, as well as a solid amari selection. Moe Isaza, a Baldwin Bar alum who was most recently the bar manager at Tiger Mama, has taken on that role at Pammy’s.

Eater Boston has more of the stacked lineup: Andrew Foster (Fairsted Kitchen, the Frogmore) is general manager, Lauren Hayes (Ten Tables) is sommelier, and Mareena McKenzie (Ribelle, Shepard) is pastry chef. Moe Isaza’s brother, Will (Fairsted, Tapestry), is a bartender, along with Jen LaForge (A4cade, Franklin Cafe).

Pammy’s serves dinner Monday-Saturday nights beginning at 5:30 p.m, Boston Restaurant Talk reports.

928 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, 617-945-1761, pammyscambridge.com.

Pammy's Cambridge opens

Pammy’s logo via Facebook


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com