Details on Kitchen, Bringing Edible History to the South End

Chef/owner Scott Herritt looked to the past to develop his menu.

The original edition of The Joy of Cooking will provide inspiration for Kitchen. (Photo via Amazon.)

The South End will soon be injected with a hefty dose of food history thanks to Kitchen, which will take over the former Pops space by late May/early June. Yesterday I spoke with chef/owner Scott Herritt, who also runs Marliave and Grotto, to learn more about his concept. Herritt has amassed a massive collection of old, first-edition cookbooks including works by Escoffier, plus first-edition copies of The Joy of Cooking and The Savoy Cocktail Book, which have served as the inspiration of his cuisine.

“There’s a lesson to be learned at almost every meal we eat, and there’s a story behind it. ” Herritt says. “Exploring those stories makes [the food] taste better.” Historically-inspired fare will include nightly roasts showcased in an open kitchen as well as dishes like Tournedos Rossini (which recently got a shout out in the NYT); a fish, clam, pork chowder with hardtack that dates back to the mid-1800′s; and an updated take on Indian pudding, a sweet, cornmeal-based pudding. The most “recent” dish on the menu is called “Sole, dated November 2, 1948,” which is an homage to date that Julia Child tried a sole dish in France, a dish that she claims forever changed her view on cooking.

Cocktails will get the same historical treatment, with many inspired by the book Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide, a tome that was published in the early 1800′s. Expect fun drinks like the Queen’s Park Swizzle, which contains rum, simple syrup, angostura bitters, and mint, and the Crusta, made with cognac, lemon juice, simple syrup, orange Curacao, and bitters.

It’s an exciting and refreshing concept—and a smart way to introduce historical New England fare to locals and visitors alike without having to send them to tourist-filled Durgin Park.

For more online coverage, find us on Twitter at @ChowderBoston.