If you embrace The Maiden, she’ll share her quirky secrets with you – that saucy minx. Housed in the long-time-gone Triple O’s location, where Whitey allegedly held court and committed heinous crimes, this 80-seat eatery from husband and wife team Esti and Drew Parsons, along with Drew’s brother Jon Parsons, all formerly of Sam’s, is chock full of delightful oddities.
On a whim, and without reservations, my husband and I strolled to the west-most part of Broadway in Southie to check her out. In the past we visited Worden Hall next door, and Stephi’s Southie across the street, but The Maiden had yet to hold us in her grasps. Despite a packed house, we were greeted with a homey welcome and the guarantee of a table in 10 minutes. The host advised that we sidle up to the oyster bar/open kitchen and start with a drink from the restaurant’s beer, wine, and cordial offerings.
A young cook plucked oysters from an ice bed in front of us, where rubber duckies mingled among lemons, and opened them with ease. He caught our eye and offered us the bivalve menu from which we ordered and promptly slurped down a selection of Misty Point and Island Creek varietals. Voila! Our table was ready as promised. The cook wished us well and assured us that he’d transfer the cost of the mollusks to our table.
We were seated in the back room at a six-top “communal” rustic wood table, and reveled that we were only two, for now. We ordered a selection of charcuterie and a fresh pasta special from the eclectic yet well curated menu, created by executive chef Jason Cheek (Sam’s, Merrill & Co., KO Prime) and sous chef Tyler Potter (KO Prime alum, Eastern Standard, The Lower Depths).
Gazing around the room, I was inundated with plaster heads and skulls of animals mounted sporadically on the walls like an artsy dream or a scene from the set of True Detective. I couldn’t wait until my husband returned from the restroom to discuss the exhibit, but when he sat down he had news of his own. The men’s room had large murals of Iron Maiden album covers on the walls. As I said, The Maiden has her quirks.
Our attentive and friendly server presented a reclaimed wooden board glistening with meats, cheeses, and plentiful accoutrement. The salumi served at The Maiden is procured from the wholesale venture of Moody’s Delicatessen (Waltham), which is fantastic, but we especially delighted in two Maiden House Offerings: the chicken liver mousse with sherry and abundant tarragon and the lush, well-balanced pate de Campagne with pistachio and raisin.
Next came a wide, shallow bowl of toothsome fresh pappardelle, coiled with a lively tomato sauce, and perfectly toasted pistachios, but an overly generous sprinkling of fresh oregano leaves stifled the dish with a floral scent and grassy taste.
Next time I’m definitely feasting on the remaining House Offerings and the pork belly empanadas with tomatillo salsa and fresh lime.
The Maiden is located at 28 West Broadway, in South Boston. Call 617-315-7829 or visit themaidenboston.com for reservations or more information.