Kirkland Tap and Trotter, which just over the Cambridge border, outside of Harvard Square, is the guy (could be girl but since Chef Tony Maws is a guy this analogy works better that way) on campus that everyone wants to know. It’s not the Big Man on Campus but the really nice, approachable, easy going guy that you just want to hang out with for a while. It is the kids’ dorm room that has an open door and everyone gravitates to. It is the neighbor’s house that always has a cold one in the fridge and a smiling face in the kitchen where you don’t even have to ask to pull up a stool at the kitchen island.
I recently brought my husband and two kids in for brunch, because we are often caught up in the tag-team parenthood thing. Even though we eat together for most meals, we rarely just get to sit together and enjoy a meal that doesn’t have a messy kitchen awaiting my husband’s cleaning skills.
In addition to the brunch menu, the new kids’ menu is served at brunch as well. Isabelle asked to sit “ringside” as she and I had recently when we came to interview Chef Maws (post coming soon) and try out the Wednesday night speical. We all enjoyed the energy of sitting ringside. It is like stepping off the couch as a food television spectator and into the real world of a professional kitchen. My son commented that they all seem to repeat what the other one was saying. He was fascinated, and almost forgot to try to break me down with pleas for the iPhone, and cries of learned boredom. It is never too early to learn about communication, being heard, replying, and acknowledging what has been said. It was a good little reminder for both of us that being heard isn’t as simple as it seems. If you have children you know all about this: “Are you listening to me?” “Did you hear my words?” “Look at me when I’m talking to you.” “Can you please answer me?”
After brunch, my husband commented how different this kitchen is from the Craigie on Main kitchen, and he wasn’t talking about the quality of the food, or the seamless running of these well oiled machines, but rather the dynamics. KT&T has a different energy. It is perhaps less tightly wound, a bit louder, and more playful, but when it comes to the food, there is nothing lost. I knew Chef Maws couldn’t do “just good food.” My husband is pretty quiet about food, he doesn’t tend to rave about much, but later that afternoon, he said that this brunch has to be one of the best in Boston right now, and I have to say I concur.
As a side note, and I hesitate to share this but I’m going to anyway, if my dad is in town or my brother wants to head out and watch the game (Hockey or baseball) or my in-laws want to catch up on the latest tennis match, I’m going to bring them to KT&T.