[kuhl-tuh-vahr, -ver], noun
a horticultural term that refers to combining cuttings from the best plants to create a new plant with the finest characteristics.
“Like a cultivar, I’m taking the best of my culinary experiences to create a new concept that embodies my culinary style and ethos.” – Chef/Owner Mary Dumont.
From Chef Mary Dumont, Cultivar offers sustainable, hyper-seasonal cuisine inspired by our diverse landscape. The culmination of her culinary career, Chef Dumont is a 2006 Food & Wine Best New Chef most recently known for her time as chef/partner at Cambridge’s acclaimed Harvest restaurant from 2007 to 2015. At Cultivar, Chef Dumont’s menu is informed by the restaurant’s on-site Freight Farm hydroponic garden, enabling fresh food production year-round, along with seasonal market produce, foraged ingredients, sustainable seafood and dry-aged meats.
Chef of the Year & Reader's Choice Chef of the Year
Prior to the opening of Cultivar, Mary Dumont was probably best-known by Bostonians thanks to her nearly decade-long stint as executive chef at Harvard Square’s classic Harvest restaurant. But before that, she built up an extensive and impressive resume around the country, from Jardinière in San Francisco to Blackbird in Chicago. And along the way, she’s snapped up plenty of awards and television appearances.
So it’s at long last that Dumont has opened her own restaurant, and it’s already hitting its stride in its first year. It’s a beautiful space full of beautiful plates of truly local, seasonal food, an expression of new New England cuisine that runs the gamut from lobster rolls to whole roasted chickens for two, snail toast to nettle bucatini with lamb neck sugo. Dumont’s years of experience on the West and East Coasts really shine here, and she’s assembled an expert team to help, too (don’t miss executive pastry chef Robert Gonzalez’s impeccable desserts.)
We waited more than two long years after Mary Dumont's departure from Harvest to see what the acclaimed chef would produce for her first self-owned venture. It took a while to bloom, but Cultivar was a clear winner as soon as it sprouted inside the Ames Boston Hotel, where it offers "modern American garden cuisine" made with seasonal, responsibly sourced ingredients. Dumont plucks many of them from her Groton home garden and from on-site Freight Farms: shipping containers repurposed as hydroponic gardens to grow everything from radish to kohlrabi to tomatoes, year-round. Toss in a refreshing gin-focused cocktail program and some of the most gorgeous plate presentations in town, and it's a real garden of Downtown delights.
If you’ve ever walked into a Boston restaurant and had no idea what it was about from the look of the place, you’re not alone. There’s no such confusion on entering Cultivar, the new fine-dining establishment in the Ames Hotel from veteran chef Mary Dumont (ex-Harvest). Her worship of the fruits of the earth is evident everywhere, from the moss-ball garden hanging in the dining room rafters to the hydroponic garden-in-a-shipping-container on the patio, which generates crates full of fresh produce every week. Alongside chef de cuisine Brian Young, she applies that bounty to plate after Instagrammable plate here, showering them with headily fragrant fresh herbs, sharply flavored microgreens and pretty edible flowers.
At this woodsy-chic standout inside Downtown Boston's Ames hotel, where sumptuous banquettes share space with hanging topiaries, chef-owner Mary Dumont pours passion into modern American garden cuisine. The refined and inventive dishes are prepared with super-fresh ingredients plucked from on-site hydroponic gardens plopped on the spacious patio, and complemented by cocktails that highlight the botanical qualities of an extensive artisan gin collection.
Cheers to Harvest alum Mary Dumont, whose first venture as chef-owner, the long-anticipated Cultivar, catapulted itself straight from opening to our list of the hottest restaurants in Boston. One of the most unexpectedly delicious dishes, and an excellent example of Cultivar's "modern American garden cuisine," are furikake-flecked yakitori of fiddleheads and morel mushrooms, served with a luscious fava bean hummus. It's light but satisfying and the flavors pop, plus it's probably one of the prettiest plates you'll find in town right now.
Where to Cultivar, the new restaurant from chef Mary Dumont (Harvest) in the Ames Hotel.
What for An oasis right downtown. Dumont’s cooking puts the season on your plate, ingredients grow in the on-site hydroponic garden, and there’s a patio.
It's been two years since acclaimed chef Mary Dumont moved on from her eight-year tenure at Harvest in Cambridge to launch her first self-owned venture. After a long germination period, the resulting restaurant — Cultivar — has finally sprouted Downtown in the Ames Boston Hotel. Yes, it was worth the wait — and here's what you need to know about Dumont's glorious new garden of delights.
One of the most anticipated openings of the summer is the Ames Boston Hotel’s own Cultivar. Chef Mary Dumont’s passion project sees her sourcing much of her fresh produce from a hydroponic garden on the premises, to come up with creative dishes like rabbit mortadella agnolotti with sugar-snap peas and pork cheeks with whey-braised carrots.
The day has finally come that we have all been waiting patiently for – the opening of Cultivar, chef/owner Mary Dumont’s new restaurant inside the Ames Hotel. During her tenure at Harvest in Cambridge where she spent eight years as the executive chef, her focus had always been on creating local, sustainable cuisine. At Cultivar, she plans to keep the focus on regional and seasonal ingredients, many of which will come from her hydroponic garden on the 55-seat outdoor patio.
A new restaurant focused on local and sustainable cuisine opens on Friday, June 2, within a historic hotel in Downtown Boston. Cultivar debuts this week at the Ames Hotel with chef and owner Mary Dumont at the helm. The Harvest alumna has been working towards this new venture since departing the Harvard Square restaurant in 2015, as previously reported.
Named for the horticultural term for selecting the best attributes of a breeding plant, Mary Dumont’s Cultivar combines more than a decade of the chef’s experience, modern sensibility, and hydroponic produce. The unique debut opens this weekend.
ary Dumont calls it the “urban concrete problem of a chef.” No matter what restaurant’s kitchen she’s cooking in, she always has a simultaneous desire to be on the farm, to connect with the source of her ingredients. But as she prepares to open her first restaurant, Cultivar, in the renovated Ames Boston Hotel at the end of May, she’s found a solution: A hydroponic farming unit from Freight Farms will be parked on the edge of the restaurant’s patio.
With spring finally here, we're all looking for ways to eat lighter and include more plants in our diet. While it's always great to stock up on organic produce, it's not always easy on the wallet. Luckily for us, chef Mary Dumont of Boston's Cultivar (and a 2006 F&W Best New Chef) shared some of her favorite foraging and gardening tips when she dropped by our test kitchen to make her Yakitori Morels with Fava Bean Hummus.
Mary Dumont can now add urban farmer to her résumé. At Cultivar, the chef is tending to an on-site freight-container farm that will supply her kitchen with produce year round. In keeping with the restaurant’s name—a cultivar is a plant produced by selective breeding—Dumont is cherry-picking elements from her past for her first project as an owner. The menu reflects the French techniques she picked up as a young chef in California and the refined take on New England fare she developed at Harvest, not to mention some Asian cooking methods that feel fresh to her now (see: this coal-grilled Kabocha squash). “It’s a clean slate, and I can do whatever I want,” she says.
Get ready to reserve a table at Cultivar, out chef Mary Dumont's first venture as an owner. Dumont, once deemed "Best New Chef" by "Food & Wine," most recently earned raves for her farm-to-table New American cuisine at Harvard Square's elegant Harvest. Cultivar, slated to open this fall inside the Financial District's in-renovation Ames Boston Hotel, built in 1893 as Boston's first skyscraper, will feature what Dumont calls "modern American garden cuisine" using many ingredients grown on site. Expect an "organic"-feeling space that includes a spacious outdoor patio.
1 COURT STREET
BOSTON, MA 02108
Open 7 days a week
BRUNCH: Saturday & Sunday, 11-2PM
LUNCH: Monday–Friday, 11AM–2PM
DINNER: Every day, 5PM–10PM
BAR: Open until 1AM