Garden of Eatin'

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.

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Hottest Restaurants in Boston

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.

 

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Eat This Now: 15 New Dishes to Try in Boston

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. 

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6 Things to Know About Cultivar, Now Open Downtown

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. 

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The Freshest Tables

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.

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Quick Hits: Cultivar Opens Inside the Ames Hotel Tonight

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.

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Urban Growth

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.

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4 Tips for First-Time Foragers and Gardeners

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.

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Mary DumontFood & Wine
The Breakdown: A Dish from Mary Dumont’s Cultivar

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.

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Hit List

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.

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