You can now get great barbecue in New York City and outstanding pimento cheese in Chicago, but if the images emanating from a new upscale restaurant in Boston are any indication, you might not want to seek out Lowcountry cooking in Beantown.
The Frogmore last week opened with a menu featuring hoppin’ John, fried green tomatoes, she-crab soup and succotash. According to an April report in the Boston Globe, the dishes were created in “homage to chef Jason Albus’ childhood in South Carolina.” To underscore the Lowcountry vibe, co-owners Andrew Foster and Steve Bowman outfitted the 85-seat dining room with hanging moss and pineapple-patterned wallpaper. “There, you show up at a neighbor’s house with a pineapple,” Bowman explained.
First off, apologies to the people who’ve invited me into their homes over the past two years: I owe you all pineapples. Still, the whole pineapple business seems less strange than the look of The Frogmore’s dishes, first noted by the deejays on WTMA.
Surely Albus is allowed a bit of artistic license, and the four customers who’ve posted reviews on Yelp seem happy. But it’s worth checking out what The Frogmore is selling as Lowcountry food. Pay close attention to the pale and dry Frogmore stew and a chicken-and-dumpling dish that favors cream of scallion soup. Jamaica Plain News posted an additional picture of The Frogmore’s boiled peanuts that appear to have spent no more than a few seconds in the pot.
It’s impossible to tell by sight how the food at The Frogmore tastes. Maybe Albus is pushing Lowcountry cuisine in a new and exciting direction: As someone who was baffled by the outrage over peas in guacamole, I’m firmly on the side of evolution and innovation. But just look at that limpin’ Susan.