Morgantown Edition: Mama K's Kitchen

By Candace Nelson - 8:26 PM

Mama Ks

Mama K's Kitchen is one of my favorite new finds in Morgantown. Located in Star City, the restaurant has a nice little back story.

"In 1906, Mama Kay was born in a modest village in Italy, San Giovanni in Fiore. By the age of 5, she immigrated to a small coal-mining town in the United States where she married a fellow Sangiovannese immigrant, Papa Joe. By 19 years old she had 5 children, no formal education and they had been thrown out of company housing for Papa Joe's labor organizing efforts.

It was in the midst of this that Mama Kay became devoted to feeding not just her family, but the entire community. Well before formal programs existed, she opened her home and kitchen to nourish those around her, especially those in need. She was known for handing out fresh-baked bread on Sundays, while necessity led Papa Joe to open a local grocery store. It was the best way to feed their family and everyone else, too. Mama Kay mastered simple recipes that allowed her to open her kitchen to everyone. She had very little, but resourcefully built an experience of togetherness and plenty. There was no room for waste while she built a social framework her town relied on.

In continuing her spirit and that of so many immigrant families, we open Mama K's Kitchen to share at your table."

Mama Ks

The space is upstairs and in the back of a building, so it's a bit like a secret. But once inside, it's bright and airy, if not a bit small. They serve meals in this space, though they also rent out a space and do catering, as well.

Mama Ks

Let's get to the food. The menu has some fun items - like artisan toasts, pastas, salads, sandwiches and specials. I could have ordered anything on the menu and been happy, but I went with the following:

Mama Ks

- Sausage Broccolini with orecchiette, pepper oil, garlic

- Mushroom Toast with roasted mushroom, shallot, ricotta

Mama Ks

Both of these were tasty on their own. A nice mix of textures, plus bits of freshness. And I like the creativity behind of each of these. It's like taking classic flavor combos but kicking them up a few notches.

Mama Ks

But they both would have benefitted from a drizzle. Truffle oil? Balsamic? Some chive cream? I think I just want some more richness to round it out to perfection.

Mama Ks

Grade: B

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