You’re not a true Yalie until you have taken a sip from one of the enormous cups at Mory’s. The cozy restaurant and bar has been around since 1849 and is a legendary New Haven locale often filled with older alumni coming back to visit New Haven, or kids trying to get their parents to buy them surprisingly strong drinks under the pretenses of participating in a Yale tradition. Just before winter break, one of my suitemates, Hannah, decided to have her birthday dinner with our suite at Mory’s, which we were excited about because we had never tried the food at Mory’s before. Since you have to be a member in order to sit in Mory’s (although the more casual Temple Bar in the back does not have the same requirement, and is rumored to have a delicious steak sandwich…I will investigate), we jumped at the opportunity to finally order from the quirky menu at Mory’s. This quirkiness largely comes from the 4 traditional appetizers listed on it: Baker Soup, Welsh Rarebit, Buck, and Golden Buck. If anyone has taken the plunge and ordered any of these, please let me know what they entail. At this point, the only word I can visualize in there is “soup”.
The four of us arrived at Mory’s at around 7 on a Wednesday night and the place was packed. Walking through the front door, it reminded me of walking into my Grandma’s house when she is having our whole family over for dinner, with the well-worn building giving you a feeling of coziness. What my Grandma doesn’t have, however, is an a capella group eating dinner with us (usually). We were treated to sporadic singing throughout our meal, which was nice, but also made it a little difficult to keep a conversation running before it was interrupted by singing.
We each ordered an entrée, collectively choosing the grilled atlantic salmon, the pan-roasted molasses brined chicken, and a special- pulled pork penne pasta. If you’ve read any of my Chew Haven posts, you can probably make the educated guess that I ordered the chicken. It was so good- its crispy skin was flavorful and well-spiced, and the meat was tender and juicy. I would absolutely order it again if I get a chance to go back to Mory’s. It was served over sweet potatoes that were thinly sliced and cooked just the right amount and mixed with bacon, giving off flavors that perfectly suited the warm, smoky taste of the chicken. The salmon was also well received, as the girls who ordered it felt that it was cooked the right amount and seasoned well. However, we were all a little disappointed with the pasta special. The pasta and pulled pork were in a sauce that tasted strongly of horseradish. At that point I really did feel like I was at my Grandma’s house (horseradish makes a big appearance there every Passover). It had onions and beans in it as well, almost making us wonder if it had been a cold pasta salad in a previous life. Besides the pasta, all of our plates were clean at the end of the meal and we were ready for dessert. Because it was Hannah’s birthday, our waitress was nice enough to bring over a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream. Classic, simple, and delicious. And while our “Happy Birthday” song probably made the a capella group sitting nearby cringe, it was worth it for our Mory’s experience.
Overall, Mory’s is a timeless restaurant and a Mory’s experience—whether tame like ours or rowdy like most others—will always be special. So thank you, Mory, whoever you are!!