“Unforeseen Events” Spell the End for Cultivar
Boston, MA - Sustainable restaurants have drawn their share of both proponents and detractors since coming into vogue over the past fifteen years. Advocates indicate both the ultimate effect sustainable resources place on the environment as well as the boost to regional economies by using locally sourced products; while critics cite the frequently exorbitant prices as contradictory, as well as indicating that sustainable restaurants are rarely sustainable. There’s a fair argument to be made for the latter, as the number of green restaurants in Massachusetts has dwindled slightly over the past six years, despite relative local economic growth. Cultivar—Mary Dumont’s experiment in sustainability in the Ames Hotel—may be the latest casualty.
In a somewhat cryptic message on Cultivar’s Facebook page on Wednesday, Dumont and co-owner Emily French-Dumont indicated that the restaurant will be closing indefinitely:
“Due to a series of unforeseen events that have created the perfect storm, it is with a heavy heart we announce that today Cultivar will be closing its doors. Emily and I created a dream one day and began down the path that grew Cultivar. A place we love, filled with people we love, staffed by an incredible family of wonderful people. We are so grateful for our loyal staff, the Ames Boston Hotel, and our guests, many of whom have become part of our extended family. Everyone who has contributed to the great success of Cultivar holds a special place in our hearts. We thank all those who chose to make memories with us, and rest assured we are not finished making memories with you. Much love, Mary & Emily #cultivatewithus”
Dumont—a one time contestant on Top Chef and Iron Chef America and a former executive chef at Cambridge’s Harvest—opened Cultivar in June of 2017 to showcase locally-sourced seasonal cuisine and highlighted its on-site hydroponic garden as simply one aspect of her focus on sustainability. It immediately drew rave reviews, including a recent nod from Conde Nast Traveler as “One of the 18 Best Restaurants in Boston” as well as awards from both Boston magazine and The Improper Bostonian as one of the Best New Restaurants of 2018.
“It’s always been important to me to be able to grow a lot of my own food, to have a garden,” Dumont told food blog Eater last year. “But to choose a restaurant that’s right downtown, right off of one of the busiest intersections of all of Boston: You can’t get more urban than that. [The on-site garden is] satisfying that desire of mine to not be in the city while being in the city.”
Dumont has yet to indicate what unforeseen events caused the closing of Cultivar; nor her plans for the future.