Maddi’s is owned and operated by Adam Hicks who is also the chef and owner of the Depot Street Tavern in Milford. Hicks attended Johnson & Wales University and went on to work in the corporate world of food service with O’Harra before opening his first restaurant in August of 2014. His latest venture, Maddi’s Cookery and Taphouse is located in the former home of The Perfect Game at 64 Water Street. Hicks feels that Worcester is the right city for his brand’s expansion. He aims to create an approachable atmosphere for patrons of all ages.
Decor includes exposed brick, a thick-sealed concrete bar, and handcrafted furniture built with reclaimed wood. Maddi’s features 20 beers on tap and an outdoor patio that seats 100. According to Maddi’s website, the opening menu includes homemade porketta ravioli, pulled pork and poblano meatloaf, and a braised reuben “handheld.”
O’Harra was awarded first prize in the people’s choice category at the 2018 Worcester’s Best Chef Competition representing Flying Rhino Cafe & Watering Hole. He announced his departure from Flying Rhino at the end of March in favor of new opportunities at Maddi’s. O’Harra brings nearly two decades of experience in Worcester’s dining scene and has learned to favor creative and seasonal dishes that lend themselves to hospitable service.
As is typical of New England, March came in like a lion and out like a rhino with a host of key developments for the Central Mass food scene.
On March 28th, Drew Day was named Executive Chef of Flying Rhino on Shrewsbury Street as former Executive Chef Chris O’Harra announced his transition to Maddi’s Cookery and Taphouse, set to open on Water Street by early May in the space that previously housed The Perfect Game. Maddi’s will mark the second restaurant for Adam Hicks, who also owns Depot Street Tavern in Milford, which opened in August of 2014. O’Harra was recently awarded first prize in the people’s choice category at the Worcester’s Best Chef Competition.
B.T.’s whet our appetites for barbeque and Choose & Mix swooped in for the assist. Contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores visited this Korean hot spot on East Mountain Street for “bulgolgi – thinly sliced beef tenderloin strips in flavorful Korean barbecue sauce – and galbi – Korean barbecue ribs.” She found the eatery welcoming, affordable, and loaded with flavor. Flores also visited Millbury’s new doughnut hotspot, Rocco’s, located at the former address of the Queen’s Cups. Members of the Astrella family have doughnuts “embedded in their DNA,” as evidenced by what Flores calls a frenzied social media buzz in addition to the long (but quickly moving) line out the door.
Contributor Jim Eber spent some time at simjang’sraw bar on Shrewsbury Street with Executive Chef Jared Forman whom he deemed, “a chef intimately connected to what he serves.” The two sampled sexy oysters, fat kid’s oysters, punchy oysters, crisp beginner oysters, and coppery oysters. If Eber’s praise is any indication, he’ll be back at the deep rock maple bar very soon for a Jang and a dozen more.
Next door at Volturno, owner Greg Califano Jr. kept busy teaching pasta classes in his private function space as well as the Neapolitan pizzeria fresh outpost in Framingham. Volturno’s new location maintains the rustic charm of its counterpart, offering the added intimacy of a smaller space. Guests still have a view of the wood burning oven, and we were pleased to find that the “2 for 1” deal on Mondays and Tuesdays is graciously honored in Framingham as it is in Worcester. Pasta classes are offered monthly at each location and no two are ever the same.