New to the Plymouth dining scene, Honey Baby is an upscale, modern cocktail lounge that offers a relaxed "must chill" atmosphere and a creative menu of craft cocktails and off-the-charts bites.
“We’re going to take care of you, make you comfortable and do our best to put a smile on your face while you relax and enjoy,” says chef/co-owner Nina Peters. “We don’t know much about lounging, but we know a few things about cocktails and great food. The rest we can figure out together.”
Honey Baby's sister restaurant, The Tasty, is located just steps away. Built with the same “kitchen creativity is king” mindset as its neighbor, Honey Baby delivers an evolving and eclectic selection of tastes. A few dishes on the menu, such as the Swedish Meatballs, feature seasonal cranberries. Served with caraway-cranberry jam, this dish is a sweet/spicy twist on a traditional comfort food.
In the mood for a cocktail? Try the Runaway Train Cocktail, an amalgam of tequila blanco, house-made cranberry syrup, a splash or two of lime juice and clementine shrub. The drink is strained into Art Deco-era stemmed glassware with a black salt rim and garnished by a cocktail stick of sugared cranberries (cocktail recipe below).
The Runaway Train Cocktail
Swedish Meatballs with Gravy and Caraway Cranberry Jam
From Chef Michael Peters Honey Baby
Swedish Meatball Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef
½ medium onion, coarsely grated
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small knob of ginger, finely grated
½ c. panko breadcrumbs
½ c. chopped fresh dill and parsley
1/8 t. ground allspice
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. white pepper
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
Pinch of powdered clove
Fresh nutmeg, grated
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cranberry Jam (recipe below)
Gravy (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 375° F. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine onion, garlic and ginger and process or mix by hand until well incorporated.
Add panko crumbs and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Combine the seasoned crumbs with the garlic, ginger and onion mixture until evenly moistened. Add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning as desired.
Using a scoop, spoons and/or your hands, form the mixture into 1-ounce meatballs by hand. Place meatballs on a lightly greased sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the sheet pan, cover and set aside to keep warm. Reserve the sheet tray pan drippings to prepare the gravy.
For the Gravy
2 c. heavy cream
½ c. beef demi-glace (or 1 c. beef broth)
½ c. sherry or white cooking wine, divided
½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
½ stick butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh dill
Use a splash of the sherry or cooking wine to deglaze the meatball sheet pan. Scrape the beef bits into a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Warm the liquid over low heat, add butter and flour, stirring continuously to make a light roux. Stir in the remaining sherry or cooking wine and demi-glace or beef broth. (Handle carefully as the alcohol from the sherry may ignite. This is typical and will diminish quickly.)
Continue stirring, adding in remaining ingredients one at a time, cooking until gravy thickens to desired consistency. Add more broth, sherry or wine to thin out, or conversely, add a little floured butter to further thicken.
Carefully place meatballs in the gravy and simmer for a few minutes over low heat. Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles, with Cranberry Jam as a condiment.
2 c. cranberries
1 medium fresh orange, halved and squeezed, reserving juice
1 c. water
1 T. real maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
4 allspice berries
1 t. caraway seeds
3 pods black cardamom
8” square of cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter
Place cranberries, water, syrup, zest and orange juice in a medium sauce pot. Using either a square of cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter, place all spices in a small pile in the center, gather the edges and tie off with kitchen twine, creating a spice sachet. Place the sachet into a saucepan and simmer over low heat until cranberries start to burst. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Remove sachet and stir jam to incorporate flavors. Serve immediately or store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator up to one week until serving.
Serve mushrooms atop mashed potatoes or egg noodles.