Now that it's finally nice enough to spend over an hour outdoors, here are some restaurant, chef and food events in and around Boston (just in time for tomato season)! Here's what we got coming up in June:
June 5th - Taste of Somerville: Featuring over 30 Somerville restaurants (which I personally have been obsessed with lately) there will be samples of food, wine, beer desserts and more. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. All proceeds will go to RESPOND, Inc, New England's first agency against domestic violence. Find all info and tickets here.
June 10th - Hair Band Beer Brunch at Strip-T's: In a collaboration with High & Mighty Beer, Strip-T's will be serving three courses of food with High & Mighty pairings. It's $30 per person (which is great considering the amount I normally spend on brunch) and reservations are required, call 617-923-4330 to get yours. Seatings will start at 12pm and end at 5pm. Did I mention they will be blasting 80's hair band music the whole time?
June 10th - Boston Food Truck Festival: Located at the UMass Boston Campus Center, all of Boston's food truck fleet will be serving up their signature dishes. The best part is the $30 ticket gets you one portion from every truck, which is way better than paying individually and waiting in line for an hour. Find info and tickets here.
June 12th - Taste of Cambridge: In the 10th installment of this event, over 90 Cambridge restaurants will be participating with samples of food and drink. Located outside (!!) at Sidney Street and University Park Common in Central Square (rain date set for June 14th), tickets are $50 for general admission. Find event and ticket info here.
June 22nd - Chefs in Shorts: Friday night on the Waterfront with all your favorite boston chefs grilling up BBQ, I honestly couldn't think of anything better. Tickets cost $70, which include complimentary beer, wine, and culinary tastings. Find ticket and event information here.
Authentic Mexican is something you don't get enough of in these parts, but thanks to the addition of a new mobile nom-spot, finding tacos and tortas just got a little bit easier. The Taco Truck, which first originated in Hoboken, New Jersey back in September 2009, just launched its first truck here in Boston.
Expect the standard array of protein choices for the tacos (barbacoa, carnitas, chicken, fried catfish) along with some interesting vegetarian options as well, like fried avocado. The tortas (Mexican-style sandwiches) have similar options and come standard with white onions, pickled jalapeños, avocado, crema and black bean spread. There are also plenty of side dishes, Mexican sodas and salsa options to choose from!
Staying in the city and still looking for ways to spend this Memorial Day? How about getting together with good people and good food for a good cause?
In an effort to help one of the service industry's own, the Boston restaurant community will be hosting a fundraiser for Vinny Sapochetti on Monday, May 28 at the Hotel Commonwealth. Vinny, who has worked at the North End's Neptune Oyster for the past 5 years was recently in a terrible car accident. Suffering serious injury, he has since started his journey through speech, occupational and physical therapy. You can read more about him in this recent post on Server not Servant.
Tickets for the fundraiser, Vinny's Tip Jar, are being sold for $105, which grants you access to an open bar from 5pm-10pm along with complimentary food from some of the Boston's best restaurants. Think Toro, Eastern Standard, Neptune Oyster, Uni, Oleana, Russel House Tavern, Strip T's and more. There will also be a live auction and a raffle.
For a full list of participating restaurants and information on how to purchase tickets click here. It's a great way to spend an evening enjoying delicious food and libations in support of a great cause!
500 Commonwealth Ave
Monday, May 28; 5pm - 10pm
Due to the ridiculous success the Franklin Restaurant Group has seen from the pig roasts at Citizen Puplic House, they decided to introduce it at Franklin Cafe Southie as well. There are no private rooms at this spot, the high top table in the middle of the restaurant will serve as the setting for the pig roast but expect the same package at Citizen: a whole roasted suckling pig, family style seasonal sides, and a salad to start. All info can be found here.
It's a full on nose to tail experience, after the roasted pig is presented to the group, it is taken back into the kitchen and carved into various sections. The most exciting part of night was then the head was brought out carved into various sections, brain included. The chef and servers explain that the brain is best served spread out on toast, with a little lemon and sea salt. Think you can handle it?
They can only do one pig roast per day so make sure to book the pig roast in advance, reservations are on a first come, first serve basis.
152 Dorchester Ave.
If you've ever found yourself wandering through Davis Square you've likely stopped by Dave's Fresh Pasta. The specialty wine & food retailer is your one stop shop for all things awesome -- handmade pastas and sauces, local craft beers, imported olive oils and wines, homemade sandwiches... the list is endless. They're also no strangers to offering up generous samples of deliciously unique snacks and artisanal cheeses. In short, it's the perfect place to get lost for a couple of hours.
Another perk? They've also got a great offering of wine tastings and cooking classes, which make for the perfect gift for any food-loving friend. The classes range in topics, and usually cost around $50. Meesh and I recently attended their Mozzarella Making class with a few friends, led by none other than Lourdes of Fiore di Nonno.
The class started off with some background information, including some history behind traditional mozzarella making, followed by some snacks, wine tasting, and then a chance to try our hand at making some of our own stuff. The two and a half hour class flew by, and everyone had such a great time, each leaving with containers full of their own homemade mozzarella. The attendees of the class ranged in age from as young as 10 up to 40+. Here are some photos from our experience there, one I'd highly recommend to anyone who's looking to explore their culinary interests in a fun, group setting.
Dave's Fresh Pasta
81 Holland Street
Tatte Bakery & Cafe, best known for their cookies and cakes, recently opened up their second location in Kendall Square just last week. Just like the Brookline shop, the new place will be serving up an array of breakfast, lunch and dinner items seven days a week, along with a large spread of freshly made sweets including everything from cookies to cakes, jams, tarts and croissants.
With a small outdoor patio, along with plenty of counter space and communal seating it's a great place to post up and linger for a bit while enjoying Israeli inspired food items courtesy of chef-owner Tzurit Or. Open as early as 7am and closing up around 10pm on most days, it's sure to become one of my favorite go-to's in the neighborhood, with enough variety to satisfy almost any food craving. For menu items and updates, check out their blog and be sure to get your hands on some of their mouth-watering sweets asap.
Tatte Bakery & Cafe
318 Third Street
I've been finding myself in Davis Square more frequently since the openings of Saloon and Five Horses Tavern, and now with another recent addition to Davis, The Painted Burro, I don't see why I shouldn't just move there and get it over with. The Painted Burro is a funky taco bar with a Mexican street food-esque menu. They serve tacos, over 100 varieties of tequila, interesting tequila and mezcal-based cocktails, mexican beers, ceviches, and tons and tons of tortilla chips with plenty of dips to choose from.
Be forewarned, the place is LOUD, so don't expect a quiet romantic dinner. It's much better suited for dinner with friends on a Friday or Saturday night. You'll have to yell at the person sitting across from you in order for them to hear you, but that ends up happening after a few cocktails regardless.
Here's some of what the Painted Burro has to offer...
Monte Alban Mezcal, Lunazul Reposado, grapefruit, sugar, Xocolatl Mole Bitters.
Margarita de la Casa
Agavales Blanco, Combier, lime juice
avocado, cilantro, sea salt & white onion.
"cheesy cheesy goodness" (Oaxaca, Chihuahua & Manchego cheeses) w/ tomatillo & crispy tortillas
Maine Redfish, Red Snapper & Sea Scallops, avocado salsa, lime, scallions, pickled red grape, radish
savoy cabbage & jalapeno slaw, baja mayo
Skirt Steak ”Asada"
Archer Angus, ME, garlic mojo, roasted poblano rajas
with farm egg “soleado” & papas, chipotle mayo
As goes with every new restaurant, there were hits and misses. Highlights of the meal were the queso fundito, which was fantastic, the ceviche, and the chorizo taco, which was surprisingly easy to eat with the egg. The salsa had a tropical flavor, which isn't really up my alley (I'm more of a tomato salsa purist), and I thought the fish taco could have used more spice.
Overall we had a fun time, The Painted Burro is definitely worth the trip to Davis.
After a short hiatus, Mystery Meet is returning for a special one-evening event this Tuesday...and we're hosting! Come join us at the secret location for an epic 4 course spring feast that will probably blow your mind.
If you're unfamiliar with Mystery Meet, it's a foodie meetup at a secret location. You try to guess the restaurant from the clues below, buy a ticket, and the location will be released Monday before the event.
1. Mystery Meet's return will be hosted by Just Add Cheese.
2. We serve bites and beats 7 days a week.
3. We didn’t start the fire, but we certainly survived it.
4. People come to see the Baby Jesus on Sundays.
5. Seven of our cocktails can be "deadly"
Buy tickets here.
When: Tuesday, May 8th 7pm
How much: $40 (includes food, tax, and tip)
What else: bring cash for drinks
Shoot us an email at ChowDownBeantown@gmail.com with any questions.
Hope to see you Tuesday.
Are you completely obsessed with spring produce? Do you find yourself staring at the wall of greens in your supermarket, going through your mental recipe roladex pondering the best way to use them all? Me too. Around this time of year no one should have to choose between asparagus, ramps, lemon, parsley or peas. This recipe uses all of them.
My favorite part about this risotto is the lightness in flavor and texture. With tons of lemon and bright springy flavors the result is the polar opposite of a heavy winter dish, which we have all had quite enough of in the last few months. I avoided using cream and butter as well, to keep the post risotto food coma to an absolute minimum.
I combined my favorite elements of two different spring risotto recipes from Food52 for this one. The first, and main recipe baseline, was this spring risotto recipe (originally from Gourmette NYC). Aside from the cheese (which is a given) it's on the healthier spectrum of risotto recipes. Since I love lemon and parsley, I used those elements from this spring risotto recipe (originally from Rasberry Eggplant) subbing in meyer lemons for traditional lemons because they're sweeter. Normal lemons would do just fine, though.
Spring Vegetable Risotto
1 - Heat the broth in a saucepan over low heat.
2 - In a separate saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until translucent. Add the garlic. Continue stirring for another minute. Add the rice, stirring until the grains become translucent.
3 - Add the white wine, cook until all the wine is absorbed.
4 - Once the wine is absorbed, add a cup of the warm broth, continually stirring. As the rice absorbs the broth, continue adding a cup of broth at a time, constantly stirring until the rice is al dente (approximately 30 minutes). You may not need all of the broth.
5 - Incorporate the 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano, ramps, asparagus, peas, and more salt and pepper to taste. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes until the green tops of the ramps are wilted, and the asparagus and the peas are cooked, yet still crisp.
6 - Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and parsely.
7 - Transfer to individual bowls or one large serving dish. Garnish with shavings of fresh parmigiano reggiano.
8 - Enjoy!
About the authors
Michelle Zippelli is a Boston based hedonist who is committed to finding the best food that Boston has to offer. She has lived in Boston for 6 years and works in online marketing. Michelle loves meatballs, live music, exotic cheeses, Mexican food, spur of the moment dance parties, and all things pickled.
Jacki Morisi is a self-proclaimed bon vivant extraordinaire. A Boston native whose waking hours are exclusively focused on travel, music, food, and fare ... emphasis on food and fare. She's a firm believer that just because you're living on a young professional's budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste, and carries this mantra into each and every dining endeavor.