This Somerville restaurant has dedicated an entire menu to mac and cheese

Plus Ward 8 turns five, a new pizzeria opens, and more in this week's Tips Included.

Mac and cheese at Olde Magoun's Saloon
Mac and cheese at Olde Magoun's Saloon –Olde Magoun's Saloon

Welcome to Tips Included, a digest of the most important (and interesting) Boston restaurant and bar news right now. Each week, we bring you can’t-miss food events and openings, from neighborhood food festivals and pop-up dinners to the newest places to get your brunch fix. Looking for more food news? Check out everything going on in the Boston food scene at

What’s happening

Settle in for a drink at The Hawthorne. —The Hawthorne

Mac and cheese menu at Olde Magoun’s Saloon
If you’re trying to keep warm on these cold nights (it’s going to be a chilly Thanksgiving, folks), Olde Magoun’s Saloon’s annual mac and cheese menu should do the trick. Available on Wednesdays until Nov. 28, the gluttonous menu includes seven variations, like the Over the Top Lobster Mac and Cheese, 4 Cheez and Popcorn Shrimp, and the Nashville Hot & Crunchy Chicken — all serious upgrades from our usual Kraft box. (Through Nov. 28 on Wednesdays at 5 p.m.; Olde Magoun’s Saloon, Somerville; prices vary)


Sunday Sips at the Hawthorne
Before family and friends disperse after the holiday, get together one more time for Sunday Sips at the Hawthorne. The weekly tasting series features distillery experts who lead guests through a curated selection of whiskey, gin, rum, or other liquors; each pour is sold by the ounce. (Sunday, Nov. 25 at 5 p.m.; The Hawthorne, Boston; $7–$30 per pour)

Ward 8 turns five
Ward 8 may not be serving birthday cake for it’s five-year anniversary, but there will be ice cream sandwiches, specialty cocktails, a DJ, and bites to preview Tony and Elaine’s, a soon-to-open Italian restaurant in the North End. The party starts at 9 p.m. and goes until close — meaning the birthday party will likely run into the wee hours of the morning. (Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m.; Ward 8, Boston; free entry and bites)

What’s new

Shore Leave opened on Monday. —Reagan Byrne

Just another day in paradise
Tiki bar and restaurant Shore Leave officially opened Monday, bringing island vibes (and strong drinks) to the South End. Just in time, too: Winter arrived early, and we can’t imagine a better place to finish out the holiday week than at this subterranean bar that serves drinks like the Air-Conditioned Eden (a pineapple-infused martini) and Takes Two to Mango (a rum, mezcal, and mango purée concoction meant to share).


Next stop: India
Need a new Indian spot? Curry Express recently opened in Somerville, specializing in Northern Indian staples (Methi chicken, Saag Paneer) and Indo-Chinese dishes (Hakka noodles, momo dumplings). Owners Raj Adhikari and Padam Khadka also own the popular Cafe of India in Maynard; their second restaurant is a welcome return to Somerville for chef Khadka, who was the executive chef at India Palace for almost 14 years.

Upgrade your pizza
At Union Park Pizza, a new pie joint in the South End, the pizzas are anything but basic. Take The Neighborhood, which builds on The Standard (garlic-infused olive oil, Fior di Latte, aged parmesan and mozzarella) by piling on caramelized onions and a Mycoterra mushroom blend. Sausage and pepperoni comes from Moody’s Deli, specialty cheeses like Vermont goat cheese are offered as extras, and the Kid’s Cheese is cut into 12 adorable mini slices.