There’s no escaping it: The trees are up, the lights are on, and restaurants and bars around Boston are now fully leaning into the holiday spirit with themed dinners, festive cocktails, and a sudden abundance of flannel blankets. This week is no exception, with the launch of winter pop-ups and new holiday cocktail lists. But if you’re not ready to hear carols yet, maybe a Latin dinner series or a Repeal Day celebration (tonight!) is more your speed (or, for all the sugar fiends, a dinner comprised entirely of dessert).
Here are some of the goings-on around the city over the next few days.
The holiday season is rife with pop-ups, from the Santa-centric Miracle pop-up bars to the “Friends” 25th anniversary exhibit. But for ski fanatics, the annual Lodge at Publico might be your best bet to celebrate the season. Located within Publico Street Bistro & Garden’s interior courtyard, the Southie pop-up is decked out in flannel blankets and faux moose heads, with an artificial snow machine to maintain the winter wonderland vibe. The Lodge’s shotski is making a triumphant return, along with a selection of snacks (I’ve got my eye on the alpine arancini) and soul-warming drinks (spiked hot chocolate, mulled cider, and more). Stop by on Sunday for the pop-up’s ’80s-inspired après-ski party starting at 2 p.m., where guests will be encouraged to channel their best ski bunny look. (11 Dorchester St., Boston)
If, like me, you think dessert is a mandatory conclusion to dinner, then you might also be drawn to this Tasting Counter takeover. Pastry chef Kevin Halim will be heading up the kitchen at the Somerville restaurant on Tuesday, when he’ll craft a three-course menu with nine desserts revolving around the themes of Shareable (parsnip funnel cake, black yuzu, burnt vanilla), Homage (whiskey baba with dandelion root custard, eucalyptus ice cream, pulled chocolate), and Now (roasted potato skin ice cream, whipped sour cream, salt and pepper crumble, cheddar crisp). Tickets are $65 and can be purchased here. (14 Tyler St., Somerville)
3. Repeal Day parties
Dec. 5, 1933 marks the repeal of Prohibition in the U.S., a milestone that is often celebrated with bars promoting drink specials throughout the night. Alas, Boston still doesn’t allow happy hour on drinks (maybe that’ll be the next restriction to fall?), but a couple spots around the city are still raising a glass to the occasion on Thursday night. At Saloon in Somerville’s Davis Square, tickets to a Prohibition Repeal Party will include punch and hors d’oeuvres, and guests are encouraged to dress in their finest 1930s flapper wear. Across town in the Seaport, City Tap House will transform into a 1930s tavern at 7 p.m., complete with live music, Old Forester cocktail specials, and whiskey-infused steak tips and stuffed mushrooms. Entry is free, while dishes and drinks are available for individual purchase.
4. Latin dinner series at Tico
Chef Michael Schlow’s Tico will launch a monthly dinner series starting on Monday, with each month dedicated to a different Latin cuisine. In December, Mexico is in the spotlight; the four-course meal will include scallop aqua chile, lobster-stuffed chile relleno, cochinita pibil, and dulce de leche doughnut holes. Beverages from Casamigos Tequila and Tequila Ocho will be highlighted alongside the first three courses, with horchata offered as the last beverage pairing. The entire experience is $55, and reservations can be made by calling 617-351-0400. (222 Berkeley St., Boston)
5. Let’s Get Lit! holiday drinks at Committee
I know, I know: more holiday cocktails? Yes, more. Because when else are you going to be able to order a Krampus Karol? The spiked hot chocolate is just one of the cocktails on Committee‘s holiday drinks menu, which launched on Thursday and will be available throughout the entire month. Try the Santa’s Little Helper, an old fashioned with sugar cookie syrup; the Jingle Juice Shooter, which arrives in a Christmas ornament flask; or the Picture with Santa, a holiday milk punch which comes with the option to take a Polaroid picture of yourself. If you’re visiting the Seaport restaurant with a group, consider one of the two large-format cocktails on hand: the Group Therapy or the Athena’s Liquid Courage. (50 Northern Ave., Boston)