I think I can speak for us all when I say: Being sick is the worst. I kicked off the new year with a good ol’ case of bronchitis, but I’m hopeful that Soup Shack and copious amounts of tea will help me get through the hump. If you’re in the thick of it now, I feel for you.
In the meantime, let’s gather what strength we have left to enjoy January with creative mocktails and a newfound appreciation for restaurants that offer blankets. Here are a handful of places that fit the bill, plus a few new brunches, the launch of a family-owned winery, and a food-centric museum exhibit.
Stay healthy out there, friends!
1. Dry January
I’ve been inadvertently participating in Dry January this month after coming down with a fierce cold immediately after New Year’s. Good thing, then, that so many Boston restaurants are offering mocktails and Dry January-centric cocktail menus. At Committee in the Seaport, a creamy Piñita Colada with pandan and a tropical Bungle in the Jungle featuring coconut vinegar are valiant replacements for the restaurant’s usual boozy options. The fancy soda menu at Little Donkey is a refreshing lineup of drinks including the Just Dew It (honeydew, serrano, pineapple, lime, soda) and the Sister Carole (blueberry, tarragon, citrus, tonic). And at Alden & Harlow, you’ll find seasonal mocktails with cheeky names like Boots with the Fur (crabapple and hot cider).
2. Winter wonderlands
There’s no going back now — we’re in the trenches of winter, with months of frigid weather ahead of us. Instead of hibernating, try to challenge yourself to find comfort and coziness outside. The Bowery Bar, a neighborhood eatery in Dorchester’s Lower Mills neighborhood, will open a winter village this weekend, complete with three yurts decked out in blankets and space heaters meant for snug dining. Publico Street Bistro & Garden‘s aprés-ski pop-up is still going strong, achieving optimal hygge with fire pits, heated lounge areas, flannel blankets, an artificial snow machine, and hot drinks. And if you’ve been meaning to do some more ice skating, Time Out Market Boston‘s food and beverage truck launches on Thursday, right beside the Fenway ice skating rink outside the market. Keep warm with hot cocoa, cider, and snacks, then hop back on the rink to enjoy the winter magic.
3. New brunches
Yet another reason to get out of bed on cold winter days: brunch, made all the more enticing with a few new options around town. The Pollo Club, a relatively new fried chicken spot in Waltham, recently launched Sunday brunch (10 a.m.–3 p.m.) with chicken and waffles (naturally), acai bowls, and eggs Benedict, plus fun AM cocktails like the Raised by Wolves made with vanilla toffee vodka and espresso. Over in the Seaport, Woods Hill Pier 4 debuts its own Sunday brunch (11 a.m.–2 p.m.) this weekend. On the menu: breakfast beignets, cinnamon swirl French toast, WHP4 burger, and a lamb merguez shakshuka, plus Bloody Marys, espresso martinis, and spiked iced matcha lattes.
4. Debevino Winery opening
Wineries in Massachusetts are few and far between, so I’m especially excited about this newest entry. Just a mile away from Gillette Stadium sits Debevino Winery, a family-owned winery and tasting room set to open on Friday. While the grapes are sourced from Suisun Valley in Napa, all the fermentation and production takes place in the Walpole production facility, resulting in malbec, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, and other varietals that can be sipped within the winery’s casual tasting room ($12 will get you four sample pours and an informational tour). In the future, the winery — owned by Al DeNapoli; John, Rich, and Paul Bevilacqua; and Dom Arpino — will host themed events, tailgate parties, and live music. Maybe next year, we’ll be sipping on wine while watching the Pats make it to the playoffs just down the road. Fingers crossed. (2255 Providence Hwy, Walpole)
5. “Resetting the Table: Food and our Changing Tastes”
More food for thought than actual sustenance, a new food-related exhibit at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology is on my to-do list for this weekend. Called “Resetting the Table: Food and our Changing Tastes,” the exhibit revolves around a high-end dining experience set in 1910, using archaeological and historical artifacts to comment on the food choices, eating habits, attitudes, and influences on U.S. food consumption. Admission to the museum is generally $15 for adults, but if you visit on Sunday morning from 9 a.m.–noon, entry is free for Massachusetts residents. (11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge)