I am a list person, made all the more apparent when I travel. Before a trip, I create lengthy, categorized agendas, comprised mostly of the restaurants and bars I want to visit. I’ll be visiting Providence over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, and my must-do list is already far too long compared to the short time I’ll be spending there.
Still: I’d love your Providence recommendations, even if it makes my list that much harder to tackle. What should I eat? Where should I drink? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to report back.
If you’re sticking around Boston this weekend, there’s plenty to eat and drink right here, from new pizza spots to neighborhood hangouts sporting standout chowder deals. Of course, you could always try to sneak in one last visit to Top of the Hub, which announced Wednesday that it will close in April. I know I’m adding it to my “Boston institutions to visit” list.
1. Get out of your pizza comfort zone
There’s been a lot of chatter about Boston’s growing pizza scene lately, and this weekend is the perfect opportunity to try a few styles that may veer from your usual Neapolitan or bar pizza. To start: Head to Brookline, where Bar ‘Cino opens its doors on Friday. The new neighborhood hangout, which launched its first location in Newport, R.I., specializes in thin crust grilled pizza cut tableside with scissors. Choose from options like the fig and prosciutto or roasted Rhode Island mushroom, and pair with an Italian-inspired cocktail like the Downeast negroni. Over at the newly-opened LongCross Bar & Kitchen in Medford, Detroit-style pizza is on the menu, a rare find around these parts — and very different from Bar ‘Cino’s slices. Made with a thick crust and cut into squares, LongCross offers variations like old school pepperoni and Cheese Monger, a pie made with Monterey, smoked mozzarella, and Calabro ricotta cheeses. And if you’re looking for alternative pizzas, Oath Pizza recently introduced a Mindful Menu, featuring plant-based, dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free pizzas like the Basil Beyond Meatball pizza using Beyond meat and the option to order a cauliflower crust.
2. Drink for Australia
After months of raging fires, Australia is finally getting some relief with substantial rainfall. Still, the devastation has been monumental, and fundraising efforts to support the affected land, animals, and residents are ongoing. In addition to the now-sold-out Boston Barbie for Bushfire Support, an event organized by KO Pies’ Samuel Jackson, a couple of other local businesses have launched their own fundraising efforts. At Precinct Kitchen + Bar, a cocktail called the Blood Orange Boomerang will be available until Jan. 31, with proceeds going towards the World Wildlife Fund. The vodka-based drink uses blood orange purée, tarragon Syrup, and soda water, and is garnished with a dehydrated blood orange. More of a beer drinker? Night Shift Brewing will release For the Land Down Under — a double dry hopped, double India pale ale — on Saturday. The beer will be available at both the Everett and Boston taprooms, and $1 from every pour and four-pack sold will be donated to WIRES Wildlife Rescue.
3. Fool’s Errand launches a cookbook club
Finding a cookbook you love is invaluable (for me, it’s the Moosewood Cookbook; I have carted its various editions around with me everywhere I’ve lived as an adult). Even better: Finding one you can bond over with new friends and great food. To help you find your cookbook crew, Fool’s Errand recently launched a cookbook club, and its first meeting — held on Sunday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. — will dive into the world of Julia Child and her seminal tome, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Hosted by chef Ellie Roycroft of Sweet Cheeks Q, the event will kick off with a discussion of the cookbook while sampling dishes from its pages; Roycroft will then demonstrate one of the recipes that skews on the more complicated side. Tickets run $30, and wine and beer pairings can be purchased at an additional cost.
4. M & M BBQ grand opening
If you happen to have the day off on Monday and are craving some wildly good comfort food, make plans to pay Dorchester Brewing Co. a visit. M & M BBQ, which has softly debuted within the revamped brewery, will host its grand opening on Monday from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., with owner Geo Lambert serving his full menu of sausages, pretzels, ribs, wings, and more. Celebrate with small bites, beer, and live music, and be sure to check out the recently-opened rooftop beer garden. Then head out into the city to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. — the Museum of Fine Arts has a full schedule of events, while Faneuil Hall will host its annual tribute concert.
5. It’s soup weather
Remember last weekend when it was 70 and sunny? What a tease. We’re back to cold, gloomy weather — soup weather. In honor of National Soup Month (it’s a thing, apparently), The Hourly Oyster House in Cambridge is offering a bowl of housemade clam chowder, housemade saltines, and a 16-ounce Narragansett Lager for $9. The deal is available every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. until Jan. 31, when the weather will still, unfortunately, be just as cold and gloomy. If chili is your preferred version of soup (I mean, a hot dog is a sandwich, right?), Brato Brewhouse + Kitchen will host its first annual Winter Chili Classic on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., pitting versions of chili from Brato, Lamplight, and Bonetown Burgers against each other. Details are still forthcoming, but check Brato’s Facebook and Instagram pages in the coming days for more information.