We’re all eating a little differently these days: Cooking at home more. Ordering takeout. Buying beans in bulk. And that’s the way it’s going to be for a while, at least until the Mass. dine-in ban lifts and it’s safe to start eating at our favorite restaurants again. In the meantime, here’s what’s been going on in Boston’s restaurant world recently, plus a few ways to enjoy some of our region’s best restaurants and bars from the comfort of your own home.
Here’s what you may have missed this week:
Christmas — er, summer — came early with the release of Polar Seltzer’s 2020 summer collection. There are four new flavors, plus the return of fan favorite Raspberry Rosé.
Thinking about ordering groceries from Peapod, Stop & Shop’s online delivery service? Yeah, that might take a while. Wait times are over two weeks — here’s how Stop & Shop is responding.
Consider this a welcome distraction: Night Shift Distributing has partnered with The Alchemist to bring the Vermont brewery’s cult classics — Heady Topper and Focal Banger — to Massachusetts. Find out if they’re delivering to a liquor store near you.
Need a few new dishes to try this weekend? We asked five chefs to share their favorite pantry recipes, from buttermilk fried chicken to lentil-curry soup.
Netflix & Swill
What are you watching this weekend? I’ve got my eyes on Netflix’s “Uncorked,” which tells the story of a Memphis man following his dream to become a master sommelier, despite his father’s expectations to take over the family-owned barbecue joint. There’s wine drinking in Paris! Glistening shots of pork ribs! Niecy Nash! Need I say more?
While it would definitely make sense to sip on wine while watching “Uncorked,” everything in my body tells me that I need to order Kowloon‘s new Mai Tai mix. The Saugus destination has jumped on the cocktails to-go train and is now offering both Mai Tai and Scorpion Bowl mixes, with the option to order servings for two ($6.95) or four ($11.95). With each mix — available for pickup or delivery — you’ll have to add your own alcohol and ice, but everything else is taken care of. I’m going to add an umbrella and pretend I’m on the tropical vacation we all deserve right now.
Eating and cooking alone, together
Earlier this week, my roommate told me she was making whipped coffee. “You know, the coffee that went viral on TikTok,” she said. I immediately Googled it and discovered that I had been missing out on this easy-as-pie sipper, also known as Dalgona coffee. The drink, which originated in South Korea, is made by whipping instant coffee, sugar, and hot water together until it becomes thick and frothy. Scoop it over your choice of milk, and behold: You have a bistro-worthy beverage in your own kitchen. I’ll be attempting to make the coffee this weekend — let me know how yours turns out in the comments.
If all of this *waves hands* feels like some strange kind of purgatory to you, then hell: Let’s embrace it with the Virtual Hell Night Challenge from Brato Brewhouse and Lamplighter Brewing. Order Brato’s special Hell Night Meal Kit by 3 p.m. on Friday, and you’ll receive a Zoom link to join the virtual challenge at 7:30 p.m. with Brato’s founders playing host. The kit, which can be picked up at either Brato or Lamplighter, features six incrementally hot items (choose between wings or cauliflower wings) and six different hot sauces, with two wings per sauce. Make it through all the wings with taste buds to spare and you’re a true hero.
There have been a lot of “coronavirus cooking” newsletters to come out of this pandemic, but the one that I’m really into right now is Sam Koppelman’s Cooking in Quarantine. Each newsletter centers around a quirky, informative interview with a buzzy chef, and ends with a recipe that is generally pantry-friendly. Koppelman, a New York Times best selling-author and a former Boston resident, has featured a couple local all-stars in his newsletter, including Michael Scelfo and Karen Akunowicz.
Please watch national treasure Ina Garten making the world’s largest cosmopolitan. That’s all.