Restaurants

This weekend: Beer for a cause, pizza kits, and cooking classes from around the world

Plus, the food news you may have missed this week.

Glory from Wachusett Brewing Company
Glory from Wachusett Brewing Company. Wachusett Brewing Company

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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 Massachusetts 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:

Produce at a Farmer Dave's farm stand.

Produce at a Farmer Dave’s farm stand.

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Feeling uneasy about shopping at the grocery store? You’re not alone. To avoid the lines, consider shopping directly from your local farm or signing up for a CSA delivery service. Here are a couple places to start. 

We heard from more restaurant owners this week about how the coronavirus has impacted their business. Check out these stories about an old-school diner feeding Newton’s most vulnerable residents and a Waltham bistro finding strength in its community.

“We have the plague, we got the flood — hopefully locusts aren’t next.” Cinquecento was forced to close after the South End’s water main break caused extensive flooding in the area.

Boston restaurants are hurting. Can more liquor licenses help or hurt their recovery? The issue was debated at a Boston City Council committee meeting last week.

Netflix & Swill

Glory from Wachusett Brewing Company

Glory from Wachusett Brewing Company.

Stir crazy might be the best way to sum up how I’m feeling these days. Add to that: isolated, restless, jittery, and experiencing incredibly vivid dreams (apparently we’re all having them?). So why not watch a movie about other people who are losing it? Set in New England, “The Lighthouse,” which just started streaming on Amazon, is a psychological thriller starring William Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, two island lightkeepers who are slowly descending into madness. Same, same.

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Something that might take the edge off: beer for a cause. In partnership with Atlas Distributing, Wachusett Brewing Co. released a new beer this week called Glory, an American IPA that comes in at an easy-breezy 5.8 percent. I could tell you that I’m looking forward to this tropically-tinged drink for its notes of pear, mango, and pineapple, but there’s an even better reason to pick up a six-pack of Glory. The beer was created to raise money for three COVID-19 response funds: United Way of North Central Massachusetts Stand United Fund, the United Way of Tri-County Community Response Fund, and Worcester Together, a joint effort between the United Way of Central Massachusetts and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.

Eating and cooking alone, together

Oath

Oath Pizza care packages.

Pizza making can seem like therapy right now. There’s all that dough punching. The mess of flour that takes over the kitchen, as if to say: “What? Like you don’t have time to clean this up?” The comfort of customizing our own personal pies, just the way we like them. Restaurants are recognizing this form of carb catharsis, as evidenced by the influx of pizza kits in the past few weeks. At Tuscan Kitchen in the Seaport, a take-home pizza kit comes with pre-measured ingredients and a recipe card for making your own pizza. Oath Pizza‘s care package feeds five to seven people, with all the ingredients necessary for making cheese and pepperoni pies, while in Burlington, Osteria Nino is offering cheese, pepperoni, mushroom, and margherita pizza kits through Uber Eats. And at Forge Baking Co. in Somerville, customers can order both pizza dough and kits, which are available with pesto or red sauce.

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Amanda G. Lewis & Co. focuses on creative marketing for the hospitality industry. But when the hospitality industry has essentially shut down, what’s a marketing company to do? Make a cookbook, to start. Their digital cookbook, “Isolate and Create,” is scheduled to come out later this month, but it’s already available for pre-order. Filled with recipes from local chefs and bartenders, the cookbook is available for $20, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the Massachusetts Restaurant Strong Fund, which assists industry workers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

A week from today, I was scheduled to be in Mexico City, eating tacos with my siblings and wandering the halls of the Museo Jumex. That’s clearly not happening anymore, so instead I’m turning to Airbnb Online Experiences, which launched last week. The growing list of virtual experiences features cooking classes, wine tastings, and more — a sampling of the world from inside your apartment. To channel my vacation-that-never-was, I’m signing up for this class on making Mexican salsas. Have you used Airbnb’s Online Experiences yet? Let me know in the comments.

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