We’re all eating a little differently these days: Cooking at home more. Ordering takeout. Now that Phase 2 is well underway, though, some of us are starting to sip cocktails on patios and enjoy indoor-dining again. Whatever your comfort level, 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 both the comfort of your own home and out in the world.
Here’s what you may have missed this week:
Patios may be seeing a resurgence, but they’re not without their own issues: On Wednesday, the Boston Licensing Board conducted an emergency Zoom meeting with food and drink licensees in the North End to discuss a number of complaints that had been filed with the city. Here are four takeaways from that meeting.
Recent reports indicate that one in eight people in Eastern Massachusetts will face food insecurity as a result of COVID-19. Here’s how Boston’s food banks, pantries, and other organizations are keeping up with increasing demand.
Wondering how Massachusetts breweries have fared since the state began to reopen? These breweries talked to Boston.com about what it’s been like the past few weeks.
Chinatown’s restaurants declined first. The neighborhood might be the last to recover.
New patios to check out this weekend:
As Phase 2 chugs along and indoor dining resumes at some restaurants, patios are continuing to pop up across the city. This week is no different — here are five recently-opened outdoor dining spaces to lounge on this weekend.
Cisco Brewers Seaport Beer Garden: The Seaport beer garden is back for its third season, setting up shop at the intersection of Seaport Boulevard and Fan Pier Boulevard. Tableside service is now available, and Oath Pizza is offering a selection of pizza, salads, and desserts with a contactless ordering experience. Seating is first come, first serve.
Cósmica: For the first time since it opened in early February, South End Mexican restaurant Cósmica has debuted its dreamy patio, serving tacos and margaritas daily starting at 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday and noon on Saturday and Sunday.
Grand Tour: This Parisian bistro opened just months before the pandemic hit Boston, and returned this week with a brand new patio experience. Stop by the Newbury Street bôite Sundays through Thursdays from noon to 9 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. for some steak tartare and bubbly.
Sarma: Cassie Piuma’s Somerville destination has created a cheerful outdoor patio with two fixed menus (one vegetarian, $65; one with meat, $75). Reservations should be made the day before on Resy.
Union Oyster House: Boston’s legendary restaurant is back with outdoor dining — a first in the downtown stalwart’s history. The 30-seat patio will offer all of Union Oyster House’s classics, including lobster rolls, oysters, and clam chowder.
Eating and cooking alone, together:
Mark your calendars for Tuesday: Radical Xchange, a creative agency that uses food and beverage to highlight art, music, history, and community, will host Gimme Brown, a virtual experience featuring Black men and women in the beverage industry. I’m excited to tune in for educational panels, DJs, and plenty of spirits talk focused around coffee, chocolate, rum, whiskey, and cognac. Registration is free, but donations can be made to support Radical Xchange and its initiatives.
Even though Boston Pride cancelled the majority of Pride Month events due to COVID-19 and the recent protests, celebrations are still happening. Cambridge’s Lamplighter Brewing and The Network/La Red (TNLR) — a social justice organization working to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, SM, polyamorous, and queer communities — have partnered to create a virtual drag brunch on Saturday at 1 p.m. Tickets include the option to add a beer and doughnut pack, which includes a four pack of the brewery’s protest-oriented pale ale, Act Up, and four doughnuts from Union Square Donuts. Proceeds will be split between between the drag queen hosts, TNLR, and a donation to a soon-to-be-announced organization that revolves around Black queer folks.
Read this: My all-time favorite drink site, Punch, just published this excellent essay by Miguel De Leon, a wine professional and the current wine director of Pinch Chinese in Manhattan. De Leon, a Filipino American, deconstructs the traditionally white world of wine, and shares his own experiences of racism in the industry. “I don’t want to perpetuate the systems that dehumanized and demeaned me and my BIPOC colleagues,” he writes. “I want to dismantle white supremacy in wine. I want to spark change, to remove the barriers of entry, to call in and call out peers and industry leaders about the results of their actions and the consequences of their inactions. I want to get loud, get angry, do better.”