We’re all eating a little differently these days: Cooking at home more. Ordering takeout. Now that Phase 3 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:
We spoke with a handful of Boston chefs, owners, and restaurant staff to find out what the new rules of dining are during a pandemic (Hint: Always have a backup plan).
The Boston Black Hospitality Coalition has launched a brand new initiative: Boston Black Restaurant Month, which kicked off at the beginning of August and encourages diners to order from and support Black-owned restaurants throughout the month (and beyond!).
In need of a staycation? Try hitting up one of these 13 rooftop bars and restaurants that you can still visit in Boston.
The Boston beer world was shaken up this week, first with an emotional letter from Lord Hobo CEO Daniel Lanigan, then with the news that Aeronaut Brewing Co. is taking over the former Down the Road Beer Co. space in Everett. Oh, and Night Shift Brewing’s beer gardens are back, starting Saturday — here’s what you should know before you visit.
Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage in Harvard Square is up for sale! But don’t worry: Owner Bill Bartley said the goal is to find a buyer who wants to keep the iconic concept intact.
New patios to check out this weekend:
As Phase 3 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.
Club Café: This Bay Village destination is back with a small but mighty outdoor patio, where diners can settle in for homemade gazpacho, grilled lamb tips, and a refreshing cucumber ginger martini.
Flora’s Wine Bar: Flora’s opened in West Newtown just a few weeks before the shutdown occurred, but has managed to reopen with a delightful list of red and white wine, cocktails, and beer, plus an Instagram-worthy (and delicious!) cheese and charcuterie board. Enjoy a glass of vino on Flora’s quaint outdoor patio.
Ivory Pearl: The latest concept to debut from Ran Duan (Baldwin Bar, Blossom Bar), Ivory Pearl launched this week in Brookline’s Washington Square with a 50-seat patio. Come for the seafood from chef Ian Maschal, stay for the wine-inspired cocktails like the Golden Hour, which is meant to mimic the flavor profile of Lambrusco.
Pammy’s: After taking a quick hiatus to regroup, Pammy’s in Cambridge has returned with a charming outdoor patio. The restaurant has also revamped its ordering process: Dinner is a minimum of $65 per person, which includes three dishes and the option to order additional food, as well as a $40 wine pairing.
Vee Vee: Last month, Jamaica Plain’s Vee Vee launched a garden patio in its back courtyard for the first time, a socially-distanced space with twinkling lights strung from above and plenty of greenery. Stop in on Tuesdays for the restaurant’s fried chicken special, or visit this weekend for potato croquettes, Mediterranean beef pasta, and butterscotch pudding.
Eating and cooking alone, together:
I wrote about the global “Black is Beautiful” beer campaign a few weeks ago, an initiative that saw 15 Mass. breweries using an imperial stout recipe from San Antonio’s Weathered Souls Brewing, putting their own spinning it, and donating proceeds to foundations supporting police brutality reform and legal defenses for those who have been impacted by racial injustice. Some have launched their version in the past few days, including Gentile Brewing in Beverly, which has a few more four-packs left for sale and is selling the beer on draft for a limited time (proceeds will go to the North Shore NAACP chapter). Trillium Brewing and White Lion Brewing released their Black is Beautiful beers on Friday, and will donate proceeds to Lawyers for Civil Rights and Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley. Join Trillium and White Lion on Instagram at @trilliumbrewing on Friday at 7 p.m. for a live discussion about the initiative, plus details on White Lion’s upcoming taproom opening.
Go to prom this weekend! Er, sort of. On Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., Medford’s The Porch Southern Fare & Juke Joint will team up with Great Eastern Trading Co. to present P.R.O.M., which stands for Pandemically Responsible Outdoor Market. At the market, you’ll find vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, antiques, records, and, of course, plenty of booze and barbecue from The Porch. Sounds like a great way to get your shopping and ‘cue fix all at once.
A restaurant paying you to dine at their establishment? That’s a new one. Sip Wine Bar and Kitchen is hoping this tactic will help bring diners back to the downtown bôite, offering every table a $25 gift certificate when they spend $25 or more. “It might seem crazy, but we want to encourage more people to continue to dine out,” Chris Damian, chef and co-owner at Sip, said in a press release. “As the media cycle moves on, restaurants and their employees are left trying to make a living. That being said, it’s a hard time for everyone. This is a great way to ensure everyone wins. Customers get a reward for coming in to our restaurant and we get to see diners twice in the hopes they may become regulars of ours.”
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