This weekend: A coffee and wine shop starts a ’90s nostalgia food series

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

The patio at The Dial
Looking for a new patio to check out this weekend? Check out The Dial. Brian Samuels Photography

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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:

Trillium Garden on the Greenway is now open.

Some good news to start your weekend: Trillium Garden on the Greenway is back, this time with a new on-site brewhouse offering small batch special releases.

School lunches are changing due to COVID-19 this fall. “Our mission is that every child gets everything they need to learn,” said Laura Benevidez, executive director of food and nutrition services at Boston Public Schools.

If you’ve seen a stand-alone fridge on the street in your neighborhood, you’re not alone. In an effort to help feed those in need, community fridges are on the rise in Boston.

Cambridge’s Central Square received a newcomer this week with the addition of The Dial, which offers globally-inspired plates and a spacious outdoor patio.

You can now sit at a bar when you go out to eat: Massachusetts has eased COVID-19 seating rules for restaurants.

Taqueria el Barrio has permanently closed, with owner Alex Sáenz writing, “It’s official. Permanently closed. We lost our beautiful little taquería. We tried. I’m sorry.” The fast casual eatery on Commonwealth Avenue served excellent tacos and aguas frescas. Do you miss Taqueria el Barrio, or any of the other restaurants that have closed amid the pandemic? Here’s how you can share your memories with us.

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 handful of recently-opened outdoor dining spaces to lounge on this weekend.


Earnest Drinks: Though this bar-meets-coffee-shop-meets-ice-cream-parlor officially debuts on Wednesday, Earnest Drinks will host a few test runs over the weekend, with doors opening at 2 p.m. each day. A sister to Gracie’s Ice Cream, the Kendall Square newcomer will sell coffee, spiked milkshakes, wine, beer, and ice cream, plus items like pimento cheese hot dogs and ham and butter sandwiches — all of which can be enjoyed on Earnest’s patio.

Samuel Adams: The Faneuil Hall taproom has reopened its downtown digs — including its spacious patio — after closing in mid-July due to concern over “out-of-state visitors.” The brewery said it will “utilize a mix of outdoor patio reservations and walk-in tables”; reservations can be made here.

The Dial: Fresh on the scene, The Dial opened at boutique hotel 907 Main in Cambridge on Wednesday, serving globally-inspired plates like tandoori chicken, Yucca fries, and jerk quail. An outdoor patio sits tucked behind the restaurant, with plenty of space to eat or sip on one of bar manager Courtney Nunheimer’s innovative cocktails.

Trillium Garden on the Greenway: As mentioned above, Trillium returned to the Rose Kennedy Greenway at noon on Friday, and it’s looking like a great weekend to sip on a Heavy Mettle outside. Reservations are encouraged, though walk-ins are also available.

Eating and cooking alone, together:

I’m all for reveling in ’90s nostalgia, so it’s no surprise that Curio Wine‘s new weekly series, “S*** we ate in the ’90s,” has tugged at my heart strings. The wine bar, which takes over Curio Coffee on Friday evenings, is paying homage to ’90s guilty pleasure foods, starting with a gussied-up version of the McRib. “We took pork from @mfdulock and formed our own riblet, that classic mystery meat patty we all loved,” the Cambridge spot shared on Instagram. Um, can I put in a request for Dunkaroos?


Vega Brothers, a mini market in Roxbury’s Nubian Square, is about to reopen with a brand new look. The market, which has been around for roughly 30 years, recently received a floor-to-ceiling makeover — you can catch the beginning of its journey on this episode of “Bodega Makeover” — with spaced out shelves, a light, airy feel, and a focus on highlighting healthy, nutritious food. The market will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and guests are invited to shop at the store afterward to stock up on groceries for the weekend.

Watch this: The virtual Food Justice Film Festival is underway, featuring award-winning films that explore the connection between environmental injustice, food insecurity, climate change, and white supremacy. Sign up here to receive links to films like “Invisible Vegan,” “Dolores,” and “Urban Roots,” plus Q&A panels with the filmmakers.

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