This weekend: Two new pizza spots and the return of a Hanukkah pop-up bar

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

Lobster pizza at Saltie Girl Seafood Pizza
Lobster pizza at Saltie Girl Seafood Pizza. –Saltie Girl Seafood Pizza

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 dine indoors 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:

Sauces from Pammy's
Sauces from Pammy’s. —Courtesy Pammy's

If you’ve started your holiday shopping, consider a food-centric gift this year. These 13 gift ideas help support local restaurants, chefs, and food businesses.

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“We’re a group of people that love to eat noodles.” After finding popularity on Instagram, The Nu Dò Society opens soon with a brick and mortar in Cambridge.

Dunkin’ released a new — and very purple — sugarplum macchiato for the holidays. Oh, and there’s a new frosted snowflake doughnut, too.

Stonewall Kitchen’s PB&J Café opened at the Boston Children’s Museum. Some parents weren’t very happy about it.

Abby Lane, Daddy Jones, Little Donkey, The Lansdowne Pub, and Spoke Wine Bar recently joined the list of restaurants hibernating for the winter.

Drink this:

Drinks at Maccabee Bar
Drinks at Maccabee Bar. —Courtesy Maccabee Bar

We are, miraculously, still capable of celebrating the holidays this year, even during a time that feels anything but celebratory. In keeping with tradition, bartender extraordinaire Naomi Levy has brought back her annual Hanukkah pop-up, Maccabee Bar, for a third year, with a lineup of festive cocktails that somehow makes everything feel a little more normal. Held at Variety Bar in Somerville’s Bow Market, the pop-up sports drinks like the Kosher Nostra, a negroni-esque cocktail featuring the flavors of tzimmes, a traditional Jewish dish made with root vegetables. Hot toddy fans will appreciate the Hot Date showcasing cardamom and dates, while the Hebrew Hammer mimics the flavors of sufganiyot, a jelly-filled doughnut usually eaten for Hanukkah. Need some sustenance to accompany your sips? Maccabee Bar also offers latkes and other snacks from Humaari Provisions, plus jelly doughnuts from Kate Holowchik’s Lionheart Confections. Stop by Maccabee Bar Wednesdays through Fridays from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (It’ll also be open Monday and Tuesday during the week of Hanukkah.) Reservations are encouraged and can be made here.

Eating and cooking alone, together:

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There are beer clubs, and then there’s Lamplighter Brewing’s Luminary Society, an annual bottle subscription service that just opened its membership sign-ups for the 2021 season. Now in its third year, the Luminary Society offers members six special releases in 750ml format throughout the year, with each release showcasing exclusive, experimental beers alongside swag and access to members-only virtual tastings. Tier 1 ($225) includes one bottle per release, Tier 2 ($345) features two bottles, and Tier 3 ($435) features three bottles. Snag a membership for yourself or as a gift for a beer-loving friend — either way, you’ll be supporting a much-loved local brewery in a particularly difficult year.

Proof that we’re desperately craving comfort food now more than ever, the Greater Boston area gained two new pizza options this week. The Back Bay’s Saltie Girl has transformed into Saltie Girl Seafood Pizza, serving pies topped with lobster, octopus, crab, and clam, plus salad options and cocktails to go. I’ve got my eye on the crab option, which also features bacon jam, fresno chilies, garlic, cilantro, and fresh basil. In Natick, Square Mgf. Co. soft opens on Friday at 4 p.m. with Detroit-style pizza, a thick, deep dish variety featuring crispy, cheesy edges — including a Suparoni with hot honey drizzled on top.

Here’s a pretty innovative app to emerge from the pandemic: CareFull, which launched in Boston earlier this week as a way for diners to find COVID-safe restaurants in their area. Founded by Tufts grad Garrett Weinstein, CareFull details which safety precautions are being used at local restaurants, from consistent mask wearing to table distancing, along with other information like whether the restaurant offers outdoor tents or heat lamps. Information is crowd-sourced, and users can leave their own reviews detailing their experience with safety at a restaurant. Right now there are over 250 restaurants included on the app, most of which are in the North End, Back Bay, and South End. It’s an interesting idea, but would you use it? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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