Restaurants

This weekend: Try these two new virtual restaurants

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

Nu Burger
Nu Burger is now a virtual pop-up. Nu Burger

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We’re all eating a little differently these days: Cooking at home more. Ordering takeout. Dining under heat lamps. 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:

Banana Boat

The Banana Boat Ice Cream shop in Revere closed its doors on Tuesday.

Banana Boat, a family-owned ice cream shop in Revere, has closed. “Watching generations come and go has been one of the greatest motivations for our family to continue each year,” the owners shared.

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We spoke with Ted Kilpatrick, co-owner and beverage director at Chickadee, about what’s been getting him through the pandemic, his go-to cocktail, and how his staff have maintained the “soul of Chickadee” amid a rapidly changing landscape for restaurants.

Auto magnate and philanthropist Ernie Boch Jr. leaves $2,021 tips at six Boston restaurants. “You don’t have to go to restaurants to know that they’re struggling,” Boch said.

Geppetto debuts at Cambridge Crossing with Sicilian-style pizza and tortellini soup, now available for takeout and delivery.

“Things feel pretty aggressive in supermarkets.” Here’s how readers are grocery shopping now.

Ben & Jerry’s talks about the importance of speaking out. “We do these things not to sell more ice cream but because we care about people and have values,” said Matthew McCarthy, CEO of Ben & Jerry’s.

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We’re halfway through Dry January. Are you still holding on? Let us know in our survey!

Drink this:

Northern Spy debuted in Canton at the end of December, a restaurant dedicated to New England comfort food from the folks behind Loyal Nine in Cambridge. In preparation for Burns Night on Jan. 25 — a celebration of the life and work of Scottish poet Robert Burns — the newcomer has released a new takeout cocktail dubbed the Bobby Burns. Made with Famous Grouse whiskey, Dolin Rouge vermouth, bénédictine, and Regan’s orange bitters, the drink is a fitting tribute to Scotland’s famed bard. Orders can be placed for pickup and delivery here.

Eating and cooking alone, together:

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As more and more community fridges are installed in neighborhoods throughout the Boston area, it’s important to remember that in order to keep them stocked, well, we all need to stock them. On Saturday, the Dorchester Community Fridge will partner with the Milton Community Network and China Pearl to host a food drive. Suggested donations include fresh fruit and vegetables, pasta, rice, cereal, milk, eggs, cooking oils, cleaning supplies, and napkins, all of which can be dropped off from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The Mattapan Community Fridge follows suit on Sunday, accepting donations from 11 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are still needed!

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There are two new ghost kitchens to try this week. First up: Nu Burger, which made a brief debut last summer when it opened at Time Out Market, serving a standout selection of burgers before the market went into hibernation. Launched by Anoush’ella owners Nina and Raffi Festekjian, the concept has returned, this time as a virtual pop-up sharing a kitchen with Anoush’ella in the South End. The pop-up kicks off with six different burgers, ranging from the Spicy Cauliflower Vegetarian to the Artisan Bacon, and you can order via Toast or a variety of delivery apps. Also in the South End, Ghost King Thai has emerged from the Toro kitchen, a fried chicken-centric pop-up from chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. Available via Toast and DoorDash, diners can order a boxed meal that comes with Thai fried chicken, som tum, sticky rice, and shrimp chips — or create your own combo with buckets of fried chicken and a short menu of sides.

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Despite being known as an expertly curated wine shop, The Urban Grape has gained a steady fanbase for their weekly restaurant pop-ups. Translation: You’d be wise to put in your order for this upcoming meal. On Jan. 26, Comfort Kitchen will offer a beef and vegetarian dinner to go, each featuring West African stewed rice as a base. Paired with a 2020 Kumusha Cabernet/Cinsault blend, the food is a sneak peek into what’s to come at Comfort Kitchen, an upcoming restaurant that will soon land in Dorchester with a menu focusing on food from the African Diaspora. Place your order for the two-person meal kit here, and pick up your purchase at The Urban Grape’s wine counter on Jan. 26 between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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