Restaurants

This weekend: How to celebrate Mardi Gras this year, and where to find Flavortown in Boston

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

Buttermilk beignets at Buttermilk & Bourbon
Buttermilk & Bourbon is offering king cake-style beignets for Mardi Gras. Buttermilk & Bourbon

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We’re all eating a little differently these days: Cooking at home more. Ordering takeout. Dining by fire pits. 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:

Border Cafe

Firefighters respond to a fire at Border Cafe in Cambridge.

It’s the end of an era: After a fire in December 2019 temporarily shuttered the restaurant, Border Cafe in Harvard Square has closed for good.

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Lunar New Year is upon us, and dumplings are in order. Here’s where to find some excellent ones around Boston — plus a few spots where you can order frozen dumplings to cook at home.

Here’s what we know about Kennedy Cafe, an upcoming Eastie coffee shop and neighborhood resource center.

“We had a good run.” Cambridge pub The People’s Republik has permanently closed.

The owner of Pétsi Pies has retired, but her pies aren’t going anywhere. “I love what she’s built, and I’ve loved that ever since I stepped foot in that place,” said new owner Jill Remby.

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This week’s Boston.com Cocktail Club focused on bourbon, featuring recipes for Eastern Standard’s number one selling drink and the always refreshing Brown Derby.

Last week, we published a list of chocolate and flower shops to frequent in Boston. Our readers shared their own favorites.

Too Good To Go helps local restaurants fight food waste. “We know that food waste doesn’t take a break,” said Gaeleen Quinn, Too Good To Go’s East Coast director.

Donut Dip has the best doughnuts in Mass., according to Food & Wine.

Drink this:

Happy Year of the Ox! I’m planning on ordering plenty of Chinese food this weekend, but there are cocktails to be had, too. At Baldwin & Sons Trading Co. in Woburn — part of The Baldwin Bar and Sichuan Garden — guests can raise a glass to Chinese New Year with cocktails like the Two Roads Diverged, made with gin, jade oolong tea, vermouth, plum, strawberry, cucumber, and lemon. Order food from Sichuan Garden to round out your celebrations, and continue supporting Chinese restaurants all weekend long — and long after the Lunar New Year has ended.

Eating and cooking alone, together:

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If Valentine’s Day isn’t really your thing, maybe you’re looking forward to Mardi Gras, instead? The holiday, which falls on Feb. 16 this year, is generally celebrated with plenty of raucous eating and drinking, and there are still a couple places around Boston offering specials for the occasion. At Buttermilk & Bourbon in the Back Bay, chef Jason Santos has put together Mardi Gras specials for takeout or dine-in that include fried oyster sliders, duck confit andouille gumbo, a crawfish boil, and stuffed king cake-style beignets; orders can be placed by calling the restaurant at 617-266-1122. Lionheart Confections has Mardi Gras doughnuts for sale ($17.50 for a box of four) — e-mail [email protected] to place your order for pickup at Idle Hour in Quincy on Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Over in Jamaica Plain, The Blue Frog Bakery has brought back their dazzling king cakes, which you can order by calling 617-983-3764. Here’s hoping your slice contains the celebratory plastic baby!

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Guy Fieri’s Tequila Cocina may have gone into hibernation in December, but the mayor of Flavortown is still slinging stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. Fieri recently launched a virtual concept, Flavortown Kitchen, that is now based out of several Bertucci’s locations, including ones in West Roxbury, Medford, Waltham, Lexington, and Needham. Order online, where you can find a menu featuring Buffalo wings, jalapeño poppers, Cuban sandwiches, Cajun chicken alfredo, and more.

Yet another great reason to dine at MIDA: The South End Italian restaurant recently joined forces with the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts to launch the Community Through Hospitality campaign, an initiative raising funds for the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) throughout the month of February. As part of the campaign, MIDA debuted a new cocktail, called The Block Party, and is donating 100 percent of the drink’s sales to the GBFB. On Feb. 16, the restaurant will also launch a special pasta dish, with a percentage of the sales going toward the GBFB.

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