The Dish: 5 things to eat and drink in Boston right now

Including negronis, roast chicken, and lavender cheesecake.

Negroni Week kicks off Sept. 13. Linda Xiao/The New York Times

Wondering what to eat and drink in Boston this weekend? The Dish is a weekly guide to five things in the local restaurant and bar scene that are on my radar right now. Shoot me an e-mail at [email protected] to let me know what other dishes and drinks I should check out.

1. Go meat-free this weekend with a plant-based pop-up

Fire + Fennel, a catering pop-up from chefs Pete Carvelli and Stefano Mariotta, will set up shop inside Darwin’s Ltd.‘s Mass. Ave location on Saturday with a meat-free à la carte menu from 5:30 p.m. to close. The lineup looks fantastic: Corn fritters with lime crema, seared artichoke hearts with crispy polenta, farro fennel sausage, and cod with stone fruit curry are all on my radar. Don’t skip out on the desserts, either — the lavender cheesecake with blueberry compote sounds heavenly, as does the Fire + Fennel sundae made with local peach sorbet and chutney. Text or call 401-742-5471 for reservations.

2. It’s time for all the pumpkin-flavored things

I know that when I’m already writing about apple cider doughnuts, pumpkin-flavored food and drink is close behind. Sorry, those are just the rules. And like clockwork, pumpkin-centric items have started to take over my Instagram feed. FOMU‘s seasonal pumpkin pie ice cream has returned, a vegan dream swirled with house made caramel and pie crust. At Lucy’s American Tavern in Dorchester, a new brunch cocktail is on the menu: the Great Pumpkin Iced Coffee, made with vanilla vodka, pumpkin liqueur, iced coffee, and whipped cream, topped off with a cinnamon-sugar doughnut. And speaking of doughnuts, Kane’s Donuts is getting in the autumnal spirit with the release of its pumpkin spice doughnut coated in a honey-dip glaze. Long story short: Pumpkin is back, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

3. In search of a negroni? Good news: It’s almost Negroni Week.

Every year, Negroni Week rolls around with the promise to give us our fill of the popular Italian cocktail, as restaurants and bars around the city offer negroni specials to benefit the charity of their choosing. This year’s booze-filled week kicks off on Monday, and a small selection of restaurants are putting out their own version of the Campari-centric drink. At Forage in Cambridge, the negroni features Dry Line gin, Campari, Antica Torino Rosso, sweet goldenrod, and fizz, with donations going toward The Roots Fund. Cantina Italiana in the North End will offer multiple Campari-based beverages, including a traditional negroni, a white negroni, and an Americano, all in support of CORE. Other participating restaurants include Back Bay Social, Committee, Eataly Boston, Idle Hour, Rochambeau, and Woods Hill Pier 4; pay them a visit before Negroni Week ends on Sept. 19.

4. Forget the birthday cake: Order miser wat and a juice smoothie at this Dorchester restaurant’s birthday party

Happy birthday, Oasis Vegan Veggie Parlor! The Dorchester eatery turns four on Saturday, and we all get to join in on the celebrations. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., stop by for acoustic performances, poetry, art, and an open mic. But before all that, you should probably get dinner. I’m a fan of the miser wat stew featuring spicy Ethiopian lentils, which you can order with a selection of grains and veggies. Pair it with something from Oasis’s juice bar, like the Purple Rain: apple juice, blueberries, goji berries, moringa, and agave.

5. Dine on roast chicken, melon gazpacho, and wine cookies at a Gray’s Hall pop-up

Kat Bayle is the creative mind behind Shirley, a pop-up restaurant that highlights hyper-local, seasonal ingredients and Bayle’s culinary prowess. On Monday, she’s taking her talents to Gray’s Hall in Southie for a four-course dinner, and the menu looks outstanding. To start, there are sweet peppers served with creme fraiche and horseradish (read her love letter to them here), followed by roast chicken, trumpet mushroom brioche and Petite Camembert, and wine cookies dipped in melon gazpacho. Tickets to the dinner can be purchased here — just make note that proof of vaccination will be required to attend.


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