Restaurant News

Dîner en Blanc Returns to Boston with Some Baller Picnic Baskets

Captain Marden's Seafood, Pennypackers, and more go upscale to fuel this glamorous, mysterious dinner event.
Dîner en Blanc-Boston

Dîner en Blanc-Boston 2016. / Photo by Tricia McCormack Photography

There are elements about the annual end-of-summer Dîner en Blanc celebration that require a leap of faith. Guests agree to bring their own dinner, and dress up in white from head-to-toe. The elegant picnic is rain-or-shine, and guests who RSVP are required to show up once their reservation is confirmed. And they book it before they know where the celebration will take place—the location is only revealed the night of the party.

But thousands of bon vivants eagerly participate every year because they trust that Dîner en Blanc will not disappoint, from the atmosphere to the picnic baskets. This year’s dining partners have just been announced, and the order-ahead lineup promises a delicious dinner for the fourth annual Boston event on Saturday, September 9. Check it out:

Bon Me Asian Fusion Basket for Two ($45)
Thai Basil Apple Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Soba Noodle Salad with Chilled Spicy Sesame Chickpeas and Toasted Sesame Dressing
Quartered Banh Mi Sandwich with Chilled Lemongrass Chicken
Coconut Chia Pudding with Macerated Red Fruit and Mint

Captain Marden’s Lobster Roll Basket for Two ($65)
Chilled Seafood Gazpacho
Two 4-Ounce New England Lobster Rolls
Tangy Coleslaw
Summer Corn Salsa
House-made Baklava

Captain Marden’s Shrimp & Salmon Picnic Basket for Two ($55)
Shrimp Cocktail
Cold Poached Salmon on Salad
Buttery Corn Bread
House-made Baklava

Pennypackers Sandwich & Salad Picnic Basket for Two ($55)
Caprese Sandwich (marinated heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, greens, on ciabatta)
Saucisson Sec Sandwich (dry cured sausage, clothbound cheddar, shallot confit, dijon aioli, greens, on ficelle)
Fingerling Potatoes and Charred Chicories
Cucumber Salad
Compost Cookies

Pennypackers Mezze Picnic Basket for Two ($60)
Hummus
Muhammara
Eggplant Salad
Grilled Halloumi
Pickled and Marinated Vegetables
Marinated Olives
Cucumber and Yogurt Salad
Pita Bread
Lamb Lahmajoun
Macerated Fruit with Orange Blossom Water and Pistachio

Guests can also bring their own picnic basket, providing it includes white tableware and appropriate stemware. For drinks, leave the beer and spirits at home—guests can bring non-alcoholic beverages, but for booze, they reserve on-brand Kobrand Wines as and Champagne Taittinger ahead of time. Also note that guests are required to bring their own folding table, chairs, and white linens.

The rules adhere the annual event to its illustrious tradition. Dîner en Blanc started in Paris in 1988, for the sole purpose of sharing gourmet meal in good company in a beautiful, public space. It has since expanded to more than 70 cities around the world, all headed by passionate locals.

“The inspiration for this year is local flavor,” says Samantha Kanter, a co-host of Boston’s 2017 edition, in a press release. “We’re constantly asking ourselves: how do we elevate this event everyone already loves with the amazing things Boston has to offer? We are tapping some of Boston’s best food, music and event partners to enhance the experience.”

Following the feast, the group—last year’s dinner on the Children’s Museum waterfront terrace had 2,500 guests—ignites sparklers to kick off dancing under the stars.

Intrigued by this illuminating evening? Register online to stay in the loop about ticketing.

And if you have a perfect white outfit that needs more than one night to shine? The new Publico Street Bistro is showing off its gorgeous garden on Sunday, August 27, with a Havana-themed white night. There will be a Latin jazz band, fresh fruit mojitos, Hemingway daquiris, and more themed drinks, plus swine specials courtesy of chef Keenan Langlois. Reservations—and all-white-everything—are required.

Dîner en Blanc Boston, $49 plus picnic + wine pre-orders, Saturday, September 9, boston.dinerenblanc.com.


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com