Eight Pop-Up Dinners (and Other Notable Culinary Events)
Street fairs, Txakoli, James Beard Award winners, and bacon headline a jam-packed start to the summer.
Boston Ferments Dinner and Drink Pairing
In his GQ article, “Don’t Get All ‘Fresh’ With Me,” David Chang made the controversial assertion, “sushi’s not great because it’s fresh. It’s great because it’s actually sort of rotten.” Like the Momofuku chef, the culinary world has long been enamored with “rotten” food like olives, chocolate, and coffee, but it’s no secret that pickling, fermentation, and funk are the buzz words of the moment. Professional potter, fermentation guru, and the founder of Boston Ferments, Jeremy Ogusky, is one of New England’s biggest advocates for all things pickled and earthy. On May 19, he’s partnering with Aurum Restaurant in Jamaica Plain to showcase an all-fermented dinner and demo featuring Syrian kimchi pie, mead, kombucha, and beet kvass. This will be the first of many pop-ups leading to up to The Boston Fermentation Festival on September 27, headlined by Sandor Katz.
$45 per person, May 19, 6 – 8 p.m., 377 Centre St., Jamaica Plain; bostonferments.com.
Txakoli Fest at Belly Wine Bar
The annual flood of Spanish Txakoli (pronounced cha-co-lee) is finally hitting the market and Belly Wine Bar owner Liz Vilardi is embracing the furor surrounding these fresh, slightly frizzante wines. Produced in the Spanish provinces of the Basque Country, Cantabria and northern Burgos, these low-alcohol quaffers are the perfect complement to tapas, warm weather, and leisurely al fresco dining. For their third Txakoli jubilee, Belly and The Blue Room will feature six different Txakoli wines, some funky Basque ciders, and tons of grilled squid, swine, and sardines, all from the comfort of their sprawling patio.
$45 per person, May 22, 6- 10 p.m., 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-494-0968 or bellwinebar.com.
Breakfast Taco Pop-up with Josh Lewin
Former Beacon Hill Bistro executive chef Josh Lewin and his business partner Katrina Jazayeri are launching their second pop-up concept featuring Central Texas-style breakfast tacos. Inspired by Jazayeri’s favorite taquerias in her native Austin, the duo will prepare three classic breakfast varieties, a migas taco, a potato, egg, and cheese taco, and another with bacon, egg, and cheese. There will also be chips and salsa, pit beans, cold brew coffee, and horchata for sale. “Like our last event in Union Square we will just open up the window and hang a flag out and say, ‘there’s breakfast tacos here!'” Lewin says.
May 26, 9 a.m. – noon, Cuisine en Locale, 156 Highland Ave., Somerville; 617-285-0167 or cuisineenlocale.com.
Chef Louis DiBiccari will be showcasing some of Boston’s brightest talent in the art, culinary, and mixology fields at Create Boston. The event will take place at the Fairmont Battery Wharf on June 1, where chefs and bartenders will be paired with visual artists to create a dish and drink that corresponds, interacts, or interprets the art. Some participating chefs include Jason Cheek (Merrill & Co.), Jade Taylor (Bondir), Meg Ward (Coppa), and Scott Jones (Menton). Mixing cocktails will be Tyler Wang (Audubon), Daren Swisher (JM Curley), Palmer Matthews (Drink), and others. There will be six art/food/drink stations where guests are encouraged to peruse and purchase at their leisure. Outside of the winery, music will be provided by Fenway Park DJ, TJ Connelly.
$35 per person, June 1, 2- 6 p.m., Three Battery Wharf, Boston; 617-994-9000 or eventbrite.com.
Taste of Somerville
The 16th Taste of Somerville on June 4 will feature over 40 notable participating restaurants, breweries, and retailers. Sample dishes from standout Somerville restaurants such as Bronwyn, Kirkland Tap and Trotter, Highland Kitchen, Foundry on Elm, and Redbones. Then quench your thirst with beer and cider from Aeronaut Brewery, Bantam, and Slumbrew. In addition, the Taste of Somerville will also feature a Farmer’s Market, national wineries, and artisanal goods from retailers like Dave’s Fresh Pasta, Ball Square Fine Wines, and many others. Proceeds support The Somerville Home, a private non-profit corporation that provides residential services to the elderly and disabled individuals in the community.
$40 per person/$50 VIP, June 4, 5:30- 7:30 p.m., 50 Holland St., Somerville; tasteofsomerville.com.
Food Truck Takeover at The Gallows
Two years ago, before Mei Mei Street Kitchen had even considered opening a brick and mortar location, The Gallows invited the Li siblings to share their kitchen for one collaborative late-night menu. The event was such a huge success that Gallows owner Seth Yaffe is attempting to recreate that concept on a much larger scale this summer. “A lot of times, people are excited about the food trucks, but they don’t have an hour lunch where they can track one down, order food, and then bring it back to the office,” Yaffe says. “One of the only other options people have is to go to SoWa on Sundays, but the lines are insanely long. We thought, why not reach out to them to see if they have any interest in coming to take over The Gallows on a Friday or Saturday.”
For the inaugural takeover on June 6, Chicken & Rice Guys will be serving up to five dishes off their regular menu between 11p.m. and midnight. In addition, The Gallows will introduce a complementary menu to pair with all that grilled chicken and lamb doused in Chicken & Rice’s addictive garlic sauce. Yaffe hopes to make this into a bimonthly event and he’s already in talks with several other trucks for possible takeovers. The short list of interested food vendors includes The Bacon Truck, Stoked, Mei Mei Street Kitchen, Paris Creperie, Benny’s Crepe Cafe, The Dining Car, Chubby Chickpea, Zo’s, Fugu, Compliments, and Bone Daddy’s Burgers.
June 6, 11 p.m. – 12 a.m., 1395 Washington St., 617-425-0200 or thegallowsboston.com.
5th Annual Bacon and Beer Festival
The Bacon and Beer Festival is having its biggest event yet with over 65 area restaurants and breweries serving beer and bites on the fifth floor of the Landmark Center near Fenway. Participating restaurants include Alden & Harlow, Ribelle, Moody’s Deli, Bondir, The Gallows, The Salty Pig, Merrill & Co., and so many more. Beer will be provided by Smuttynose, Pretty Things, Newburyport Brewing Co., Notch, Clown Shoes, and several other. Proceeds help raise money for Community Servings and Lovin’ Spoonfuls. In addition, the Bacon and Beer Festival is partnering with Super Precious Art Gallery for a food themed art show (tacos and burritos this year) at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and Burgers on June 11. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 16 at 10 a.m.. Act fast, because tickets sold out within minutes last year.
$47 per person or $75 for “baller” VIP, June 7, 2:30- 5 p.m., Landmark Center, 401 Park St., Boston; baconandbeer.net.
Lovin’ Spoonfuls Pop-Up Dinner With James Beard Heavyweights
On the heels of the James Beard Awards, Lovin’ Spoonfuls, a Boston-based food rescue, will host a unique benefit Pop-Up event on June 10. The dinner will feature four courses from James Beard Award winner and Bizarre Foods star, Andrew Zimmern; James Beard Award winner, Jamie Bissonnette; and James Beard Award finalists, Matthew Jennings and Joanne Chang.
A separately-ticketed cocktail party will complement the Pop-Up Dinner and will feature a meet-and-greet with all four aforementioned chefs. The cocktail party will also include a selection of wine, cocktails, Peak Organic beers, and hors d’oeuvres from chefs Louis DiBiccari, Josh Smith, and Michael Scelfo. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and the organization’s food rescue efforts in the greater Boston area.
$295 for dinner and cocktail party/$75 for cocktail party only, June 10, 6- 10 p.m., 23 Bradston St. Boston; 617-390-4450 or lovinspoonfulsinc.org.