Summer Food Events: June
Shawn O’Leary, chef/owner of Sauce on Main in Hopkinton, coaches foodies in classic cooking techniques (using French and New England ingredients) at the French Library and Cultural Center. Bonus: You get to eat the teaching materials for dinner.
June 5-7: The Scooper Bowl
New England’s biggest and best ice cream extravaganza returns to City Hall Plaza for its 25th anniversary. Some eleven companies—including locals like Brigham’s of Arlington, Breyers of Framingham, Hood of Chelsea—will be dishing out close to 9,000 gallons of donated treats. Nearly 50 flavors will be available this year, including old favorites, such as Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, and a dozen brand-new flavors, like Gifford’s vanilla-and-chocolate-caramel-cup Lobster Tracks. Try as many as you’d like guilt free: The proceeds go to the Jimmy Fund—they raised nearly $87,000 last year—and any leftovers are donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank.
Bonus: Two to Try
Can’t make the Scooper Bowl? Test-drive the season’s best new flavors at our favorite Cambridge creameries: honey lavender at Christina’s (1255 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-492-7021, christinasicecream.com) and Mad Dog Mango sherbet at Lizzy’s (29 Church St., Cambridge, 617-354-2911, lizzysicecream.com).
The path from Boston to Orleans—the site of this weekend’s annual strawberry celebration—is well worn, but don’t be fooled: There’s more to the journey than greasy highway fare. The Cape Cod Lavender Farm (Island Pond Trail, Harwich, 508-432-8397, capecodlavenderfarm.com) off Route 6, at exit 10, hawks jars of lavender marmalade and herbes de Provence. (The intoxicating scent, available anywhere within a mile of the farm, is free.) Just up the road at exit 11, Marion’s Pie Shop (2022 Main St., Chatham, 508-432-9439, marionspieshopofchatham.com) turns out sweet pies made from a 58-year-old secret recipe, though it’s the savory chicken and clam versions that are the true take-home treasures—if you can wait that long.
In Orleans, Hot Chocolate Sparrow (5 Old Colony Way, 508-240-2230, hotchocolatesparrow.com) greets travelers with iced coffees, pastries, and buttery-rich ice creams from Richardson’s. Equally rewarding is Sir Cricket’s Fish & Chips (38 Rte. 6A, 508-255-4453), a tiny, Formica-tabled gem where the banana-yellow menu board lists a simple lineup of plates (golden-battered fried clams, scallops, and shrimp) and rolls.
And that’s all before you arrive at the Orleans Historical Society for the Cape Cod Strawberry Festival (3 River Rd., 508-240-1329, orleanshistoricalsociety.org), where the old-fashioned strawberry shortcake is a winning combination of homemade biscuits, fresh strawberry ice cream, whipped cream, and strawberry syrup. After polishing off the last forkful, you can grab a spot on the lawn and digest to the sounds of local jazz band the Good Time Guys.
June 10: Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Nibble zongzi (rice dumplings) as you watch boats race down the Charles at North America’s longest-running dragon boat festival. Traditional crafts activities, martial-arts demonstrations, and food vending all join the fun starting at noon.
June 12: Taste of Beacon Hill
Try out dishes like Bin 26’s melon and prosciutto soup at the 6th annual Taste of Beacon Hill, taking place inside the Taj Boston. For the first time this year, several chefs from the more than 20 participating restaurants will be going toque to toque in Iron Chef-style competition.
Take tea at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s courtyard, open only in summer. For those with a bit more of an appetite, the Gardner Café’s menu offers a number of seasonal specialties like the thyme and sweet onion quiche, roast Atlantic salmon with steamed, and a decadent hazelnut gelato with stewed cherries.
June 14: A Fresh Taste
Area restaurants come together at the Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick to prepare a special dinner made exclusively with seasonal produce. Expect plenty of strawberries, but if you still can’t get enough pick-your-own starts at the farm two days from now, Saturday the 16th.
June 16: American Beer Fest
It’s not just suds you’ll discover at the 3rd annual American Beer Fest (although there will plenty: more than 125 beers from at least 35 brewers). Pair a barleywine, such as the Cambridge Brewing Company’s summery Arquebus, with an authentic Belgian waffle.
June 19: Wine Tasting with Lorenzo
Head to Southborough to sample the wines of southern Italy at a pairing selected by Lorenzo Savona, wine director at Tomasso Trattoria. (Can’t make it? There’s one select Tuesdays all summer: More southern Italian on July 10 and the first of four tastings on the wines of America on July 24.)
June 20: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Baking Class
Perfect your crust as Jennifer Verrill Faddoul teaches you to make strawberry-rhubarb pie at her family’s farm.
June 21: Summer Solstice
The longest day of the year is cause for a toast. Make yours at Boston Uncorked’s Summer Solstice bash on the roof deck at the Sports Club/LA.
A cheat sheet to some of the less well-known fare at this popular church picnic.
Spanakopita: A flaky pie made with layers of buttered phyllo, spinach, and feta.
Pastitsio: Elbow macaroni in a rich meat sauce—the Greeks’ answer to baked ziti.
Loukaniko: A spicy sausage, similar to chorizo or linguiça and flavored with orange peel; typically served with Greek salad.
Moussaka: Layers of minced lamb, sliced eggplant, and tomato, baked in a béchamel sauce—the Greeks’ answer to lasagna.
Baklava sundae: A Watertown original: baklava swirled into vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce.
June 25: Sauza Tequila Night
Down a few margaritas at Tremont 647’s 8th annual Sauza Tequila Night. Passed appetizers and a three-course Latin-inspired dinner should help you keep your head about you.
June 27: Summer Desserts, Redux
Your 6/20 summer dessert-making lesson didn’t stick? Give it another go at the Terence Janericco Cooking Classes in Brooklin, Maine. Today’s course will include instruction on several seasonal fruit desserts and, of course, one chocolate crowd-pleaser.
June 28: Savour at Moraine Farm
Savor fine foods from the North Shore’s top caterers—and the open bar—at Moraine Farm's summer benefit dinner on the shores of Lake Wenham in Beverly.