Restaurant News

Can’t-Miss Pop-Up Dinners and More Late-January Food Events

From milestone anniversary parties, to a celebration of dumplings.

Chalk it up to a post-holiday, pre-February desire for warmth and light, perhaps—there is a lot going on in the next couple weeks. From a 40th birthday party of epic proportions at L’Espalier, to a visiting Michelin-starred chef at Frenchie, and more, we certainly hope you’re hungry.

Tortelloni en Brodo at the Table at Season to Taste

Tortellini en Brodo at the Table at Season to Taste. / Photo provided

A Mid-Winter Pasta Dinner at the Table at Season to Taste

Following his triumphant final weekend at Coppa, chef Trevor Smith is sharing his talents with Carl Dooley and his team in Cambridge. A collaborative, four-course tasting menu features house-made pastas, like oxtail tortellini en brodo, and buckwheat rigatoni with local clams, and a traditional Italian dessert. There’s an optional all-Italian wine pairing, and tax and gratuity is included in the cost. There will be three seatings, and reservations must be made over the phone.

$98 + optional $55 wine pairing, Wednesday, January 24, 5:30, 7:30, and 9:30, the Table at Season to Taste, 2447 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-871-9468, cambridgetable.com.

A table set at Boston's L'Espalier

L’Espalier photo provided

40th Anniversary Dinner at L’Espalier

Suffice it to say it’s a very special restaurant that sees its 40th birthday. That date approaches for L’Espalier, the fine dining stalwart where chef Frank McClelland has worked since before he purchased it outright in the 1980s. The chef and proprietor has mentored countless chefs who have gone on to earn Rising Star accolades, be featured on network TV shows, and more—and he’s inviting back some of those venerated alumni to help celebrate the milestone. James Hackney (executive chef of Harwich’s Wequassett Resort and Golf Club), Jiho Kim (executive pastry chef of the Modern at MoMA), Stanley Michalski (chef de cuisine at Dovetail in NYC), Louis DiBiccari (former chef-owner of Tavern Road), and more will join McClelland to showcase seven courses of L’Espalier classics through the years, from seared foie gras and chanterelle carpaccio, to ballottine of squab in port, and beyond. Despite the elegant menu, this isn’t a stuffy affair: thematic 80’s attire is encouraged, and there will be prizes.

$95 + optional $65 wine pairing, Wednesday, January 24, seating from 6-9 p.m., L’Espalier, 774 Boylston St., Boston, 617-262-3032, lespalier.com.

The tavern bar at Post 390

The tavern bar at Post 390. / Photo provided

Cooking with Craft Beer at Post 390

This month’s Farm to Post dinner celebrates not only New England cuisine, but also our craft beer and ciders. Chef Nick Deutmeyer is using local libations in each of his courses, and pairing dishes like orange zest and laurel-cured ocean trout, roast squab with pomegranate and honey, and rooted barley cake, with brews from Idle Hands, Lamplighter, Jack’s Abby, and Berkshire Brewing Co. The night begins with cheeses and passed hors d’oeuvres, alongside Bantam Cider. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

$55, Wednesday, January 24, 6-9 p.m., Post 390, 406 Stuart St., Boston, post390restaurant.com, Eventbrite.

The exterior of Puritan & Co. in Cambridge

Puritan & Co. photo provided

Throwback Thursday at Puritan & Co.

Chef Will Gilson, wine director Peter Nelson, and their team have created many memorable meals in five years of Puritan & Co. They’re celebrating that anniversary with a special, six-course feast of “greatest hits.” The menu begins with “a taste of New England’s coastline” in the form of bites like smoked bluefish, clam cakes, and farm eggs with Jonah crab; and ends with a dessert tour of the region. Check it out in full online, where you can also reserve your seat.

$125, Thursday, January 25, 7 p.m., Puritan & Company, 1166 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge, 617-615-6195, puritancambridge.com.

seco de cabrito (goat stew) at the Automatic

Seco de cabrito (goat stew) at the Automatic. / Photo by Creative Katz

Almuerzo Peruano at the Automatic

There is always a little Peruvian flavor in Martin Su’s menu at the Automatic—under Doritos-flavored dust are plantain chips; there are beef heart skewers with aji amarillo, and more. But the chef invites you out of the cold with a full-on Peruvian lunch where he’ll share some of his favorite dishes from his homeland. The a la carte menu includes leche de pantera—panther’s milk—an appetizer of blood clam, seaweed, toasted cancha (corn nuts), lime juice, and an aromatic broth; seco de cabrito (goat stew); a classic meringue dessert called suspiro a la Limena, or “sigh of the Lima lady,” and more. Reservations are encouraged, but not required.

A la carte pricing, Sunday, January 28, noon-6 p.m., the Automatic, 50 Hampshire St., Cambridge, 617-714-5226, theautomaticbar.com.

French chef Eric Sampietro

Michelin-starred French chef Eric Sampietro is visiting French Wine Bistro this month. / Photo provided by Frenchie

Michelin-Starred Dining at Frenchie

For its first birthday, the South End’s wine bistro is inviting chef Eric Sampietro over to host a Gallic gastronomic gala. Sampietro’s restaurant La Table des Cordeliers has maintained a Michelin star since 2009, and he also oversees Le Verdurier, the restaurant at the historic Château de Drudas operated by Frenchie owner Sandrine Rossi’s parents. Sampietro trained in traditional cuisine in southwest France, but his fare now ventures into Italian, Spanish, and Lebanese flavors. Rossi, a first-level sommelier, is choosing wine and Armagnac pairings to complement Sampietro’s five courses. There will be two seatings each night. Tickets are available on Eventbrite, though gratuity is not included.

$125, Monday, January 29, Tuesday, January 30, 6 and 8 p.m., Frenchie Wine Bistro, 560 Tremont St., Boston, 857-233-5941, frenchieboston.com, Eventbrite.

Buenas empanadas

Empanadas photo provided by Buenas

Dumpling Night at Saus

You don’t have to wait until Bow Market opens to feast on plump pockets from Jaju Pierogi and Buenas in one place: Saus is hosting a one-night-only dumpling event with its future neighbors. The three vendors all plan to open small shops at the Somerville market this spring, and “have already bonded over our shared love of pocket foods,” reads the Eventbrite listing. “We figured it only makes sense to join forces and bring you on a global dumpling tour.” Saus chef Chin Kuo is making Chinese-style dumplings especially for the party, while Jaju is working on a never-before-tasted flavor, and Buenas will share a preview of what to expect from its first brick-and-mortar. All three dumpling courses will be paired with culturally appropriate side dishes. There are two seatings.

$30, Tuesday, January 30, 6 and 7:45 p.m., Saus, 33 Union St., Boston, Eventbrite.

Deadhorse Hill team will open Simjang this fall 2017

(L to R) Deadhorse Hill and Simjang wine director Julia Auger, and co-owners Albert LaValley, Sean Woods, and Jared Forman. / Photo by Brian Samuels provided

Simjang Preview

With their second restaurant coming winter 2018 to 72 Shrewsbury Street, the Strip T’s alums behind Deadhorse Hill have enticed another couple of Boston heavy hitters to Worcester. Mike Wenc, formerly of Strip T’s, Ribelle, Shepard, and Cafe du Pays, was just announced as the chef de cuisine of their forthcoming Korean-inspired concept, and Ellen Benson, an alum of Moody’s, Island Creek Oyster Bar, and Giulia, is on board as general manager. The team—these pros, plus chef Jared Forman, bar director Sean Woods, wine director Julia Auger, and co-owner Albert LaValley—share the first taste of Simjang with a dinnertime menu takeover at Deadhorse Hill. Try a la carte dishes like Korean fried chicken with miso-soy roasted garlic, or spicy gochujang; a Korean Caesar, with tofu-garlic dressing, crispy fish, and “gochutons;” grilled live scallop with black garlic butter and mung beans; pork belly bo ssam; Chinese broccoli pancake with pickled mussels; and more. Reservations are recommended, but not required. Stay in the loop on Simjang’s progress on Instagram.

A la carte pricing, Tuesday, January 30, 5-10 p.m., 281 Main St., Worcester, 774-420-7107, deadhorsehill.com.


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