What to Eat (and Drink) This Weekend
Icelandic hot dogs, pasta against workplace harassment, and Sunday sherry at Backbar.
This weekend calls for a generous helping of hygge. At Idle Hands, lead brewer Brett Bauer has created a spicy (but not spiced) farmhouse-style IPA that invokes some of his favorite classic wintertime beers. With the right balance of simply malt, hops, and yeast, With Wishes of Warmer Places has “an aroma of nutmeg and orange blossom with flavors of naval orange rind and spiced fruit cake with an effervescent finish to quickly clean your palate and leave you craving another sip,” he says. In the Back Bay, there are two new cozy dining options to be had this weekend. Some tickets remain for the Fairmont Copley Plaza’s Winter Warmer party on Friday night, with live music, comfort foods like winter ale beef chili, and grilled cheese; and craft beverages from Night Shift Brewing, Nashoba Valley Winery, and more. At Eataly, the pop-up restaurant Le Alpi will transport you to a European ski resort, with melty raclette over crispy potatoes, roasted bone marrow, montasio-and-speck dumplings with brown butter and sage, and more northern Italian fare. Snuggle in and enjoy.
$7 per pint, Idle Hands Craft Ales, 89 Commercial St., Malden, 781-333-6070, idlehandscraftales.com.
$50, Friday, Jan. 19, 7-10 p.m., Fairmont Copley Plaza, St. James Room, 138 Saint James Ave., Boston, Eventbrite.
A la carte pricing, open daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (no reservations accepted), Eataly Boston, La Piazza, 800 Boylston St., Boston, eataly.com.
Icelandic Hot Dogs
“I love that style of food, which to me is more a practice and way of thinking,” says Mike Betts of Nordic cuisine. The chef, typically a private caterer, is hosting a casual Nordic Night this Saturday in Brookline, built around hot dogs and chocolate. Nordic food “can refer to anything from pickled to fermented, smoked to cured and foraged to farmed,” Betts says. “It covers street food to fine dining. The one thing that’s consistent is that a Nordic chef is extremely passionate about where ingredients are coming from and who is providing them.” For this three-course meal, it’s Wulf’s Fish, SS Pylsur wieners, and Omnom Chocolate. Check out the full menu online. Betts staged with Gunnar Karl Gíslason at Restaurant Dill in Reykjavík just before it earned Iceland’s first Michelin star. The pop-up borrows from what he learned there, with his own personal touches. “It’s just meant to be a fun party,” Betts says. There are just a few seats still available.
$42, Saturday, Jan. 30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Martin’s Coffee Shop, 35 Harvard Street, Brookline, mikebetts.com.
Brunch at Shepard
This Cambridge restaurant has gone through some changes recently, with the nixing of its wood-fired origins and the departure of cofounding chef Susan Regis. Asta’s Alex Crabb had stepped in last year to develop new ideas, including a regular Sunday brunch. That finally started last week—with a new, mystery chef at the helm. Intrigue! Challah French toast with brown sugar brûléed bananas! Shakshuka! Hi-Rise Bread Co. pastries! Avocado toast!
Sundays, 11 a.m.-2:30, bar menu from 2:30-5:30 p.m., dinner 5:30-8 p.m., 1 Shepard St., Cambridge, 617-714-5295, shepardcooks.com.
Backbar—On a Sunday
Over the course of its six years on Sanborn Court, the snug Backbar has dabbled in daily service, and other schedules. But for the past year or so, it’s been closed on Sundays—much to the chagrin of Sunday fun-day seekers. The time has come for that to change, and owner Sam Treadway is taking the lead. “I’m excited to say I will be behind the bar each Sunday,” he says. The past Best of Boston bartender has lately not been shaking drinks, but steering the ship behind the scenes. “I’m a little nervous, but it’s like riding a bike, right?” Treadway says. Some new drink specials will celebrate his return behind the stick. “I love sherry, so that’ll be my focus.” Perhaps a Fino Island with fino sherry, pineapple, orgeat, and chartreuse, to “pretend it’s not so damn cold out,” he says. “Also, inspired by my recent trip to Japan, maybe a Kyoto Sour with Japanese gin, lime, fino and matcha syrup.”
Open 4 p.m.-midnight Tuesday-Sunday, 7 Sanborn Court, Union Square, Somerville, 617-718-0249, backbarunion.com.
Pasta, in Solidarity with the Women’s March
Juliet’s latest gratuity-free dining production is entitled “Love for Lyon.” The Union Square bouchon prix-fixe begins with a beet terrine, roast duck cassoulet, and panna cotta. But every Sunday night, Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri’s unique restaurant is still Romeo’s at Juliet, with family-friendly bowls of house-made pappardelle and tagliatelle, a meatball sub, and sfizi. And once per month, the walk-ins-only red sauce feast gives back to the community. This week, in honor of Saturday’s Women’s March, 10 percent of food sales will got to the Times Up Legal Defense Fund, which subsidizes legal support for individuals who have experienced sexual harassment or related retaliation in the workplace.