Nine Must-Eat April Dining Events around Boston

Learn about coffee and cocktails, have Dinner at Mary's, go on an Epic Maine Beer Experience, and more.

Jacki Schromm at Lion's Tail

Jacki Schromm at Lion’s Tail. / Photo by Adam Parshall

Woman Crush Wednesday at Lion’s Tail

Lion’s Tail bar manager Jacki Schromm won the wild card vote in the recent, regional Speed Rack cocktail competition, and she’s headed to the national finals in May. Test her skills by having her make you a cocktail this month. Need another excuse? Head to the South End cocktail bar on Wednesday, April 3, for the latest installment of Schromm’s Woman Crush Wednesday guest bartender series. This month, she’s hosting Jennifer Welsh of San Diego’s Aero Club Bar, and collecting donations for social justice non-profit Border Angels. Woman Crush Wednesday brings a different drink-slinging lady to Lion’s Tail every first Wednesday of the month from 8-10 p.m.

Lion’s Tail, 354 Harrison Ave., South End, Boston, 857-239-9276,

Chef Rachel Miller and Liana van der Water after a Nightshade pop-up at Lynn's Capitol Diner / Nightshade crawfish boil

Chef Rachel Miller and Liana van der Water after a Nightshade pop-up at Lynn’s Capitol Diner / Nightshade crawfish boil / Photos provided

Nightshade Viet-Cajun Crawfish Boil

Another month, another full calendar of dining events for chef Rachel Miller’s Nightshade Pop-Up. The chef, who’s working to open a Vietnamese-inspired noodle bar and cafe on the North Shore, continues to dish out noodles on every Monday night at the Buenas Maxi Kiosko at Bow Market until her restaurant opens. Nightshade is also supplying noodles to complement small plates at Jamaica Plain’s Brassica Kitchen every Tuesday night in April. Plus: Nightshade’s signature crawfish boil returns to Lynn’s Capitol Diner on Sunday, April 7. A $60 ticket includes a complimentary cocktail (additional beer, wine, and cocktails are available for purchase), one pound of crawfish drenched in Nightshade’s lemongrass Cajun butter, two spring-y small plates, and an ice cream sundae made with custom flavors by Parlor Ice Cream Co.

Sunday April 7, seatings at 5 and 7:15 p.m., the Capitol Diner, 431 Union St., Lynn,, tickets.

Photo by Alex Lau for Best of Boston 2013

Meet The Brewer: Von Trapp Beer Dinner

The Salty Pig chef Michael Bergin is preparing a cheesy menu to pair with Vermont’s Von Trapp Brewery—a Vermont beer destination the chef happens to love. From a bleu cheese-chopped salad, to spring ravioli with Jasper Hill Farms Oma, and more, each course highlights a different New England cheese and Von Trapp beer. The ticketed evening begins with a meet-and-greet hour, then four curated courses.

$65, Monday, April 8, 5-9 p.m., The Salty Pig, 130 Dartmouth St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-536-6200,, tickets.

Specialty Coffee Expo Boston

Check out the Specialty Coffee Expo—or all the coffee-centric events it brings to town. / Photo courtesy of the Specialty Coffee Association

Specialty Coffee Expo

An upcoming, long-weekend series of events in the Seaport is full of seminars, demonstrations, and exhibits for coffee professionals—but pro coffee drinkers can also feel the buzz. Check out the ticket options; the Enthusiast Pass ($55) is designed just for consumers to check out nightly activities like a latte-art throwdown, as well as the fair on Sunday, April 14. Plus: Keep an eye out for other coffee-centric events going down elsewhere, while the expo is in town. For example, Longfellows and Lamplighter Brewing are planning a full-on Coffee Weekend in Cambridge; and at the Boston Public Market Kitchen, learn from the legendary roaster George Howell on Saturday, and meet fourth-generation Guatemalan coffee farmer, Luis Pedro, on Sunday morning.

Specialty Coffee Expo, Thursday, April 11-Sunday, April 14, various times, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., South Boston,

A hazy, golden beer from Austin Street Brewery

Photo courtesy of Austin Street Brewery

Epic Maine Beer Experience

We love spending the weekend checking out all the cool breweries up in Southern Maine—but then, someone always has to drive home. The Francis has a solution this month: Book a two-night stay at the boutique hotel in Portland’s West End as part of the Epic Maine Beer Experience. The weekend, cohosted by Instagram beer blogger the Beer Mama, includes not only lodging, but also visits to Lone Pine Brewery, Battery Steele, Bissell Brothers, Oxbow, and Maine Beer Company; a beer dinner at Austin Street Brewery, lunch at Maine Beer Co., breakfasts from Tandem Coffee and Bakery and Rose Foods; and more—plus a designated driver, of course. Call 207-772-7485 to reserve a room.

$749/$899, Saturday, April 13-Sunday, April 14, the Francis Hotel, 747 Congress St., Portland, Maine, 207-772-7485,

lamb dish with green sauce from Dinner at Mary's pop-up in Boston

Have Dinner at Mary’s on 4/20. / Photo by Studio B Photographers

Dinner at Mary’s

Celebrate 4/20 in this new, legal landscape by having Dinner at Mary’s. The cannabis cocktail party club is hosting its second-ever dinner on the official holiday for stoners. The mix-and-mingle style event will feature passed appetizers, as well as interactive food stations where guests have full control over personal CBD or THC dosage. A bartender will be in the house making creative, infused mocktails, and there will be beer and wine. The April event’s theme celebrates the Year of the Pig, with pork bao; lobster Rangoons with caviar; blistered shishito peppers; and more on the menu. Want to check out this exclusive speakeasy? It’s for members only—sign up for the invite online. The secret location will be revealed to ticketholders 24 hours before the party.

$125, Saturday, April 20, 7-10 p.m., secret location,

Pork on the grill at Whaling in Oklahoma

Pork on the grill at Whaling in Oklahoma. / Photo by Ernest Imoisi

Meat & Three Dinner with chef Rachel Miller

Whaling in Oklahoma has launched a new, global barbecue dinner series. The craftsmen at Blue Barn installed a custom charcoal grill at chef Tim Maslow’s new South End restaurant, and Whaling is inviting friends over this spring to help break it it. Chefs from around New England are coming over every other select Mondays in April and May to create a barbecue menu from a region that inspires their style of cooking. Coming up on April 22 is the talented chef Rachel Miller of the Nightshade pop-up, who’ll bring some Vietnamese-inspired flair to the grill. A $30 ticket comes with a featured protein, and three sides; starters, desserts, and beverages are available for purchase as well.

$30, Monday, April 22, 6-10 p.m., Whaling in Oklahoma, 647 Tremont St., South End, Boston,, tickets.

State Lines 2017. Thirst Boston returns with this and more events this weekend

State Lines 2017. Thirst Boston returns with this and more events in April. / Photo by Natasha Moustache

Thirst Boston

New England’s premier spirits convention returns to Boston the last weekend in April. Get tickets now for highly anticipated educational seminars about natural wine; making cocktails for a crowd; sensory perception; and more. Consider yourself more of a cocktail connoisseur than a mixologist? There is plenty to drink, and tons of cool people to meet from all over the world of spirits. Popular events like a Brother Cleve’s Walking Tour of Boston Cocktail History; the Blender Bender frozen drink competition and party; the “urban state fair” called State Lines; and more will return this year. Check out the full lineup of events here, and start planning a weekend celebrating New England cocktail culture.

$25-$180, Friday, April 26-Sunday, April 28, various locations,

Field & Vine co-owner Sara Markey serves small plates at Turn Up the Heat, a fundraiser for ovarian cancer research

Field & Vine co-owner Sara Markey serves small plates at Turn Up the Heat, a fundraiser for ovarian cancer research. / Photo courtesy of OCRA

“Turn Up the Heat” Fundraiser and Tasting Event

To support its mission to fund groundbreaking private research grants, advocate on Capitol Hill, and support patients and their families who are affected by ovarian cancer, the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance is gathering a group of talented women in Boston to Turn Up the Heat. The all-female-created tasting event features a stellar lineup of culinary pros, including James Beard Award-nominated chef Cassie Piuma of Sarma; Top Chef competitor and Deuxave chef Adrienne Wright; owner Julie “Momma” King of Villa Mexico; pastry chef Christina Larson of Bar Mezzana; mixologist Sara Alvernaz of Our Fathers Deli and Bar; and more. You won’t leave hungry, but you will leave with a long list of restaurants to check out. April 25 is the deadline to buy tickets online, but if any are still available, they will also be available at the door for $125.

$85-$100, Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 p.m., Catalyst Restaurant, 300 Technology Square, Cambridge,