What to Eat (and Drink) Memorial Day Weekend in Boston
An extended long-weekend edition, full of dollar oysters and 'dogs, popsicle cocktails, lobster rolls, and more.
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A Cookout with Dollar Oysters
Just in time for summer, Idle Hands Craft Ales is launching a new, easy-drinking, year-round pale ale called Slate—and what better way to kick off the season than with a cookout? Start Memorial Day weekend early Thursday night on Charlestown’s Tudor Wharf, where Idle Hands is hosting a Slate launch party rain or shine with a classic spread of backyard grillables from the folks at Brato Brewhouse + Kitchen, plus a raw bar with $1 oysters, live music, and games. It’s free admission with free food from the grill, and $5 beers and buck-a-shucks are pay as you go. Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.
Slate Launch Party, Thursday, May 23, 5:30-9:30 p.m., Tudor Wharf, 33-34 Charles River Ave., Charlestown, idlehandscraftales.com.
Free Bowling for Troops
After honoring local troops at a Memorial Day parade, why not take them bowling? All military veterans, active-duty and reserve members bowl for free, every day, at all locations of Kings Dining & Entertainment. That includes Memorial Day weekend.
50 Dalton St., Back Bay, 617-266-2695; 60 Seaport Blvd., Boston, 617-401-0025; 52 Second Ave., Burlington, 781-238-4400; 600 Legacy Place, Dedham, 781-329-6000; and other locations; kings-de.com.
Poptails at Harvest
Soak in the sunshine this weekend on Harvest restaurant’s incomparable Harvard Square patio with a “poptail” in one hand, and a taco in the other. New $15 dinner-drink-dessert pairings just hit the afternoon and brunch menus. Among them: a spicy margarita chilled with a mango-jalapeño ice pop and paired with a grilled avocado taco; and an espresso martini with a Vietnamese coffee popsicle, and a spicy chocolate mole pork taco on the side. The poptail and taco pairings are a co-production of pastry chef Josh Livsey—currently a contender for the Best Baker in America—and executive chef Tyler Kinnett, plus the Harvest bartending staff. Beginning Saturday, May 25, the cool treats are available weekends during brunch from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., and—after closing for Memorial Day proper—on weekdays from 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Harvest, 44 Brattle St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-868-2255, harvestcambridge.com.
Nantucket Comes to Fort Point
Wish you were off the coast of Massachusetts this weekend, perhaps sailing the Figawi race? Head to City Tap House to fix your FOMO. The Fort Point beer bar is hosting Nantucket’s own Cisco Brewers all weekend long. The makers of Whale’s Tail Pale Ale are turning the patio into a Cisco Brewers Nantucket replica, promising tents and fire pits, lawn games, seafood specials, and summer sips. There’s a weekend full of live music planned, a corn hole tournament, and more. Saturday’s theme is Nantucket rosé—wear Nantucket red and sip Cisco’s new Crantucket Brut Rosé IPA—while Sunday calls for leis and hula skirts. Plus, check out the Shuckfest on Monday for $1 oysters. It’s free to attend in all weekend, and food and beverage are pay-as-you-go.
City Tap House, various times Saturday, May 25-Monday, May 27, City Tap House, 10 Boston Wharf Rd., Boston, 617-904-2748, citytap.com.
Lamplighter Beer Garden at Atwood’s Tavern
One of Cambridge’s best patios and beer bars is hosting another season of local craft beer pop-ups. The Atwood’s Beer Garden Series returns Saturday of Memorial Day weekend with neighbors Lamplighter Brewing Co. The brew crew is bringing Bird of a Feather IPA, the crisp helles lager Giants Under The Sun, a funky coffee sour ale called Insomniac, and more. The Atwood’s team will be grilling up burgers and brats outside, and serving house-made potato salad, coleslaw, and hand cut fries all afternoon. It’s pay-as-you-go, and certain to be a chill time.
Lamplighter Beer Garden, Saturday, May 25, 1-5 p.m., Atwood’s Tavern, 877 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-864-2792, atwoodstavern.com.
It’s officially summer at Bone Up Brewing Co.: The Everett brewery has extended its hours for the season and is open nightly ’til 11 p.m. (8 p.m. on Sundays), beginning Memorial Day weekend. Take a seat inside the recently expanded taproom, or post up on the patio—the outdoor space is open until last call. To celebrate the start of summer, Bone Up is grilling up $1 hot dogs this coming Sunday and Monday, and offering free wieners for all military ID holders. Cheers!
Maine Takeover at the ICO Raw Bar
When the Island Creek Oyster Farm’s waterfront raw bar reopened for its second season, the oyster pros promised “a stacked lineup of dinners and pop-up events”—and they are starting strong. Portland, Maine darlings the Highroller Lobster Co. and Austin Street Brewery are both coming down for a Memorial Day weekend party on Sunday, May 26. Highroller is bringing its insanely delicious lobster rolls, cheese-shell lobster tacos (!), and more, while the ICO crew is shucking oysters and slinging other seafood snacks. Austin Street will bring a couple draft beers, plus cans of their brews like Kölsch, and Neverender DIPA. Relax on Duxbury Bay by the fire pit, or play a round or two of bocce on the outdoor bar’s new court. No tickets or reservations required.
Cheese and Cocktails
OK, so, not the traditional Memorial Day weekend pairing. But who’s going to argue for a boring old hot dog when Curds & Co. is serving up flights of expertly curated cheeses to pair with Boston-made spirits? [Summertime crickets chirp.] Thought so. The Brookline-based cheese shop will also offer specific pairings for a la carte cocktails, or you can opt for a full flight of drinks, too.
Curds & Co. Pairing Pop-Up, Sunday, May 26, 2-6 p.m. (or until sellout), 44 Cedric St., Boston, 617-442-6000, bullyboydistillers.com.
Rosé—and Delicious Baked Goods—for Resistance
For people who believe that women have bodily autonomy, it’s been a tough couple weeks as more than a dozen state legislatures have worked to restrict access to abortion care. Bostonians were quick to respond on a grassroots level, with a campaign dubbed Rosé for Resistance in support of Alabama’s Yellowhammer abortion fund led by Rebel Rebel Wine Bar owner Lauren Friel and Emily Isenberg of Isenberg Projects. More than two dozen businesses and counting are now participating—use #RoseForResitsance to spread the word (and share pretty pictures of wine). Coming up on Memorial Day, a number of feminist bakers—who also happen to be some of Boston’s most talented pastry chefs—are teaming up on a Bake Sale to Support Planned Parenthood. Turn out at Bow Market for a lineup of $5 treats by James Beard award winner Joanne Chang, multiyear JBFA nominee Maura Kilpatrick, Best of Boston winners Renae Connolly and Rachel Sundet, and more to support continuing efforts to allow women to make their own choices about their own bodies.
Stand with Planned Parenthood Bake Sale, Monday, May 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Rebel Rebel Somerville, 1 Bow Market Way, Somerville, Facebook.
Burgers and Beer
Another certain sign of summer: The Butcher Shop is bringing back burgers-and-beer deals every Monday and Tuesday for the season, beginning on Memorial Day. Choose among frequently changing combinations, like the simple pleasures of a flat patty topped with American cheese, shaved red onion, black pepper aioli, ketchup, and dill pickle, paired with a Miller High Life Pony; or indulgences like a dry-aged burger drizzled in gorgonzola dolce with bacon jam, tomato, and a sunny side up egg, its richness matched with a Köstritzer Schwartzbier. The specials are available every Monday and Tuesday from 4-10 p.m. through Labor Day. Elsewhere among Barbara Lynch’s South End empire: B&G Oysters is open regular hours on Memorial Day; and Stir is curating picnic baskets for two featuring Nashville-style chicken from the pop-up Hot Chix Boston, with some still available for pick-up on Saturday or Sunday.
The Butcher Shop, 552 Tremont St., Boston, 617-423-4800, thebutchershopboston.com.