Sunday, April 3: Mary Madness at Bambara Kitchen & Bar. Prepare for a bloody good time: from 1-4 PM, eight local bartenders will compete in this bracket-style competition to create the ultimate bloody Mary. Competitors from Bambara (pictured above), Trina's Starlite Lounge, Russell House Tavern, Banyan Bar + Refuge, Citizen Public House, Highball Lounge, Firebrand Saints and No.9 Park will serve four-ounce pours for pairing alongside savory noshes like cheeseburger sliders and candied maple bacon. The winner receives bragging rights, and proceeds from the event benefit Lovin' Spoonfuls, a nonprofit that delivers unused restaurant food to homeless shelters and other in-need organizations. Grab tickets ($43) here.
Sunday, April 3: Taste of South Boston at the Seaport Boston Hotel. Southie has been home to some hot and happening openings lately. And from 6-9 PM, this annual benefit for South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation will serve as a one-stop food crawl through 30 participating area restaurants: from newcomers like Coppersmith, The Maiden and Moonshine 152, to longstanding favorites like Amrheins and Local 149 (which, by the way, is reopening any day now after a multi-month closure due to flood). Purchase your $50 tickets here.
Wednesday, April 6: NF Northeast's Table for TEN. Need to convene a group of friends for an overdue dinner? Here's a fitting fundraiser: an annual benefit for Neurofibromatosis Northeast, a nonprofit supporting research on the nervous system disorder, in which groups of ten reserve a table at participating restaurants across the city. Participants will be offering three-course, wine-paired dinners created specially for the event. (Among them are high-end options like Bistro du Midi, Grill 23 & Bar and Top of the Hub.) After dinner at these various locales, all guests get to convene at an 8 PM after-party at the University of Massachusetts Club for cocktails, a dessert reception and auction hosted by NESN's "Dining Playbook" host Jenny Johnson. Book your table - or look into single ticket options - here.
Wednesday, April 6: "Greeks of the Black Sea" Wine Dinner at Committee (pictured). If you're still getting your bearings when it comes to Greek food, this Seaport restaurant's monthly (first Wednesdays) wine dinners should prove an educational experience. Each installment focuses on the cuisine from a different region of the country, with consulting chef Diane Kochilas and wine director Lauren Friel presiding over a six-course, beverage-paired Epicurean exploration. April's dinner will focus on the culinary heritage of Pontic Greeks, those who traditionally settled on the Black Sea borders of Turkey and Georgia. Expect selections like lardopilafo, pancetta-wrapped beef, pine nuts, veggies and kasseri cheese served over savory rice. Call 617-737-5051 to reserve your spot for $125, tax and gratuity inclusive.
Sunday, April 10: Lamb Jam at the Royal Sonesta. Are you game? Because from 3-6 PM this annual event will bring together 20 chefs from around Boston as they prepare lamb-based bites and offer butchering demos for guests who graze, sip local craft brews, meet and mingle with actual shepards, hop in the photo booth and even whip up their own lamb spice rub. Among the participants are Chris Jackson from The Backroom at Moody's, William Kovel from Catalyst, Todd Winer from Pastoral and Top Chef alum Tiffani Faison of Tiger Mama and Sweet Cheeks Q. Tickets are $60 for general admission or $100 for VIP (which includes early admittance for a reception with live music and more) here.
Sunday, April 10: Kanye vs. Taylor Super Fan Brunch at Back Bay Harry's. Had a rough week? "Shake it Off" and head to Back Bay Harry's for the latest in the restaurant's series of pop star-themed brunches. Suspend your Twitter war long enough to declare allegiance to Kanye West or Taylor Swift during one of two seatings (11:30 AM and 1:30 PM). You'll get a three-course, prix fixe menu of themed eats (like "I’mma Let you Finish These Fresh Fried Beignets") and drinks (like the "Bad Blood" bacon-infused bloody Mary). And you can kick back with music videos and concert footage as you debate the stars' respective levels of awesome; costumes are encouraged, so dust off those Yeezy fashions. Seats ($35) can be reserved by calling 617-424-6711.
Monday, April 11 and Tuesday, April 12: La Dolce Vida at Cafe ArtScience. If you're looking for outrageous desserts, pastry chef Renae Connolly (pictured) is always experimenting with innovative ideas at this Kendall Square restaurant with a tech and innovation bent. (It's the brainchild of Harvard engineer Dr. David Edwards.) For two nights Connolley will resurrect La Dolce Vida, her five-course dessert menu ($55; $25 beverage pairings). This time the sweets will take inspiration from a recent jaunt to Japan, and include treats like orange Blossom brioche with house made yuzu marmalade, and an almond snow–frosted "tree" of kataifi dough surrounded by ginger-elderflower gelée and "stones" of raspberry ice cream. Call ahead to secure a seat: 857-999-2193.
Tuesday, April 12: James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour at Kirkland Tap & Trotter. The James Beard Foundation's Celebrity Chef Tour, a city-hopping series that brings together past winners and nominees, is about to land in Boston. Kirkland and Craigie on Main chef Tony Maws will welcome fellow Bostonian Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa, Toro) plus Spike Gjerde (Woodberry Kitchen) and Bryan Voltaggio (Volt, Aggio and more) for a cocktail reception with bites, followed by a full multi-course meal prepared by the quartet. Tickets for the fantastic foursome ($195) can be purchased here.
Sunday, April 24: Dinnerfest Red Party & Auction at Red Lantern. For restaurant lovers, it doesn't get much better than this food-themed fundraiser for Victory Programs, a nonprofit that helps Boston's homeless individuals and families, focusing on those struggling with substance abuse and/or chronic health issues like HIV/AIDS and mental illness. Now in its 41st year, the event is a one-stop shop for dozens upon dozens of restaurant-related silent auction items, with special packages reflecting over 100 local eateries: like Yvonne's, Boston Chops, Ocean Prime, Andy Husband's highly anticipated Smoke Shop and more. Your ticket ($60 here, $70 at the door) includes access to this treasure trove of goodies, plus hors d'oeuvres and raffle prizes (including round-trip JetBlue tickets); wear red to be entered to win a special prize.
Friday, April 29: Taste of the North End. The restaurant-lined, Italian-heavy North End may teem with tourists, but born-and-bred Bostonians love it too — if they know where to look. For a taste — or rather, tasting — of what the 'hood has to offer, graze among the 35+ participants in Taste of the North End, held at DCR Steriti Memorial Ice Rink (561 Commercial Street). Some of the top spots doling out bites are Mamma Maria, Neptune Oyster, Strega, Ward 8 and Prezza. Plus: beer and wine, a silent auction, and emcee Billy Costa, KISS 108 personality and host of NESN's "Dining Playbook." Tickets are $79 ($99 after April 15) here and benefit multiple North End non-profits. It kicks off at 7 PM.