10 Can't-Miss Food Events in January

Where to go, what to eat and when
January 7, 2016
by Scott Kearnan

Saturday, January 9: Better Bagels Pop-Up at CoppaStart your day off right by swinging by this South End enoteca at 8 AM, when it will host Somerville pop-up Better Bagels as they dole out their hand-rolled bagels (from plain to poppy) with a selection of Coppa's chef-driven toppings: think trout roe cream cheese with charred broccoli, mortadella pimento cheese spread and avocado with Calabrian chile, to name a few. It'll be a cash-only affair (prices range from $3 for plain bagels to $9 for the most luxe selections). Just get there early, because once they're gone — they're gone. 

Monday, January 11: Berkshire Brewing Company Dinner at TavoloWarm up the start of another winter week with a special dinner ($40) that sees Tavolo chef Alex Horowitz pairing each plate — including, say, braised short rib and oysters with smoked hops sabayon — with different selections of beer from Berkshire Brewing Company's. It goes down at 6:30 PM; call 617-822-1918 to reserve. 

Monday, January 11: La Dolce Vida at Cafe ArtScience. Sweet teeth, start gnashing. This Kendall Square innovator will feature the work of pastry chef Renae Connolly in a five-course dessert tasting ($55; $25 for optional beverage pairing) that includes mascarpone panna cotta with urfa pepper and blood orange gelee, maple and sugar pumpkin gnudi, and croustillant of yogurt and orange blossom, among other treats. A cocktail reception kicks things off at 7:15 PM and your dinner of dessert is served at 8 PM. Call 857-999-2193 to reserve. 

Wednesday, January 13: 10th Anniversary Celebration at ToroHow do you celebrate your birthday? Invite all your friends over, of course. And so chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette (pictured at page top) will toast the ten-year anniversary of their perennially packed South End restaurant by inviting a handful of guest chefs to add their own takes on tapas to the dinner menu: Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger, Blue Dragon), Jay Hajj (Mike's City Diner), Bob "Chief" Ambrose (LaBelle Foie Gras Farm) and local fishmonger Joby Norton. Stick around past 10 PM for late night bites and an after party. (And stay tuned: Oringer and Bissonnette's next joint venture, Little Donkey, opens later this year.) 

Thursday, January 14: Fat Hen preview at La BrasaOne of our most highly anticipated new restaurants of 2016 is Fat Hen, an Italian-inflected concept that will permanently inhabit the La Brasa Market space. La Brasa chef Daniel Bojorquez (pictured) has teamed with L'Espalier alum Michael Bergin, who was inspired by his recent work at Del Posto and A Voce to launch Fat Hen, which is expected to focus on house made pastas, braised meats and locally foraged produce. Get a sneak peek tonight, when selections from Fat Hen find their way on to a four-course prix fixe ($85) paired with wines from Mucci Imports. It starts with a reception at 6:30 PM; dinner served at 7 PM. Make a reservation by calling 617-262-3023 or book a seat here.

Monday, January 18: The Great Sous Chef Tapas Challenge at Tremont 647It's the sous chefs' turn to shine. A trio of competitors — Molly Dwyer (Tremont 647), Mark Bestmann (Coppa) and Nicco Muratore (Commonwealth) — will each make three tapas courses a different key ingredient. Guests will eat, vote, and crown one the reigning champ. Your $39 ticket (available here) gets you into a pre-competition reception at 6:30 PM and also entitles you to a complimentary cocktail.

Tuesday, January 19 through Sunday, January 24: Pig Week at BronwynYeah, we know you made diet-related resolutions. But let's be honest: you're going to break them anyway, so might as well go hog. Pork and brews are main attraction to this (almost) week-long series at chef Tim Wiechmann's German and Central European restaurant (pictured) in Union Square, where each night one dish will be based on a single part of a pig: from fried feet terrine and waffles to Hungarian-style braised belly bacon with plum compote. Check out the full menu at the bottom of this post; each plate is $20 and comes with house sauerkraut and fried potatoes. 

Wednesday, January 20: Bourbon Tasting at Loretta's Last Call. Save yourself the airfare to hit Kentucky's Bourbon Trail, and simply hop the T to Lansdowne Street's Southern roadhouse-style restaurant and music venue. From 6 PM-7:30 PM, just $15 gets you into an evening of ten different bourbon tastings — from Hudson Baby to Buffalo Trace and Buggy Whip Wheat — plus passed snacks and live country tunes. Secure your spot here

Thursday, January 28: The Most Soigné Dinner Ever at Puritan & CoIf you're not one of the 91K people following @chefjacquelamerde on Instagram — get on that! The mysterious chef has built a social media following with his jaw-dropping food porn that sorta spoofs the pretentious side of haute cuisine; "dude" and "bro"-dropping captions accompany legitimately gorgeous images of tweezer size meals made using junk food. At 7 PM, just hours before Chef Jacque's real identity is revealed to the nation on an episode of Top Chef, he'll reveal it first to guests at "The Most Soigné Dinner Ever," where five chefs will prepare five plates inspired by his irreverent approach. (Expect deconstructed Cool Ranch Doritos and powdered Cheez-Its.) The participants are Puritan chef-owner Will Gilson, Brian Mercury of Harvest, Michael Scelfo of Alden & Harlow, Craig Williams of Coppersmith, and Jonny O’Callaghan of Toronto’s Maple Leaf Tavern. (Purely speculating, but we note that one of these things is not like the other...) 20 percent of ticket sales ($120 here) benefits Lovin' Spoonfuls, a Boston nonprofit that distributes unserved food to local shelters and other organizations in need. 

Sunday, January 31: CityFeast in the North End. Since Antico Forno and Terramia owner Carla Agrippino Gomes founded it in 2005, the neighborhood-wide CityFeast has raised over $280,000 for Joslin Diabetes Center’s High Hopes Fund; Gomes credits the Center for its treatment of her son, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. For one night only, a $150 ticket entitles you to a five-course, wine-paired dinner at one of nine participating restaurants, including Strega, Tresca and Bricco. Find the full list, and purchase your tickets, here

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