Hot town, summer in the city! June ushers in the official start of summer, which means another month of awesome food events — from the launch of a brand-new cookbook festival to the return of an annual bacon and beer bonanza at Fenway Park. So, prepare to heat up. Your social calendar is going to fill with these can't-miss culinary outings.
Thursday, June 2: Seaport Sangria Smackdown at Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center. What's better than a glass of sangria with a Seaport breeze? Sangria samples, of course. This competition will buzz with bartenders from a dozen restaurants — including last year's champ, The Barking Crab, plus Ocean Prime, Empire and more — as they strut their sangria-mixing stuff for guest votes. Your $20 ticket (available here) also gets access to edibles at the Thirsty Thursday soiree, which goes down from 6–8 PM.
Sunday, June 5: "Food & Beer" dinner at Harvest. Has there ever been a more marvelous combination? For the next installment of its "Cookbook Series," Harvard Square farm-to-table Harvest will welcome guest chef Daniel Burns and brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, co-founders of Luksus and Tørst in Brooklyn, to celebrate the release of their first cookbook, Food & Beer. Burns and Harvest chef Tyler Kinnett, one of our most recent 30 Under 30 honorees, will create a five-course dinner paired with beers from Jarnit-Bjergsø's Evil Twin Brewing; guests will also receive a signed copy of the book and a chance to chat with the dynamic duo. Reserve your 6 PM seat ($60) by calling 617-868-2255.
Photo courtesy Boston Chops
Monday, June 6: Prime Wine & Dine at Boston Chops. Paired dinners are a fine way to discover new wines. The only problem: being able to remember which bottles you loved. Luckily, Chris Coombs' chic South End steakhouse is smoothing out the process by partnering with nearby Brix Wine Shop for a series of five-course dinners, each focused on a different geographic region, paired with wines available at the store; if you find yourself smitten with a selection, you can order on the spot and have Brix ship the bottle to your home. Each dinner will go down on the first Monday of the month, with this installment featuring French wines alongside dishes like seared scallop with pork belly and duck confit with fava beans and fiddlehead ferns. Reserve your spot ($79) by calling ahead: 617-227-5011.
Tuesday, June 7: Taste of the Nation at Cruiseport Boston. She's well known as a star of Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible, but Boston native Taniya Nayak will emcee this annual event in the interest of a mission that will, hopefully, one day prove very possible: eradicating childhood hunger. "Taste" supports the anti-hunger nonprofit No Kid Hungry, and will bring together over 60 chefs from restaurants across the Boston area; Bar Boulud, Craigie on Main, Neptune Oyster, Myers + Chang, Tiger Mama and more will serve up plenty of samples complemented by beer, wine, and live music. And your ticket price ($95 for general admission at 7 PM; $150 for VIP at 6 PM) will help the organization move one step closer to a world without hunger. (Score a pass here.)
Wednesday, June 8: Taste of Somerville at 50 Holland St. Boston may be the bigger city, but when it comes to creativity, some of the most interesting new restaurants are opening across the river. So if you need to brush up on Somerville's dining scene, here's a quick way to cover a lot of ground. This outdoor food festival will feature over 50 participating spots, from Somerville standbys like Diva Indian Bistro, Five Horses Tavern and Highland Kitchen to comparative newcomers like the adventurous Tasting Counter, soba spot Sugidama and brewery-coffeehouse hybrid Winter Hill Brewing. Tickets are $50 general admission and $75 for VIP (which includes admittance to beverage tastings and tableside food service), with proceeds benefiting Somerville CAN, a collective of 11 different social justice organizations. It runs from 5:30–7:30 PM and you can reserve a pass here.
Sunday, June 12: Boston Bacon and Beer Festival at Fenway Park. This. Is Not. A Drill. For the seventh year, from 4–6:30 PM Fenway Park's concourse will transform into a magical wonderland of bacon-themed eats and craft beer. Regarding the former, you'll find dozens of participating restaurants: Brewer's Fork, Night Market, Roxy's Grilled Cheese, Shojo and Trina's Starlite Lounge among them. And when it comes to the suds, expect Jack's Abbey, Lord Hobo and Peak Organic Brewing Co. among the options. Standard tickets ($52) get you all the nibbles plus eight three-ounce beer samples; "Early Bird Baller Tickets" ($105) let you skip the entry line and score extra swag like a T-shirt and — you guessed it — a pound of bacon. Score all the details on the fun, and tickets, here.
Friday, June 17 & Saturday, June 18: "The Readable Feast" at Boston Public Market. This inaugural cookbook festival is looking to write the recipe for a successful ongoing series. Boston's celebrity chef-authors will score the spotlight here, starting with a Friday cocktail party and awards ceremony honoring toque and scribes like Jasper White (the Summer Shack restaurants). For $50, guests will nosh on fare from Daniel Bruce (Meritage), Barbara Lynch (No.9 Park, Menton and more) and Andy Husbands (Tremont 647), and receive beer, wine and cheese selections. Then on Saturday (10 AM–4 PM), authors will take the stage at the Boston Public Market's expo and event space, The Kitchen, for alternating 20-minute demos and seminars; it's $5 to attend each, $30 for a day pass, or totally free if you can provide proof of purchase from three market vendors. For more info, head here.
Photo courtesy Commonwealth
Sunday, June 19: Sunday Slam kick-off at Commonwealth. Bigger isn't always better — but it sure is when it comes to patio dining. Chef Steve "Nookie" Postal was recently able to double the size of his Kendall Square restaurant's patio: It now boasts 150 seats, plus the quirky addition of a vintage 1960 Dodge pickup truck into a full bar. To celebrate, and make the most of the larger outfit, Postal is kicking off "Sunday Slam," a weekly series that will invite guest chefs to whip up their own alfresco brunch and lunch eats each Sunday. The first will feature the rib-sticking flavors of Central Texas BBQ, and other upcoming guests will include Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions, Puritan & Company and KO Pies. Postal will even use a "slam" to preview eats from Steinbones, his long-anticipated "Jewish barbecue" concept.
Sunday, June 19: Pink Wine & Pintxos at Drink. Barbara Lynch's subterranean cocktail joint will temporarily transform into a tapas bar for one Sunday afternoon. From 12–3 PM, swing by for an exclusive array of à la carte Spanish small plates alongside a special selection of chilled rosé wines. Think of it like a quick jaunt to Barcelona, minus the private jet fee.
Friday, June 24: Chefs in Shorts at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center. Imagine a summer barbecue with several dozen of your favorite chefs tending the grill. That's the basic gist of Chefs in Shorts, which returns for the 19th year to kick off the summer with awesome eats, live music and plenty of cool refreshments on a breezy outdoor concourse at the World Trade Center. Your $80 ticket will allow you to graze among dozens of participating restaurants from 7–10 PM: Deuxave, Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, Scampo, The Salty Pig, The Tip Tap Room and Worden Hall, among many, many more. Proceeds benefit Future Chefs, an organization that prepares urban youth for careers in the culinary arts.