Tuesday, March 1: Taste of the South End at the BCA Cyclorama. The South End is certainly one of Boston's most popular dining 'hoods, and here's your chance to sample some of its best in a single swoop. The Taste of the South End is a major annual benefit for AIDS Action Committee, supporting the organization's educational, treatment and other programmatic efforts in the fight against the disease. And from 7-9:30 PM, guests will have a chance to graze among food and drink served by 40 restaurants, from longtime neighborhood favorites like B&G Oysters and Mistral to new joints like Banyan Bar + Refuge, La Motta's Italian Specialties and The Trophy Room. Tickets (available here) are $125 for general admission or $175 for VIP, which includes early entry at 6 PM and access to a VIP lounge.
Friday, March 4 through Monday, March 7: Taste of Iceland at The Merchant. It's the closest European country to Boston, just a five hour flight from the Hub. Yet most of us probably don't much more about our neighbors to the northwest, aside from associations with "cold" and "Bjork." Here's a chance to eat well and engage in a bit more cultural competency. In conjunction with the larger Taste of Iceland calendar, a multi-day affair of food, music and art, Downtown gastropub The Merchant will be serving a special four-course prix fixe ($65) highlighting Icelandic cuisine: think Arctic char with pickled cucumber, horseradish sauce and native seaweed, and free-range lamb with baked celeriac, dried grapes and roasted hazelnuts.
Sunday, March 6: Sip & Slide at Post 390. Burgers and beer are a perfect pairing. The pared down version, of course, is sips and sliders — and that's exactly what this Back Bay American will be serving from 12-3 PM. Five local craft brewers, including Idle Hands and Jack's Abby, will offer up sips of their suds and work with the Post 390 team to design a special burger slider that best accompanies it. Guests will sample, vote on their favorite and — well, everyone wins. Especially when your $39 ticket (available here) also includes access to an unlimited chili bar for something a little extra spicy.
Sunday, March 6: Hip Hop Brunch at Alden & Harlow. Quick, page all your friends with a 911! (And then find the nearest pay phone.) It's time to gather up your posse for a throwback hip hop brunch at chef Michael Scelfo's Harvard Square hit. In addition to the standard brunch menu (served 10:30 AM-2:30 PM), today will feature a special a la carte selection of old school-inspired plates: like the "Fantastic Voyage," a hemp seed crepe “blunt," with "Coolio" whip and chocolate. And as DJ Ryan Brown spins vinyl jams, you'll sip on thematic cocktails like "Nothin But a G Thang," a combo of gin, smoked dates and tobacco tincture. Blaze on, brunchers.
Sunday, March 6 through Friday, March 11 and Sunday, March 13 through Friday, March 18: Dine Out Boston. The city-wide event series previously known as Restaurant Week returns for its March installment, during which eateries across the Hub will offer special multi-course menus during lunch ($15, $20 or $25) and dinner ($28, $33 or $38). This year's participants come from every corner: from Back Bay (SELECT Oyster Bar) to Beacon Hill (Ma Maison) and from Harvard Square (Rialto) to Kendall (Commonwealth). Check out the full lineup and individual menus here.
Thursday, March 10: Chew On This — Global Street Eats at the Boston Center for Adult Education. The BCAE has really robust culinary program — hence why we honored former food and wine program manager Brooke Barsanti as one of our past 30 Under 30 stars. And from 6:45-9:30 PM, this fun benefit for the center's scholarship program will bring together some of the city's coolest chefs as they serve up their individual spin on international street food. Among the participants are current Top Chef contestant Karen Akunowicz (Myers + Chang, pictured page top) and series alum Tiffani Faison (pictured above, Sweet Cheeks Q, Tiger Mama), longstanding legends like Michael Scelfo (Alta Strada, Tico, Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar) and younger hot shots like Kevin O'Donnell (SRV). Tickets are $85 here including wine and beer; VIP tickets ($135) also get you early entrance at 5:30 PM plus access to an auction hosted by NESN's "Dining Playbook" hosts Billy Costa and Jenny Johnson.
Saturday, March 12: Bourbon & Bacon Fest at the Castle at Park Plaza. Bourbon? Bacon? Sign us up. This sizzling hot event will kick off your weekend with a boozy bang, offering about a dozen different samples from various distillers — including New England's own Maine Craft Distillers. There's also creative bacon-based bites prepared by restaurants ranging from Lulu's Allston, to Mei Mei, to Flank, to Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar. You can opt for general admission entry from 2-5 PM ($50) or VIP entry from 1:30 to 5 PM ($100); VIP also includes extra tastings and access to a special section away from the thicker throngs. Get 'em here.
Sunday, March 13: Beyond Bubbie's Kitchen at the Back Bay Events Center. Tradition is a beautiful thing. But sometimes, bubbie, it's nice for a new generation to have its way with things. And that's the idea behind this foodie fete going down from 5:30-7, when a slew of hot Hub restaurants will get creative with modern updats on traditional Jewish eats. Among the participants are Hojoko, Juliet, Whole Heart Provisions and Mamaleh's Delicatessen, the upcoming concept from the same team behind State Park. (Here's an early chance to score a taste.) You'll also find craft beer samples, cider and other libations. from Notch and Coney Island, Jack’s Abby craft lagers, Bantam cider, Gubba rum, and more. Tickets are $39 here.
Thursday, March 31: Third Anniversary Party at Tavern Road. Chef Louis DiBiccari was among the early wave of chefs who have helped transform Fort Point into a viable dining neighborhood, and this month his Tavern Road (pictured) celebrates its three year anniversary with a special multi-course prix fixe dinner ($95, includes drink pairings) that will tap a trio of additional guest chefs: former 30 Under 30 honoree Michael Serpa of SELECT Oyster Bar, Matt Jennings of Townsman and Brian Mercury of Harvest. Tickets will be available here shortly.