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10 Can't-Miss November Food Events in Boston

Here's where to go and what to eat
October 27, 2015
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by Scott Kearnan

Sunday, November 1–Monday, November 2: Día de los Muertos at Besito Mexican
Halloween may be over, but next comes the dawn of Día de los Muertos. The upscale Mexican spot will celebrate the Day of the Dead by attiring its servers in sugar skull face paint, outfitting the dining room in traditional decor (including "ofrendas," or altars), adding some limited-time dishes — like a sautéed shrimp and pickled jalapeño quesadilla — and closing out each dinner with a complimentary artisanal chocolate by Mayan chocolatier Casa de Chocolates and a tasting of Patron XO or Patron Cocoa.

Sunday, November 1–Monday, November 30: 40th anniversary celebration at Harvest
The decades-spanning Harvard Square legend will throw itself a month-long birthday party in November — and diners get the gifts. Pick between two tasting menus (3-course for $48, or $68 with wine pairing; six-course for $68, or $88 with wine pairing) celebrating signature dishes from the chefs who have passed through Harvest's kitchens, drink some throwback cocktails at 1970s prices ($2.95!) and if you're celebrating an anniversary, birthday or marriage that month, you'll get 15% off!

Wednesday, November 4: Champagne and Eggs Breakfast at Island Creek Oyster Bar
Can't wait until Sunday brunch to start off your day with a healthy breakfast and a champagne-filled flute? Cash in a sick day (cough!) and join the Island Creek team for this midweek breakfast (9:30–11 AM) hosted by James Beard Award–winning wine guru and Reading Between the Wines author Terry Theise. The four-course, bubbly-accompanied breakfast will include oysters with caviar, French toast with cheese fondue and pomegranate, English muffin with mushroom ragout and truffle and black oat grit porridge accompanied by scallop sausage with pancetta and pickled apple. Tickets are $100 and can be reserved by calling 617-532-5300.

Thursday, November 5: Better Bagels pop-up at Coppa
Start your day off right by swinging by chef Ken Oringer's and Jamie Bissonnette's 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 chef-driven toppings from Oringer and Bissonnette: 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 $11 for the most luxe selections). Just get there early, because once they're gone — they're gone. 

Friday, November 6: Smoke + Savor at The Fireplace Room at The International
We're not endorsing smoking, but there's no doubt that many diners enjoy kicking back with a cigar after their meal. (Hence why Grill 23 dropped an entire cigar menu over the summer.) If that sounds up your alley, you'll love this annual fall dinner at The Fireplace Room, the classy restaurant with panoramic views of esteemed golf club The International. Three of the dinner's four courses will be paired with a different cigar, including tuna tartare accompanied by a Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema and a bourbon-caramel-covered chocolate mousse that closes things out with Davidoff Escurio Gran Toro. (This will all mean something to cigar aficionados.) It all starts with a 6 PM cocktail reception, and tickets ($125) can be reserved here.

Monday, November 9–Saturday, November 14: Truffle Week on Congress Street at Menton, Sportello and Drink
It's white Alba truffle season and each of Barbara Lynch's neighboring Fort Point restaurants will celebrate everyone's favorite fungi by featuring special limited-time-only menu items that spotlight the tasty morsel. Think a super-luxe five-course white Alba truffle tasting (to the tune of $295) at Menton. Sportello will highlight the truffle on housemade bigoli ($65) and Drink will offer truffle as a supplement ($45) to steak tartare. Our rec? Pull a hat trick and try to hit all three. Your wallet may regret it, but your taste buds won't. 

Wednesday, November 11: Pelekasis pop-up at La Brasa
In case you haven't noticed, Greek and Eastern Mediterranean food is white hot in Boston right now. And jumping fork-first into the fray is Zebra's Bistro chef Brendan Pelley, who will debut his modern Greek pop-up Pelekasis this month. The Hell's Kitchen alum will roll it out at Somerville's La Brasa from 8:30 PM to midnight, offering a "souvlaki shop"–like assortment of unique spreads (like aerated feta tirokafteri), mezethes (like foie gras dolmades with cured yolk), souvlaki, gyro and glyka. Can't make it? Fret not: the second outing, a five-course dinner ($65) is already scheduled for Cambridge's Commonwealth for a 9 PM seating on Monday, November 16. 

Thursday, November 12: Progressive Dinner series kickoff at Bel Ari and Les Zygomates
Problem: it's been a while since you've checked out Leather District French legend Les Zygomates, and you still haven't made it over to neighboring Bel Ari (pictured), the barely year-old Italian replacement to Sorriso. Solution: hit the sibling restaurants in a single night thanks to a clever new Progressive Dinner series, launching tonight and recurring on the second Thursday of each month. Sign up and you'll start at 6 PM with two wine-paired courses at Bel Ari (apps and pasta), then the communal party will migrate next door for entrees and dessert (plus more pairings) at Les Zygomates. Reserve a spot for $75 ($45 without wine pairing) by calling Les Zygomates: 617-542-5108.

Saturday, November 14: "Dining Playbook" Gala at The Castle at Park Plaza
The NESN sports-and-food show hosted by KISS 108 personality Billy Costa and media-maven-about-town Jenny Johnson will host the next installment of its annual gala, a tasting experience where guests get to sample from over 30 different restaurants (including Hojoko, DeuxaveBrasserie Jo, Henrietta's Table and Stephanie's, among others), tipple beer, wine and signature cocktails and boogie down to a 12-piece band. Plus: a special auction to celebrate Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit working to end child hunger, and the chance to rub elbows with restaurant-scene movers and shakers. It goes down from 7–11 PM and tickets ($100) are here.

Sunday, November 22: Lovin' Spoonfuls Ultimate Tailgate Party at Cruiseport Boston
Your chili cook-off can wait. Here's a can't-miss tailgate with some of the city's top chefs, hosted by (and a benefit for) Lovin' Spoonfuls, an organization that collects food from restaurants and grocery stores that would otherwise be discarded, and distributes it to city soup kitchens, homeless shelters and crisis centers. 25 MVP toques will team up to serve up creative takes on their favorite tailgate food, including Jamie Bissonnette of Toro and Coppa (pictured), Michael Scelfo of Alden & Harlow, Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks Q, Steve "Nookie" Postal of Commonwealth, Stephanie Cmar of Fairsted Kitchen, Michael Serpa of Select Oyster Bar and many more. $100 tickets include access (starting 7 PM) to chefs' tasting stations, complimentary signature cocktails, beer from Peak Organic Brewery, plus wines and champs. But if you splurge on the $250 VIP ticket, you'll earn early entry at 6 PM for a reception with all-you-can-eat cheese and charcuterie from Wasik's Cheese Shop and Josh Smith of New England Charcuterie (aka the man behind Moody's), a meet-and-greet with the chefs, "buy it now" privileges for silent auction items, a VIP gift bag — and a meet-and-greet with this year's recipient of the Thomas M. Menino Award for Leadership, "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern. Get your tickets here.

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