Boston Weekend Planner: June 20-22
Friday. Tickets are still available for tonight's installment of "Talking Taste" at the Institute of Contemporary Art, a series that features cooking demos - with samples! - and audience Q&A with local star chefs. But tonight's 6:30 PM "Taste" trades cooking for cocktails, with Backbar co-owner Sam Treadway (pictured) sharing some of his mixology secrets. Head here for tickets ($10-$15), and you can also grab them for next week's installment with Jeremy Sewall, the toque behind Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34 and Lineage.
Friday — Sunday. One of our 10 Food Events To Look Forward To This Summer will go down this weekend: Phantom Gourmet's BBQ & Music Festival. Yes, the local food show is known to be somewhat cheesy - literally. But if you're too tired to throw a weekend cookout, it's hard to argue with three days that will see City Hall Plaza filled with an endless array of ribs, pulled pork and other sauce-slathered offerings from a half-dozen international barbecue gurus. Plus the event will ride the '90s nostalgia wave with performances from "Shoop" stars Salt-N-Pepa (Friday) and the Boston-bred ska-punk act The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (alongside Gaslight Anthem and - Jimmy Kimmel?). Tickets ($5-$15) and more info here.
Saturday. It's the first day of summer, so the South End's Coda is bringing out the grass skirts and Beach Boys anthems for a Tiki Party from 5-11 PM. To slurp: Scorpion bowls, Mai Tais, Hurricanes and more. To chow: Taro chips with pineapple salsa, coconut shrimp, honey glazed ham and a Spam burger, to name a few. Floral shirts not required, but highly suggested - by us, anyway.
Sunday. Strip-T's is normally closed on Sundays, but the folks at SoonSpoon have dug their way in the door on June 22. From 3-6 PM SoonSpoon, a mobile app biz that hooks discerning diners up with last-minute reservations at select restaurants, teams up with chef du cuisine Jared Forman for a baseball-inspired pop-up dinner. For the first hour you'll drink brews and munch on "Japanese Nippon League" cracker jacks; when the Red Sox game starts at 4 PM, so will a four-course meal of family style fare: like "Cubano invasion French fries" and a sunflower seed salad. Score! (Tickets are $45 here.)
Sunday. On June 22, The Sinclair kicks off a summer Patio Dinner Series on what happens to be one of our favorite rooftops around. From 3-6 PM you'll find a seafood clambake featuring New England-, Asian-, and Southern-influenced dishes, plus an oyster shucking competition and suds from Notch Brewing Company. The series continues next month with a BBQ Fest on Sunday, July 27. And then there's an Island Fest on Sunday, Augsut 24. Tickets are $50, and call ahead to purchase: 617-547-5200.