From the creators of two popular Irish pubs, En Boca is a Mediterranean small plates concept that will be opening in the space that was formerly occupied by Sandrine’s Bistro. Near the construction of the Smith Campus Center, En Boca hopes to open on September 29. Classic Restaurant Concepts manages the Asgard in Cambridge and the Kinsale in Boston and is entering Harvard Square with a drastically different restaurant model. With wine on draft and a focus on small plates, En Boca aims to provide an alternative dining destination with a similar model to Alden and Harlow.
The head chef, Devin Broo, has an impressive resume as he worked at Restaurant Daniel, a former three Michelin Star restaurant (currently has 2 Michelin Stars), Bar Boulud in Boston, and the Elm Restaurant in Connecticut. His menu covers a wide variety of Mediterranean cuisines with connections to Spain and Greece. While classic small plates like patatas bravas (hot potatoes), bacalou croquettes (codfish cakes), and wood grilled octopus line the menu, there are many intriguing dishes like byrek (spinach pie), stuffed baby squid, and slow poached arctic char. In addition to the small plates, there are larger shared dishes like an Acadian redfish baked in clay.
En Boca will focus on serving dinner on the opening date, but it hopes to eventually expand with a lunch and brunch program.
I am looking forward to visiting En Boca in the near future and sampling a wide variety of small plates, while lamenting at the fact that I cannot explore their wine program.
Bored of the typical Harvard Square eats? Bogged down by midterms? Take a break next Saturday afternoon and take advantage of all that the Square has to offer.
The Harvard Square Tasting Tour is led by Trademark Tours (The Hahvahd Tour; City Wine Tours) and combines history and trivia with an afternoon full of culinary treats. Leaving from Out of Town News at 3 pm, the tour stops at local artisan stops and restaurants including Cardullo’s, Grafton Street, Salt & Olive, Follow the Honey, Russell House Tavern, and PARK.
Start: Cambridge Information Booth, located at 1376 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138.
Cardullo’s: Browse delicious gourmet imports at this iconic Harvard Square grocery, and learn about the shop’s history.
Grafton Street: Quick approaching its 20th anniversary in the Square, Grafton Street is the neighborhood destination for perfectly pulled pints and thoughtful fare.
Salt & Olive: Much like wine, olive oil and vinegars have complex aromatic flavor profiles that, when understood, can greatly improve a dish. Owner Mary Taylor will guide us through a hands on tasting!
Follow the Honey: Did you know it takes 1,125 bees foraging 2,000 flowers to create one pound of honey? Learn all about the amazing world of bees and enjoy a side by side taste test of three honeys from diverse origins led by owner Caneen Canning.
Russell House Tavern: You’re at the heart of Harvard Square when you’re at Russell House Tavern. An elevation of the local, neighborhood tavern experience, Russell House offers seasonally inspired American fare alongside a carefully edited and locally influenced drink list.
PARK Restaurant & Bar: Located in the “Lower JFK” area of Harvard Square, PARK is a vibrant destination for friends, family and acquaintances to linger over lively conversation, playful plates and thoughtful drinks.
Hungry for more?
In addition to the three signature dish and cocktail pairings you’ll enjoy along the way, Grafton Group is offering Tasting Tour participants 10% off food at any of their four properties! Settle in to your favorite spot, show your server your Tasting Tour ticket and sit, dine, drink and linger – at a discount!
The 37th Annual Oktoberfest was a wonderful celebration of food, music, and the city of Cambridge. For those who couldn’t make it and for those who went and want to relive the experience, here are some of the highlights:
Liquiteria’s “Royal Flush” juice is a tangy hybrid of pineapple, apple, and ginger. (Liquiteria, 18 Brattle St #352)
The “Liquid Volcano” was extremely popular, primarily due to the dry ice in the drink that made it look like it was smoking.
Delicious slices of smoked beef from El Jefe’s Taqueria.
Three traditional Indian dishes from Punjab, an authentic Indian restaurant. (Punjab, 485 Massachusetts Ave.)
A Schweinedecke (pig in a blanket) from The Sinclair. (The Sinclair, 52 Church St.)
Roasted Pork Bao from the Thai restaurant, NAGA. (NAGA, 450 Massachusetts Ave.)
Snap Boogie, a world famous street performer that was featured on America’s Got Talent.
The Turkey Hill brand gave out free hazelnut gelato samples.
Authentic German Bratwurst served in a bun with sauerkraut.
Unlike a restaurant, food truck, or vending machine, the opportunity to go to saint feasts only comes around once a year. No cancellations, no rain checks. These feasts come, they conquer, and they make you wait a whole year for their next appearance.
We don’t want you to miss out, so mark your calendars for August 29th-31st, when Saint Anthony’s Street Festival takes over Boston’s North End. For anyone out there who has never been outside Harvard Square, the North End is basically Boston’s “Little Italy.” It’s where you’ll find the city’s best cannoli, more fettucine alfredo than you’ve ever thought possible, and of course, gelato on every street corner. While we highly recommend that one day you make your way to Hanover Street (essentially the Appian Way of the North End) to discover for yourself what treasures lie down its winding alleyways, there’s no better time for an introduction to this Italian-American village than Saint Anthony’s feast.
Opening ceremonies begin with a small procession of Saint Anthony on Friday at 7pm, with a musical performance starting soon after at 7:30pm, but the real party starts (and practically never finishes) on the weekend. By noontime on Saturday, the Streets will be flooded with white stalls, as local businesses offer their best to the hungry crowds. Arancini, calzones, cannoli, calamari, hazelnuts, sausage and peppers, torrone, pizzele, clams, caprese sandwiches —and that’s just the beginning.
Throughout the entire weekend, Pizzeria Regina will be at the open air piazza selling pizza, Stella Artois, and of course, vino, produced by The Naked Grape. This year’s festival also features a tasting tent and culinary stage sponsored by Filippo Berio Olive Oil and New England Center for Arts and Technology. While at the tasting tent, you can try several varieties of Filippo Berio olive oil using Parziale Bakery’s freshly baked bread and learn useful olive oil tricks and tips. And if you like cooking just as much as you like eating, don’t miss the culinary stage, where local chefs will be showcasing their best Italian dishes. Demonstrations and tastings will run throughout the entire weekend, so whether you attend on Saturday, Sunday, or both, you won’t miss out on any of the culinary spectacle.
Amidst this gastronomical playground, there will be live music, masses, processions, dancing, carnival games, confetti, and of course, a giant statue of Saint Anthony covered with paper streamers by the time Sunday night rolls around.
And there’s more. The party and religious devotion continue onto Monday September 1st , with the celebration of Saint Lucy, complete with celebration and music throughout the day and a nighttime feast. If you didn’t have room for a sfogliatelle (also called a lobster tail) or arancini the first two days, you have one more chance to fill yourself up with Italian deliciousness.
In summary, these back-to-back saint feasts offer great food, a lively atmosphere, and a perfect opportunity to use that Italian accent you have been working on.