Thursday, October 15, 2020

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I'm back again with a new edition of Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting, upcoming food & drink events. For now, some of these events will simply be the opening of certain restaurants, generally ones dear to my heart for a variety of reasons. And I hope everyone dines out safely, and tips well. 
1) Will Gilson and his Puritan & Company team will expand their presence to the Shed at Cambridge Crossing (CX), the new development at the intersection of Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston. The three concepts that are being launched by Gilson and his team will be comprised of Café Beatrice, an all-day café; Geppetto, a full-service Italian restaurant slated to open in 2021; and The Lexington, a cocktail bar and restaurant with a rooftop terrace in a new retail building referred to as The Shed. Gilson’s new concepts will be located at 100 North First Street in the new CX neighborhood.

This has been our passion project for about two years now. We are thrilled to introduce three distinct concepts at Cambridge Crossing; Café Beatrice which is an all-day café with Pastry Genius Brian Mercury at the helm, The Lexington which is our second floor restaurant and bar featuring a rooftop terrace and Geppetto, our Italian concept that is opening in 2021,” said Chef/Owner Will Gilson. “We are opening each venue in phases, starting with Café Beatrice and followed by The Lexington with Geppetto to follow at a later date. Our intention was to give guests something for every daypart to fit into their lives.”

The all-day café called Café Beatrice, with Pastry Chef Brian Mercury at the helm, will be the first to open on October 17th to the public. Café Beatrice will offer baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and a variety of healthy options, supplemented by a grab-and-go component. There will also be catering options prepared by Brian Mercury and Will Gilson and their team, as well. Café Beatrice will be open from 8am-4pm  from Tuesday until Sunday. Café Beatrice will feature a grab and go area, a counter for takeout and ordering, and some café seating for those who want to enjoy their coffee and pastries while in the space. There will also be a patio for those who would like to take their orders and enjoy them al fresco.

For lunch, the menu will transition into sandwiches like an Italian Grinder on a sub roll; a miso roasted broccoli melt; a BLT with Miso Mayo on homemade sourdough; a Niçoise Salad on Ciabatta with Spanish tuna, olive artichoke tapenade, egg, beans, peppers and greens; and roast turkey with an apple onion chutney and cheddar. There will also be a selection of salads and bowls for people to enjoy. For a sweet treat, Brian will have cookies, fruit bars and his popular “everything but the kitchen sink” Rice Krispy Treats. For beverages, there will be coffee, cold brew, iced tea, lemonade, bottled drinks, and a selection hot tea.

Beginning the first week in November, the second dining concept by Will Gilson is slated to open and will be called The Lexington. Open from 4:30pm-10pm every Tuesday through Saturday, The Lexington will be a second-floor restaurant with a rooftop bar where guests can enjoy a quick bite with friends, a date night, or an approachable dinner on the large rooftop patio terrace that overlooks the Common at CX.

Guests will be able to imbibe in crafted drinks and a locally-sourced food menu at The Lexington, with a menu created by Gilson and his team. There will be a “snacks” section of the menu which has items such as baked stuffed clams, onion dip and homemade potato chips. The “appetizer” section of the menu will include crab cakes, Swedish Meatballs and scallop crudo. There will be a salad component and entrees will include glazed short ribs, fish and chips, grilled salmon and wild mushroom lasagna. There will also be a fried scallop roll, a lobster roll served hot and buttered or with mayo, and a Prime Burger with Dukes mayo, pickles, Maine tomato, Gruyere and American Cheese.

2) Check out Toro Cooks for the Jimmy Fund. Join Toro Executive Chef Josh Elliott for a virtual behind-the-scenes experience into the well-known Boston area restaurant. Get into the fall spirit with an exclusive virtual cooking demonstration on Sunday, October 18 at 1pm. Chef Elliott will create his classic Barcelona-style tapas for the autumn season, including a craft oyster dish. Proceeds from this virtual event benefit the Jimmy Fund.

To participate in this culinary demonstration, a $25 donation or more is encouraged. All proceeds from this virtual event will support the lifesaving mission of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The live-streamed event will be hosted by Island Creek Oyster’s Director of Sales, Bill Weiss and can be viewed on Toro’s Facebook page.

3) Tambo 22, the new Peruvian restaurant in Chelsea, now offers Brunch on Sundays, from 11am-5pm. You'll find items like Waffles Con Manjar Blanco (Waffles with Dulce de Leche, Fresh Strawberries and Crumbled Meringue), Pan Con Avi De Gallina (Sandwich with Pulled Chicken & Creamy Aji Amarillo Sauce), and Huevos Fritos (Pasture Raised Fried Eggs with Huacatay Hash). They also offer Brunch Cocktails including Mimosa (Classic, Passionfruit, Guava, or Apple Cider), Bloody Mary con Rocoto, and Cafe con Leche Martini (Organic Vodka, Kahlua, Organic Peruvian Espresso, Milk, Cinnamon Sugar.

Check out my recent review of Tambo 22, and I'll note I was impressed with their cuisine and would highly recommend the restaurant for dinner or brunch. 

4) Time Out Market Boston has now added Taqueria El Barrio. Though it's brick and mortar restaurant recently closed, it has been resurrected here. Taqueria El Barrio initially debuted in 2019 from Chef Alex Sáenz and hospitality veteran Servio Garcia. With flavors and ingredients reminiscent of Northwestern Mexico, Taqueria El Barrio serves up authentic favorites such as their iconic tacos, gourmet nachos and delicious quesadillas filled with a savory, flavor-packed array of lovingly-prepared meats. Taqueria El Barrio stuffs their flour tortillas, made in-house, with a tantalizing assortment of meats (carne asada, pastor, carnitas, chicken, fish, birria) and spicy vegan chorizo.

We are excited to bring our cherished Taqueria El Barrio concept to Time Out Market Boston, where guests can experience our very personal take on an authentic taqueria inspired by the Sonora region in Northwest Mexico,” says Chef Alex Sáenz. “We recently expanded BISq’s menu at Time Out Market, and then decided to do a Taqueria El Barrio pop up for Labor Day weekend and we are so grateful for all of the support.”

This is great news all around and I wish the best of luck to Sáenz, Garcia and the rest of their crew.

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