A beginner’s guide to Restaurant Week
Sunday, Aug. 17 marks the start of my favorite biannual holiday: Restaurant Week (RW) in Boston! Starting then, restaurants in the area will offer special menus at a fixed price to entice new diners to enter their doors. Technically, the two-week event is now called “Dine Out Boston,” but it will always be RW to me. The name and format change occurred this past winter, and officially participating restaurants can now offer two- or three-course meals for $15, $20, or $25 for lunch. For dinner, restaurants can now choose between $28, $33, or $38. From my past experiences with Restaurant Week, I’ve picked up some general guidelines that help ensure your RW meal is worth it.
Taste of Iceland 2014 at Rialto
This past weekend, Taste of Iceland 2014 gave Boston the chance to experience some of what Icelandic culture has to offer. For this year’s event, Iceland Naturally, a cooperative marketing organization that promotes tourism, sponsored events including a concert called Reykjavik Calling at The Middle East in Cambridge, a Reyka Vodka Cocktail making class at The Liberty Hotel, and a photography gallery reception at 555 Gallery. But what drew me to the event was the rare opportunity to experience New Nordic Cuisine in the form of a special Icelandic menu at Rialto in Harvard Square.
Under-hyped excellence in Cambridge
Great restaurants can sometimes become too popular for their own good. As positive publicity for a restaurant grows, tables become harder to reserve and expectations can become so lofty that your meal could never reach them.
Pasta outpost of the Barbara Lynch food empire
If you’re interested in fine dining in Boston, Barbara Lynch is a name that is probably worth learning. Ever since founding No. 9 Park fifteen years ago, her influence in the Boston restaurant scene has grown, along with the number of restaurants in her culinary empire. The “Barbara Lynch Gruppo” now boasts six restaurants (No. 9 Park, Menton, B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, Sportello, and Stir), a bar (Drink), and a catering company (9 at Home). Each offers its own focus, and a couple even have prices that make them semi-accessible to college students. Despite their differences, they all share critical acclaim.
The food truck compendium
There are only so many Café 4 soups and permutations of Anna’s burritos I can eat before I need to broaden my lunch horizons. If you want a new lunch option that’s quick, close, and cheap, the food trucks around campus are your best bet. Here’s a summary of MIT’s luncheonettes-on-wheels:
Finding Haven in Jamaica Plain
As a student at MIT, it is often hard to find reasons to branch out from the standard food options surrounding campus. However, staying in the “MIT bubble” deprives students of the chance to eat out at many of the great restaurants a little farther away from this part of the city.
When I dream of Jiro Dreams of Sushi
After every Netflix binge that inevitably includes an all-too-frequent viewing of Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I am always left looking for a way to satisfy my cravings for raw fish. After determining that a flight to Tokyo isn’t the most efficient or economical option, I turn to the choices that Boston and Cambridge have to offer. If you too suffer from recurring bouts of hamachi withdrawal, I’d recommend giving either (or both) of my go-to places a try.