In the cold, blackened center of the thing you used to call a heart, there once resided a burning, unquenchable fire that sought food, drink, wine, and song on a regular basis. However, the winter of 2015 has proven to be a worthy foe, and as such you may have found yourself cooped up a whole hell of a lot more than usual. So with this being the Winter Nightlife issue, we’ve decided to present to you a hearty spread of ways to party on a school night—be it some blizzard-y deal at a great local restaurant (most of which need everyone’s help right now), after-work enticements, music, art, poetry, or just dancing to dulcet tones that only the 1990s could produce. There’s even a selection of imminent restaurant and bar openings you should have on the radar (hint: One involves ramen). Think of it as a snapshot of what Sunday-Thursday has in store for you between now and the spring solstice on March 20, a time period that may later be referred to as “The Great Melt.”
– Dan McCarthy, Editor DigBoston
BY DAN MCCARTHY, PAIGE CHAPLIN, AND MARTÍN CABALLERO
What: Breakfast for Dinner
When: First Monday of March, April, May at 6-9pm
Allston diner The Breakfast Club believes morning is just a state of mind, and they’ll prove it by opening up at 6pm with special seasonally themed four-course prix fixe menus ($35), starting with Irish coffee milkshakes, Bailey’s French toast and Lucky Charms parfaits for St. Paddy’s.
Where: The Breakfast Club, 270 Western Ave., Brighton. 617-783-1212. $35.
What: Get Sanctified at Great Scott
When: Wednesday 3.11 at 9pm
You know the story: Talented musician builds a local buzz, plays Boston Calling, earns acclaim, and promptly moves to Brooklyn. DigBoston staff fave St. Nothing is about at step four right now, which means seeing him in Allston (with Mini Dresses) and pillorying him with compliments and reasons to stay should be top of your to-do list.
Where: Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave., Allston. 617-566-9014. $10.
What: Anything Goes with Amanda Palmer
When: Thursday 2.26 and 3.5 at 7pm
One problem with speakeasies is that most of them tend to have a glaring lack of Amanda Palmer. Cuisine en Locale has admirably stepped up to address this oft-overlooked issue with a two-night event that promises “an intimate evening of song and cheer” led by the Dresden Doll herself.
Where: Cuisine en Locale, 156 Highland St., Somerville. 617-285-0167. $25.
What: Funk-Jazz as Monday Medication
When: Mondays at 8pm
Name a way to deal with Mondays and we’ve tried it: booze, refined sugars, refusing to get out of bed for the whole day. Maybe we’ve been going about it all wrong, considering The Funky ABs get down with some requisitely funky jazz at Beat Hotel on the first school night of every week.
Where: Beat Hotel, 13 Brattle St., Cambridge. 617-499-0001. No cover.
What: Vinyl Social
When: Every second Wednesday
One hand holds a cocktail while the other thumbs through stacks of previously loved vinyl until it stops at a good-condition copy of a white label 12” that you’ve been looking for for months. This is creative digging in style—with a performance from Bearstronaut on 3.11 to boot—at Good Life.
Where: Good Life, 28 Kingston St., Boston. 617-451-2622. No cover.
POETRY DOUBLE FEATURE
What: Cantab Poetry Slam
When: Every Wednesday at 8pm
What: Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam and Jam
When: Every Sunday at 7:30pm
The true definition of a slam: getting drunk while judging angry breakup poems on a scale of 1 to 10. While spoken word doesn’t inherently deserve such silly scrutiny, slams are wildly entertaining. And if unleashing your inner Langston Hughes or Sylvia Plath appeals to you, there are lengthy open mics at both venues.
Where: Lizard Lounge, 1667 Mass Ave., Cambridge. 21+.617-547-0759. $7.
Where: Cantab Lounge, 738 Mass Ave., Cambridge. 18+. 617-354-2685. $3-5.
What: Oh Snap! ’90s Dance Party
When: Every Thursday, 10pm-2am
For those of you who dwell in the past or crave some regular nostalgia: Zuzu’s ’90s DJ dance parties are now happening every thirsty Thursday into the wee hours of the morn. Dance off all the comfort carbs you’ve consumed during the blizzards, or just get reacquainted with some of your beloved ’90s jams.
Where: Zuzu, 474 Mass Ave., Cambridge. 617-864-3278. $5.
What: Pastoral Blizzard Deals
When: Nightly at 4:30-7:30pm, ends Friday 2.27
No surprise that the snow and the underfunded MBTA have made rush hour extra hellish for everyone lately. Since MBTA service is limited for the next month, Pastoral has lovingly extended their Rush Hour Special—$12 for a margherita pizza and a beer. Winter is on its way out, but there’s still time to treat yo self to some comfort eating.
Where: Pastoral, 345 Congress St., Boston. 617-345-0005. $12.
What: Industry Night
When: Every Monday at 8pm-12am
Mondays usually suck, especially in winter. Luckily, The Merchant wants to give you a few good reasons to venture out into the sub-zero temperatures. Here they are: $1 oysters, $3 PBRs, $4 High Lifes, and $5 Fernet. Half-priced chef’s choice apps are also thrown into the mix for some good late-night eats.
Where: The Merchant, 60 Franklin St., Boston. 617-482-6060.
What: Clash of the Cover Kings
When: Every Sunday at 7pm
A cover band can be a gamble (like when they start to play Wonderwall … ) From now on, Sundays at Bill’s Bar will be dedicated to local cover bands, but here’s the kicker: They compete against each other and you vote for the winner. Keep the weekend alive with a few drinks and a battle between Led Zeppelin and Queen.
Where: Bill’s Bar, 5 Lansdowne St., Boston. 617-247-1222. $5.
Charlestown, meet Brewer’s Fork.
BY KAREN CINPINSKI @CATSINPJS
Nestled between two iconic Boston landmarks—Bunker Hill and the Tobin Bridge—the Brewer’s Fork, the much-anticipated Charlestown beer-and-pizza-focused operation from owners John Paine (Les Zygomates, Moody’s Delicatessen) and Michael Cooney (Kingfish Hall, The Publick House) opens this Friday for dinner. This is a good thing.
Paine and Cooney had been on the hunt for a standalone building that would have space for an outdoor beer garden, and were lucky to find the rundown former dry cleaners spae on Craigslist. In Cooney’s opinion, the location is an underserved area, and he believes the concept of Brewer’s Fork will do really well there. “I’m excited to bring something new to Charlestown,” he says, “There are a ton of people who seem very excited by our program, and I want to deliver our high-quality service and menus to the neighborhood.”
Exposed brick walls, wooden ceiling beams, and banquettes constructed out of discarded wine corks bring a rustic, polished neighborhood-joint vibe to the 2,100-square-foot space that will eventually feature a 25-seat shaded patio. The 16-seat granite-topped bar is rigged with 30 draft lines and stocked with a substantial selection of bottles and cans, and it basically begs for bellying up and trying everything in the house.
On the debut menu, handwritten on black painted exposed brick, you can expect ever-rotating varieties from local breweries like Trillium out of Fort Point, and New England gems like Maine’s Allagash. Also, Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing, and California-based Green Flash and Lost Abbey. You’ll want to keep an eye out for some choice rarities, such as a small-batch golden, funky sour Cooney procured from Framingham’s Jack’s Abby (this beer alone is worth stopping by for.
Obscure brews from Germany (ask for: Schlenkerla Oak Smoke Doppelbock) and Belgium (try: De la Senne Taras Boulba) will be available, but if you want to get snobby about it (and you should), ask about their reserved list of cellared brews, and Cooney even says there will always be at least two ciders on draft. Currently on deck: an extraordinary small-batch wild sour-cider mixture concocted by OEC (Ordinem Eccentrici Coctores) in Connecticut, plus hometown favorite Downeast Cider’s flagship apple booze created right in Charlestown. Basically, your inner beer geek is covered.
And since no good beer bar should be without proper pairing, the team has carefully curated their beer selection to match the sensible menu. Think: Amped up pub fodder and smoky, wood-roasted fare courtesy of a massive, custom-built wood-fire oven, which will be best enjoyed by tucking yourself into a booth and devouring the fennel sausage pizza with pickled peppers.
After all the snow, Charlestown, and you, deserve this.
THE BREWER’S FORK. OPENS FRIDAY 2/27. 7 MOULTON ST., CHARLESTOWN. 617-337-5703.
A few spots to have on your radar now, and a couple more to keep there for when they open.
Spot: Santouka Ramen
Hood: Harvard Square
The Japanese chain’s first Boston location, touting ramen steeped in broth that’s simmered for 20 hours. It opened, then closed for unexpected renovations briefly, and then reopened. Happy ramen-ing. 1 Bow St., Cambridge. 617-945-1460.
Spot: Moonshine 152
Chef/owner Asia Mei brings Korean fare and street food together for a new staple of Southie late night eats, with nosh-ables like tater tot Chinese sausage poutine, dirty fried rice, and spicy grilled pig’s ear. Nothing rounds out a night at the bars like pig’s ear. 152 Dorchester Ave., Boston. 617-269-1003.
Spot: Internal Matter
Hood: Fort Point
Brand new one-man-show spot in the Channel that’s just getting off the ground. For now, you and your hangovers can go for the cappucinos and egg and cheese sandwiches in the morning, and in a few weeks they’ll be morphing into a wine bar at night to bring on a fresh hangover. Balance. 35 Channel Center St., Boston. 857-233-5873.
Spot: Loyal Nine
Hood: East Cambridge
Shellfish and locally sourced farm-to-table goodness will be adding a needed dose of charm to East Cambridge via in-house fermented veggies, partnership with local farms, and even plates and mugs made by the owners. According to them, opening “before the bud of spring.” 660 Cambridge St., Cambridge.
A “New England-style brasserie” run by Matt and Kate Jennings focusing on local sourcing and artisanal foods with killer cheeses, 10-seat crudo bar for ceviches and oysters, and both in-house charcuterie and special creations by Waltham’s New England Charcuterie. Opens Friday 2/27. 120 Kingston St., Boston. 617-993-0750.