Top Food-Lover Picks In Boston For 2014

2014 brings great eats and lots of treats to Boston's food scene

Boston's food scene is exploding with flavor and excitement this New Year; take Executive Chef Josh Lewin of Beacon Hill Bistro and his delectable Fondue Sundays for instance!

2013 has stealthily come and gone and here we are in 2014…Boston’s food scene has come a long long way in a very quick year and 2014 looks to be even more exciting.  Read on for a list of The Daily Meal’s top ten foodie events to make 2014 even tastier than last year!

Beacon Hill Bistro
Executive Chef Josh Lewin ended 2013 with an incredible surge of tantalizing holiday feasts and exclusive bar specials for those in the know (can we say Texan-style brisket ramen??).  Turns out, it was all just a precursor to what he has up his sleeve for 2014.  So here’s your chance to be in the know…on Sundays, get out of the cold and into the warmth of Beacon Hill Bistro’s cozy fireplace bar for Fondue Sundays.  At $26, a pot of bubbling French fondue, crafted from a blend of Domaine Giachino Abymes, Emmentaler, Gruyere Vieux and Bergkase Alpenblumer (say that five times fast), will be presented for your utmost enjoyment. 

Rumour has it Chef Josh has a whole collection of other limited time only bar menus all of which are perfect for any old mid to late afternoon nosh.

Boston Wine Expo
From February 15th-February 16th, wine lovers can look forward to the 23rd Annual Boston Wine Expo at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center.

Celebrating wine, food and culture, ticket holders will spend two fabulous days exploring the wealth of wine purveyors and vineyards from all over the world.  Some of Boston’s finest chefs will be on site with Chef Demonstrations and tips on wine pairings.

Seminars, Exclusive winemaker dinners and VIP experiences are also available for those looking to customize and get the most out of their President’s Day weekend at the Wine Expo.  Early bird specials are currently available for general admission, VIP packages and the Grand Tasting event. So hurry and get yours now for an even sweeter deal! Tickets are available here.

Bon Me Noodle Stop
At their Brick and Mortar location at 1 Kendall Square, which- since its inauguration last winter- has transformed the area into a dynamic lunch scene, the Bon Me team has another facet of their delicious Southeast Asian-influenced cuisine up their sleeves. Starting Friday January 10th, Bon Me will present their ‘Noodle Stop’ dinner series popping up every Friday from 5-9 pm. 

Inspired by Vietnamese street market food, Bon Me will offer up a selection of hand crafted and carefully designed noodle dishes as well as some specialty house made beverages.  Ranging from $3-$11, guests can choose from the likes of spicy chicken wonton soup, coconut chicken udon noodle soup as well as vegetarian friendly options as well.  Menu options will rotate weekly and will always present the usual high quality and delectable flavor profiles Bon Me is famous for.

Take out will also be available for those on the go.

Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Bar-Cafe
A flagship of Newbury Street, Hotel Chocolat has recently expanded to offer more than ‘just’ its delicious and quality selection of artisanal chocolates from Saint Lucia with its newly opened Cocoa Bar-Café.  The premise is exactly as its name pronounces – a chocolate store turned bar-café with a whole menu crafted from the infinite possibilities of cocoa cuisine.  Executive Chef Jon Bentham extends the notions of enjoying chocolate through a menu full of unique and delicious beverages ranging from teas to coffees, espressos and hot drinking chocolate, edible chocolate arrangements like savory sandwiches using cocoa nib butter and cocoa balsamic.  Guests will be enlightened and delighted…and most certainly see their affection for high quality chocolate hit the skies…if it wasn’t there already!

With a seating capacity of 16, the warmer weather brings the promise of outdoor seating options as well.

Mei Mei Street Kitchen’s Brick and Mortar
Bringing a close to 2013 was Mei Mei’s much anticipated Brick and Mortar opening.  Although their truck is still in full swing, you no longer need to wonder where they will be parked on which day and what time.  From 11 am – 10 pm you can head to their first ever restaurant in Audubon Circle.  With 2014 officially underway, they are officially serving lunch and dinner services and the larger kitchen space allows them to really let their creative talent loose.  From dumplings to beef tongue, trotters and waffles, the Mei Mei siblings blend Modern American with traditional Chiense for a menu that is like nothing Boston has seen. Check it out here.

Insider tip…in case you haven’t tried their now famous ‘double awesome’, I suggest you make fixing this your 2014 priority resolution.

Painted Burro DTX
For those of you who have visited The Painted Burro outpost in Davis Square, you will understand the enthusiasm around its eminent expansion to the Downtown Area.  The ‘Painted Burro DTX’ is slated to add some authentic and inventive Mexican cuisine to the booming neighborhood.  Whether you are to or fro-ing from a performance, live in the neighborhood or simply enjoying its many shopping destinations, The Painted Burro DTX will have just what you need.  Think sturdy Margaritas, freshly made guacamole with homemade tortilla chips with just the right amount of salt…You may end up heading here as your only destination for the evening!

Post 390 hosts Winter Seafood in New England – Farm to Post dinner series
New England cuisine and all of its bounty finally began getting the recognition they deserve throughout 2013.  Diners can expect this trend to continue with Chef Eric Brennan of Post 390 and his Farm to Post dinner series in 2014. For the first installment, beginning January 16th and continuing until mid-February, Chef Brennan has decided to highlight Winter Seafood by working with a team of New England’s most cherished fisherman and their catches on this special prix fixe menu.

Diners can explore this specially crafted menu, ask questions and educate themselves on the wonderful world coming from the depths of Boston’s ocean waters while also enjoying the wonders of Post 390s stellar menus…most notably newly appointed Chef Brian Young’s (formerly of Citizen Public House) Tavern Menu.

Shake Shack – Harvard Square
Attention all Shake Shack fans and followers, as of January 2nd 2014 at 11 a.m., the Danny Meyer’s Hospitality Group has opened its second Boston location.  Following its predecessor in Chestnut Hill (opened in 2013), you can now head to Harvard Square for your roadside burger fix. 

At 92 Winthrop street, in a beautifully large and open space, indulge in freshly made burgers, flat-top dogs and a variety of different frozen custard treats like their infamous concretes, milkshakes or cones.  Shake Shack Harvard Square is also one of only a few locations to offer twice cooked, fresh fries, hand cut daily and never frozen.

In true, local Bostonian style, you can find tributes to this new location’s community and culture with items like their crimson red velvet concrete or their MInT Chocolate…they even have a Lobstah Shell rendition!

State Park
From the creators of Cambridge’s much loved Hungry Mother comes State Park; a casual take on Chef Barry Maiden’s southern cuisine.  Opening just as 2013 turned in its towel, State Park joins other stellar cohorts such as Belly Wine Bar and West Bridge at 1 Kendall Square.

The menu features items like beer nuts, fried pickled okra and Andouille, fried chicken, catfish and a variety of southern comfort sandwiches such as a Kentucky Hot brown, charred char sandwich and grilled pimiento cheese.

You can also get a validated parking ticket as well as an $8 movie ticket to whatever is playing on the big screen at the Kendall Square Cinema located just around the corner – now how’s that for an evening out?

Full menu here – please note, menu is subject to change.

Wink and Nod

 By the end of January or beginning of February, Boston’s South End will finally have a speakeasy bar of its own.  From Boston Nightlife Ventures comes Wink and Nod, a prohibition-inspired craft cocktail bar and lounge comes to the spot formerly occupied by Noche on Appleton Street.  Think rich reds and golds and a menu created to highlight the many libations put together by beverage industry extraordinaire, Curtis MacMillan.


Also on the block and projected to open sometime this spring (ish) is a sister location to Downtown Crossing’s fave hole in the wall cocktail bar, JM Curley.  Deets are on the DL at the moment, but one might expect a similar vibe to JM with the usual attention to stellar drinks, expertly crafted; a scrumptious menu that does not mess around and a refreshing counter-culture to the usual pretension that plagues many South End spots.  Keep an eye and ear peeled around the 28 degrees space for any changes and updates.