Accessory-laden karaoke bar opens in Kings Back Bay, along with other culinary news


Plus, Boston’s bar scene is home to authentic Thai and Mexican-style spots, and more leads on where to eat right now.

It’s a busy time to be a food lover in Boston. Here, an easy-to-digest summary of restaurant news you need to know to have a great week. (And if you missed last week’s Digest, check it out here.)

This very 2002 reception hall inside Kings Back Bay reopens with a new look as the Backstage Karaoke Bar. / Photo courtesy of Kings Back Bay

Backstage Karaoke Bar Amplifies Kings in the Back Bay

Bowling, billiards, and now it’s your turn: it can all be part of a night spent at Rear kings bay. Backstage karaoke bar debuts this Saturday, February 29 in a former private reception hall in the back alleys of Dalton Street. The venue, within the dining and entertainment area, adds professional karaoke equipment, featuring a “huge” song library and stage-quality lighting; plus a green room with a photo booth, costumes and props to borrow, and photos of “Liquid Courage” available at the bar. The Back Bay is Kings’ first location, which opened as a bowling alley for the new millennium in 2002. Backstage Karaoke Bar is part of the now national chain’s efforts to further amplify the flagship, online experience. with the more sophisticated, newer places like the Seaport and Dedham. The karaoke room, which has its own bar and serves Kings’ snacks and drinks menu, is still available for private rentals (and what bachelorette party does not need a boa-draped college friend’s interpretation of “Man, do I feel like a woman?” “). But from Saturday, it’s also open to the public Wednesday through Saturday evening from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., with a live DJ fueling the fun with a new sound system. The backstage karaoke bar is launching a free opening night this Saturday night, and reservations are required for your shot of Liquid Courage.

50 Dalton Street, Boston, 617-266-2695,

Celeste’s Boozy Mexican Cousin, Barra Cocktail Bar, opens in Somerville

A former juice shop located next to the famous Peruvian ceviche bar Celeste in Somerville now serves a Mexico City-inspired nightlife experience, with Latin American spirits, cocktails and natural wines; and a seven-course menu of small plates (including dessert). Barra doesn’t share the property with her next door neighbor, but it’s a new venture from Celeste’s original bar manager, Paola Ibarra, who says Eater Boston the two Somerville spots are “cousins”, with a number of links between the two teams. At Barra, Ibarra has teamed up with his business partner Yhadira Guzmán and chef Sofía García Osorio to bring Somerville a taste of their shared city of Mexico through food, drink and ambiance. García Osorio, who is behind the popular Mexico City restaurant known as El Lugar Sin Nombre, has developed a menu of snacks like the taco de chili relleno (homemade tortilla with a jalapeño filled with meat, fruit and nuts); a sweet pumpkin tamal, served with ice cream; esquites (sliced ​​corn salad) with local clams; and a corn-based snack called tetela, served with a salad of cacti and grasshoppers. (Yes, grasshoppers.) Behind the bar, Ibarra puts forward mezcal, sotol, bacanora, xila and other liqueurs and liqueurs from Latin America; as well as fresh fruit juices and herbal infusions. There are also classic cocktail options, as well as New England craft and Mexican beers. The wines are natural, reports Eater, and there is still juice in the house, thanks to the cool agua frescas among the soft drinks. The tiny Barra, which simply translates to “bar” in Spanish, has 12 seats, six of which are at the bar itself, and enough room for 24 people. It is now open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and for weekend brunch from noon to 4 p.m. @ barra.unionsquare for updates.

23A Bow St., Somerville,

Photo courtesy of Mahaniyom

Mahaniyom Thai Tapas Bar opens in Brookline with authentic menu

Greater Boston is in the midst of a Thai cuisine awakening, as Eater Boston noted, which continues with the opening of a new spot called Mahaniyom Thai tapas bar at Brookline. Mahaniyom serves creative cocktails by an alum Shojo and common food inspired sharing platters in a casual Thai bar style called ran lao, the spokesperson for the new Akira Sherman restaurant said Eater. Expect to try regional dishes, like a Southern Thai-style fried chicken with fried shallots and chili sauce; a central Thai style seafood salad; and a raw beef dish from the northeast region, which Chef Suparerk (Pao) Thampitak serves as a tartare, accompanied by taro chips. Mahaniyom is the latest in a series of contemporary cuisines such as DakZen, Kala Thai Cookery, 9Zaab, etc. which bring more authentic Thai cuisine to Boston diners. “[In the past], the Thais here would think that farang [Westerners] might not like the taste or be unfamiliar “with traditional Thai dishes, Sherman said,” but with our current society people are more sophisticated and willing to try things. With our menu here we want to bring that real Thai flavor and show people here that it’s not just pad thai, tom yum, som tum. We have other things from all over Thailand. Mahaniyom is now open daily for lunch and dinner, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. to start. To follow @mahaniyom_boston for updates.

236 Washington Street, Brookline Village, 617-487-5986 Facebook.

Executive Chef Jennifer O’Neil is developing a “lively” menu for Quincy’s Latin-inspired cocktail bar, Pearl & Lime, which will soon open.

Quincy’s Pearl & Lime Introduces Executive Chef Jennifer O’Neil

Later this year, the Quincy Center will have a Latin-inspired cocktail bar with Pearl & Lime, the last of the owners of the popular tavern, the Townshend. Managing partner Palmer Matthews shares that he’s signed on with Executive Chef Jennifer O’Neil, who will oversee a “living, world-inspired” menu to complement the citrus cocktail program he creates. Currently cooking at Townshend, O’Neil is originally from Cape Cod and spent the last years of his career in Southern California, most recently as Executive Chef at former Leona Restaurant in Venice Beach. Pearl & Lime’s Sous Chef is Alex Galvis, who will bring his dining experience to Boston area venues like Alden & Harlow, Naco Taco and Solas Irish Pub, as well as his native Colombian heritage, to the new inspiring venue. Latin. “We’re thrilled that Jennifer and Alex are running our kitchen,” said Managing Partner Palmer Matthews, who opens Pearl & Lime with partner Townshend and colleague Barbara Lynch alum, Devin Adams. “We want it to be fun, fast-paced and energetic, providing a fresh vibe in the heart of Quincy Center.” Pearl & Lime plans to open in March 2020. To be continued on Instagram for updates.

32 Chestnut Street, Quincy Center,

Mei Mei is launching a new series of after-hours snacks and drinks this Friday. / Photo by Michael Piazza for Awesome Double Chinese Food / Image courtesy of Roost Books

Put these delicious dining events on your calendar

And now for some fun ideas for things to do, eat, and drink for the next few days. Thursday February 27, Boston Public Market launches a new series of monthly conversations on food and nutrition topics, titled Market Discussions, with a discussion on food blogs and social networks. The free roundtables, featuring local chefs, entrepreneurs, farmers and other personalities, are accompanied by craft beer and free snacks, and will continue every last Thursday from 6 p.m. in the Hub space at the middle of the market.

Mei Mei is also launching a new series of events, called Mei Mei after hours. On Friday February 28, show up between 8 pm and 10 pm for exclusive “late-night” cocktails, special “night table” menus and festive atmospheres with tunes and games. (And, of course, dumplings.) The first After Hours is a celebration of Black History Month, with a free snack of corn fritters for anyone showing hosts a social media photo tagged #bostoneatsblack # blackrestaurant. The Friday night party is free, but RSVPs are requested.

And finally, get ready to savor the biggest feast of Jewish cuisine in Boston already. Beyond Bubbie’s Kitchen returns Sunday, March 1 at 5:30 p.m. to a new, larger location: the Revere Hotel in downtown Boston. A stacked alignment local restaurants, such as Little big dinner; Whole Heart Provisions; Iraqi pop-up, Awafi kitchen; Chef Avi Shemtov’s 2019 newcomer, Simcha, and many more, will share new interpretations of Jewish cuisine from around the world, while Bantam Cider, Jack’s Abby beers, Corsair rum, and other local libations are pouring in. The gastronomic festival also offers demonstrations to do and take away with personalities like Beantown Jewish Gardens, Michael’s Deli, and the narration with the Jewish Women’s Archives. Tickets are only $ 36, and at the time of publication, they’re still available for that Sunday Sunday.

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