The 2014 Kentucky Derby takes place this Saturday, May 3, and a number of restaurants around town are hosting viewing parties, complete with the requisite mint juleps and "best dressed" contests. Here are some places to go; send a tip if you hear of any others.
BOKX 109: The race will be shown on multiple big screens. Drink $12 blueberry honey mint juleps while you watch. No cover.
Boston Chops: The party is sponsored by Maker's Mark, and a press release promises that you can have anything dipped in Maker's signature red wax. $8 mint juleps and complimentary Southern-inspired passed apps, plus a "best dressed" contest. No cover. 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Commonwealth: The viewing party will feature cocktails made with Town Branch bourbon and rye, a raw bar featuring Island Creek Oysters, and barbecue. Games, prizes, giveaways, and a "best dressed" contest. 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen: Enjoy mint juleps and other bourbon-based cocktails, complimentary cucumber sandwiches, bourbon wings, and live entertainment. A hat contest will start at 2 p.m., and two winners (one man and woman) will each receive a custom hat box and $100 gift certificate for SALMAGUNDI and a $100 gift certificate to Darryl's. $10 cover; 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Drink: It's the fifth annual Derby party for Drink, and the festivities start with brunch from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The party continues through 7 p.m. with contests for best outfit and best Kentucky Derby-themed limerick. Tickets are $75 for the party or $125 to start with brunch, and both price tiers include three drink tickets, snacks, and a commemorative Derby glass. Call 617.695.1806 to reserve a spot.
Howl at the Moon: "Please join The Great American Foundation, Wellesley Charitable Group and our friends at Elite Entertainment as we bring our Derby Party BACK to Boston! ... From entertainment, specialty drinks "mint juleps," and our best-dressed southern belles and gentlemen contests, you know this will be a Great American Time! We strongly encourage you ladies to wear those trademark hats and sundresses and fellas get in your most dapper suit." 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.; $10 general admission or $150 for a table of four.
Island Creek Oyster Bar: Offering a trio of juleps (mint, tequila, and champagne) for $12 each and showing the Derby on two televisions. Celebratory attire encouraged.
Legal Harborside: "Revelers should dress to impress for Millionaires Row with a prize awarded at the end of the evening for 'Best Derby Hat.'" Tickets are $60 a person and include live entertainment, one mint julep, passed hors d'oeuvres, and an oyster bar from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. (The whole event runs from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) Reserved couches are also available for $400 per group of up to six people.
Menotomy Grill & Tavern: "We have a limited number of official derby glasses that Dan will be happy to serve you a Mint Julep in!"
OAK Long Bar + Kitchen: Knob Creek will be in attendance ("yes, there will be mint juleps"). Prizes for best Derby attire include Sox tickets, a $100 gift card to OAK, and a Knob Creek gift basket. 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Parlor Sports: Woodford Reserve will be on hand; expect mint juleps. "Please dress accordingly." (One hashtag suggests that large hats are mandatory.) 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Pier 6: Hosting a Giving Opportunities to Others Derby party on the deck (proceeds will support the group's mission to enrich the lives of underprivileged middle school students with art and music). Oysters, complimentary apps, drinks (including mint juleps). $55; 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Scholars: The party includes appetizers and music, and the proceeds benefit Good Sports, providing sports for kids. $25 for a single ticket; $100 for five if purchased online. Wear your best Derby outfit. 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Social Restaurant & Bar: While there's no official viewing party, folks will be gathered in the bar area to cheer on Centennial Farms' horse, Wicked Strong. There will also be a few Derby-inspired cocktails available, including a mint julep.
Tia's: $100 gift certificate awarded to the person in the best Derby attire.
TRADE: The party is already at capacity, but a couple of Derby-themed cocktails will be available all day.