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Cambridge Tells Shepard to Stop Using Wood and Charcoal (and More Updates)

A summer solstice party at Steel & Rye, “Nashville hot” karaage at a Mei Mei pop-up, and other news bites

“Nashville hot” karaage from Short Grain, a Charleston food truck popping up at Mei Mei
“Nashville hot” karaage from Short Grain, a Charleston food truck popping up at Mei Mei
Mei Mei events page

Welcome back to Morning Briefing, an almost-daily round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.

The End of Smoke

Following the continuing complaints of neighbors regarding smoke emanating from Shepard (1 Shepard St., Cambridge), a restaurant that centers around wood-fired cooking, the Cambridge health commissioner has ordered Shepard to stop cooking with wood and charcoal, reports The Boston Globe, even though the restaurant’s owners have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to mitigate the issue. While co-owner Rene Becker declined to discuss next steps with the Globe while he waited to hear back from his attorney, he said that the restaurant will be open as usual, but they’ll be cooking with gas. Asta chef/co-owner Alex Crabb recently started splitting his time between Asta and Shepard.


The Porter Square Emack & Bolio’s ice cream shop (23 White St., Cambridge) was robbed over the weekend. Cambridge Police are hoping someone recognizes the man in the surveillance video.

Something to Do Tonight

Summer officially arrives tomorrow, although it feels like it’s already here. Celebrate the summer solstice tonight, June 20, at Steel & Rye (95 Eliot St., Milton) — a big lineup of guest chefs and purveyors will be in the house, serving up plenty of food and drinks. Tickets are $100, and all proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester. Guests include La Brasa’s Daniel Bojorquez, Bar Mezzana’s Colin Lynch, Branch Line’s Matt Garland, Tico’s Leo Asaro, Night Shift Brewing, Jack’s Abby, and more. There will also be a silent auction and raffle.

And Later This Month

Put this one on your calendar: On June 29, Mei Mei (506 Park Dr., Fenway, Boston) is hosting Charleston food truck Short Grain for a pop-up. Mei Mei’s Irene Li and Short Grain’s Shuai Wang met when they were both named to the Eater Young Guns class of 2016, and they’ve also cooked at the Beard House together. The upcoming pop-up will be counter service, and it will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with themed cocktails available from Mei Mei alongside a menu from Short Grain. Dishes (subject to change) include “Nashville hot” karaage, okonimiyaki, and more. Reserve a spot online.

One Thing You Should Drink Today

You know you want to gleefully drink boozy slushies today. Descend into Night Market (75 Winthrop St., Cambridge), a basement space hidden steps away from the Harvard Square hustle and bustle, and find a dark, cozy space decorated with colorful murals and communal tables. Order the best-value tasting menu in town ($28 per person for a generous line-up of dishes that often includes dan dan noodles, shaky shaky beef, and more) and make your way through the selection of sake slushies. Flavors vary; on a recent visit, there were pineapple, grape, and sour cherry options. All are sweet, fun, and the perfect complement to the spicy Sichuan numbness that comes through in some of Night Market’s dishes.

Sake slushies at Night Market
Sake slushies at Night Market
Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

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Mei Mei (Boston)

506 Park Dr., Boston, MA 02215 (857) 250-4959 Visit Website


1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Night Market

75 Winthrop St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Emack & Bolio's

1663 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02445 (617) 731-6256 Visit Website

Steel and Rye

95 Eliot St., Milton, MA 02186 (617) 690-2787 Visit Website