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Weekend Recommendations: A Halloween Dinner, a Secret Milkshake, and Drag Brunch

Something wicked delicious this way comes

An overhead shot of apple crisp, whipped cream, and sauce on a black plate.
The seasonal apple crisp served at Harvest.

Welcome to Eater’s periodic roundup of weekend food and drink events worth checking out around town. Want to let us know about an upcoming Boston-area event? Get in touch at

October 27 to 29

Dinner to Die For

For those of us who want to stop dipping into that bowl of candy we swore was just for the trick-o-treaters, Harvest is offering a Halloween dinner that leans more luxe. The All Hallow’s Eve Feast on Sunday, starting at 6:30 p.m., is a six-course feast of seasonal favorites whipped up by executive chef Nick Deutmeyer. Dig into a whole-roasted hog’s head, Murder Point oysters, and Russian rillettes. The courses crib their titles from scary sources, naturally. There’s the “Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog” — a bewitching dish with crispy frog legs and pickled mustard seeds — plus the “Silence of the Lambs” with lamb’s neck en daube, potato mousseline, fava beans, baby carrots, shallots, and (of course) chianti. Finish it off with a dark chocolate Devil’s Food gateau with cinnamon, bird’s eye chili, and blood orange. Tickets are $125 per person.

Shake Things Up

Grana, the Italian restaurant within the swanky Langham hotel, gets ghostly with this month’s over-the-top milkshake. The delight features black raspberry ice cream, a chocolate marshmallow mummy donut, sour gummy worms, a shortbread cookie tombstone, and crushed Oreo “dirt.” It’s a non-alcoholic sip, but you can put the “boo” in “booze” by requesting some spirits. As with all of Grana’s “secret” milkshakes, the key to ordering is to show your server the latest Instagram post of the monthly special.

Popstar Struck

Citrus & Salt spices things up with its “Spooky Popstars Halloween drag brunch” on Sunday. With two seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., the event mixes the thrill of drag divas decked out as your favorite popstars with the chill of the season. Come knock back tequila and brunch bevvies as you savor huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and more. Remember to bring dollar bills to tip the performers — and to finish off your meal with made-to-order churros and a sweet Dole whip.

October 20 to 22

Say Sláinte

Over in Canton, the Irish Cultural Centre is hosting the fourth-annual Irish Beer Festival at their facility — an all-weather bash thanks to tents and the Centre’s on-site pub. It’s your chance to raise a mug of Magners cider and toast with a big sláinte (or, health!). Of course, the Guinness will flow, and local craft breweries like Downeast will also be offering their ales. And you can wash down Guinness stew, Irish seafood chowder, fish and chips, and Irish Kerrygold butter cheeseburgers with samplings of Irish whiskeys and other liquors. Activities for the family-friendly fest include face-painting, and Viking shows — out in the rain, they can handle it — with vendors and artists onsite selling their crafts. The festival runs on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and general admission tickets are $30, which includes five beer samples. Tickets are free for children under 12. While you’re in Canton, check out Nosh & Grog, which recently moved from Medfield to a larger space at 95 Washington Street. Among the cozy American offerings, the weekend oyster brunch menu features trays of made-to-order donuts, oyster with optional caviar, and French toast made with Fruity Pebbles cereal.

To-Go Time

Tenderoni’s in Fenway is starting the daily disco parties earlier with its new to-go window, which opens today, and dishes out goodies from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays before the dining room opens at 4 p.m. Alongside slices of the spot’s saucy, crunchy-crusted pizzas, new items at chef Tiffani Faison’s restaurant lean into the laughs, and pack portability and flavor. Namely, the new TRF burger with smoked maple cheddar and American cheese, caramelized onions, and “boom boom” sauce, plus a mortadella grilled cheese. Then there’s the Taco Bell hat-tip of the TRF Crunch Supreme, which sees slow-braised beef and pork with queso and roasted tomato in a soft flour and crunchy corn tortilla. Meanwhile, pastry chef Deanne Steffen Chinn’s rollicking retro desserts bring some sunshine amid a rainy autumn weekend. Check out the new Fry Kids sundae, which features chocolate soft serve, fudge sauce, whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, and a side of fries for some sweet-savory dipping.

Brunch Dates

New brunches alert! Back Bay French fave Rochambeau just kicked off all-week brunches Mondays through Fridays at the bar, and in the dining room during the weekends (shoutout to service industry folks who deserve lazy brunches during their Monday/Tuesday “weekends.”) The menu showcases both French and American classics like eggs Benedict and a croque monsieur. Night Shift welcomes weekend brunch service at their Lovejoy Wharf taproom this Saturday, too. Make a day of it at Night Shift with apple pie stuffed French toast, chorizo tostadas, and more. Plus, in time for Halloween, the new Spooky Sour is brewed with actual gummy worms and boasts hints of blue raspberry.

October 13 to 15

Dot Stop

It’s been years in the making, and now the Dorchester Food Co-Op is opening its doors on Saturday, October 14. The free celebration starts at 11 a.m., with a ribbon cutting by Mayor Wu, followed by music and mingling with vendors and members of the community. Swing by to sample food samples from store vendors, and be among the first to stroll the worker-owned store at at 195 Bowdoin Street, which has been in the works for over ten years. While you’re in the area, make a day of it by dropping into Thai Oishi, a Thai and Japanese spot that’s celebrating its one-year anniversary. Celebrate with some spicy country pad Thai and the namesake deep-fried sushi roll, which features eel, avocado, and cream cheese.

Bivalves in Bow Market

Slurp down your fill of oysters at Bluefin in Bow Market during the raw bar and seafood spot’s Oysterfest, on Sunday, October 15 from noon to 4 p.m. In the lovely Upstairs at Bow Market event space, savor three varieties of East Coast oysters and nosh on nibbles from the seaside snack bar. Preorder a dozen oysters for $30, a half-dozen for $18, or make a splash with a bottomless oyster ticket for $150, which includes an Oysterfest tote bag screen printed by Tiny Turns Paperie.

Brunch Bunch

As if you need another reason to celebrate the weekend, head over to Layla’s American Tavern for a helping of irreverent brunch dishes. The restaurant — opened in August by the folks behind Bowery Bar and Lucy’s American Tavern — features plenty of soon-to-be favorites on the menu. Try the French toast sticks dusted in cinnamon sugar and served with maple mascarpone dip, and Cinnabon pancakes with vanilla bourbon custard. On the savory side of the menu, Italian eggrolls are stuffed with prosciutto, mortadella, capicola, fontina cheese, and vinegar peppers in a crispy eggroll wrapper with extra-virgin olive oil and a balsamic reduction for dipping. And you can’t go wrong with a benedict, with smoked brisket and barbeque hollandaise singing atop a housemade biscuit in the country benny plate. Breakfast-y brunch dishes are offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and lunch-leaning dishes are available up until 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Gathering Spaces

Lehrhaus — the Jewish tavern and learning center that showcases food from the entire Jewish diaspora, including its lesser-seen segments — is holding what may be the world’s first German Jewish Oktoberfest through October 22. The event, originally planned as a big bash, is now a more subdued series in light of the crisis in Israel and Gaza, with proceeds from the zoigl-style beer going to those impacted by the war. Co-founder and director Rabbi Charlie Schwartz took to Instagram to explain why: “Now, more than ever, we need each other. We need to be together. Come in, learn something about German Jewry, enjoy the best damn soft pretzels this side of Berlin, and be together in the comfort of community.” The festbier is a collaboration with Lamplighter Brewing Co., and menu items feature German specialties with a Lehrhaus spin. Check out the restaurant’s Instagram for more.

And as WBUR reports, Andala Coffee House in Cambridge — a Palestinian-owned shop tucked under Central Square Church’s steeple — is providing a space for the community to gather, and has become a hub of information for the local Palestinian community during the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Owner Sami Herbawi left his native Jerusalem 40 years ago and opened Andala 20 years ago. Per WBUR, he says, “I always wanted in my heart to have something for the community and the people to come and gather and enjoy the same feeling that we used to have in Jerusalem.” The cafe is open this weekend from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with omelet specials, pastries, and traditional plates of spinach pies, plus offerings of merguez sausage and hummus and more, along with coffees and teas.

October 6 to 8

Fruit Fest

Head to Short Path Distillery in Everett on Saturday, October 7 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the free fifth-annual Apple Booze Bash, which takes over the distillery and spills over onto Kelvin Street. Feel the fall spirit — and drink some apple-flavored spirits, naturally — as you savor food from Bonetown Burgers, the Nada Cart, the Hummus Shop, and Adriano’s Tacos. Slurp down spiked cider flights and special apple brandies, best paired with hot-from-the-fryer apple fritters and apple cider donuts from Back Door Donuts, who will be there all day.

Donut Miss Out

There are plenty of spots around to scarf down as many apple cider donuts as possible this weekend, like the always-satisfying Blackbird Donuts. But some delights demand a little extra effort. Be sure to preorder some donut holes for pickup at Mass Hole Donuts, which recently moved to a bigger space in Somerville. All the usual flavors are addictive, but the real draw this Saturday and Sunday are the perfect apple cider donuts, sold from 8 a.m. until noon (or until they’re sold out — and you can bet they will). During its third-annual Ciderfest, these special donuts (named “Johnny Appleseed”) are served three ways. The Naked Johnny is a plain spiced apple donut with chunks of apple in its pillowy center. The Sweet Johnny sees the confection tossed in cinnamon sugar, while the Spiced Johnny takes a dip in a spiced cider caramel.

Save Room for Savory

Lest sweet preparations of apple get all the love, favorite Southie spot Moonshine 152 slings the fruit in a savory-leaning form. Chef Asia Mei’s latest burger of the month, the “Spice-Spice Baby,” is topped with a pumpkin-spiced latke (you read that delightful play on words right, it’s actually topped with a latke, or potato pancake), smoked gouda, sour cream, fried sage, and a cinnamon-sugar apple compote. Check out the autumn candied bacon grilled cheese, too. The seasonal sandwich showcases sliced Honeycrisp apples, with fried sage, and melted cheddar on cranberry-pecan bread. Dip it in a cup of tomato bisque to stave off that autumn chill.