Celebrating July 4th starts early this year in Boston where the city and millions of visitors are expected to view Tall Ships, visiting naval vessels and Navy Week Boston participants in a massive celebration of the Navy, our nation’s birthday, and our maritime heritage. Diners will seek special places with special offerings this week and across the city, restaurateurs and chefs are rising to the occasion!
Traditional 4th festivities continue – Chowderfest where restaurants compete to offer the best chowder on City Hall Plaza, July 1 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and attendees cast their votes for their favorite chowder, the annual Boston Pops concert at the Hatch Shell with spectacular fireworks following the “1812 Overture,” and the new events associated with Boston Navy Week, and the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.
Restaurants are gearing up with their own celebratory cocktails, special July menus and more as the event nears and visitors flock to the Fort Point Channel and the Seaport to view visiting vessels including Tall Ships and naval ships such as USS Wasp. Across the city, there are numerous dining options offering their own takes on celebrating, among them, the following group:
In the Back Bay, The Top of the Hub on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Center is a favorite for viewing the fireworks while dining high above the city for many residents. It has become an annual tradition for some diners, who book the same table each year on the Fourth, a spokesman points out. “The Blue Angels fly right by the windows,” she adds, lending their own excitement to the evening.
The event, which begins with a complimentary Chef’s Welcome Reception at 7 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, includes a five-course meal from Executive Chef Mark Porcaro. The Pops concert will be simulcast and a cash bar will be available. The fireworks spectacular over the Charles River at 10:30 p.m., weather permitting, provides a colorful ending to the evening.
Limited seating is available at $225 a head including tax and gratuity and excluding alcoholic drinks with dinner. Limited space solely for viewing the fireworks will also be available on the 50th floor Skywalk.
In the South End, The Aquitaine Group is going all out for July 4th this year with a variety of mid-week brunch offerings, beer taps, BBQ menus and picnic baskets at its Aquitaine restaurants in the South End plus Legacy Place (Dedham) and Chestnut Hill, Gaslight Brasserie, Union Bar and Grille and Metropolis Café.
Aquitaine will serve its prix-fixe brunch ($9.95) followed by a special 4th of July Liberte Menu from Chef Bob Krajewski with Lemoon Sole Meuniére, Steak Frites, Poule Roti and much more. The Dedham sister restaurant will have a make your own Bloody Mary bar while in Chestnut Hill, 4th of July Picnic Baskets for four people ($100) or two people ($50) are available from 11:30 a.m. until the fireworks.
Gaslight Brasserie will have its prix fixe brunch menu – a special appetizer, entree and dessert at $9.95 along with the regular menu. Over at Union, the prix fixe brunch is available until 3 p.m. plus a brand new BBQ Fireworks Menu with pulled pork sliders, cheeseburgers, ribs, po’ boys and much more. Diners can toast the holiday with $3 pints of Harpoon IPA ale all day at Metropolis Café, fresh from the keg. Come for brunch and say the whole day!
“Sparkler”cocktails are on the docket at a number of restaurants across the city for Independence Day celebrations. At Legal Harborside in the Seaport, salute summer and the 4th with French 75, a sparkler made with St. Germain, botanicals, and citrus ($12). Three special drinks are served at Haru – Enter The Dragon ($13) with Prosecco and pomegranate juice, Kitty Kat ($13) with St. Germain, Prosecco and pineapple juice, and Berries & Bubbles ($13) with Prosecco, Svedka Raspberry vodka and fresh strawberries.
At Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, the bubbly is Mas Fi Cava in the L’Orange Sparkler ($12.95), with muddled fresh raspberries, Chambord, Grand Marnier and Grey Goose L’Orange vodka.
Roman Candle ($13.50) is the name of Towne Stove and Spirits’ ‘sparkler,’ made with Prosecco, Chambord, a splash of pineapple, and fresh raspberry.
Gearing up for a wild week in the Seaport, TAMO at the Seaport Hotel serves an 1812 Bicentennial week-long menu with BBQ War Hawks (skewers of quail), Lobster Firecrackers (lobster mousse with chipotle mayonnaise), Chesapeake mini sliders (Harpoon beer battered soft shell crab), Bento Box Embargo (3 War Hawks, two Firecrackers and a Chesapeake), and Old Ironsides, a flat iron steak with fries. Prices range from $11 to $20.