Somerville Patch posted this great video from Verissima Productions on just some of the restaurants in Union Square reflecting the diverse people and flavors found in this neighborhood.
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Union Square’s Latino restaurant owners are serving up loroco pupusas, jalapeño margaritas and grilled guinea pig—they are firing up the local economy, as well. In the Somerville Arts Council’s blog Nibble, Rachel Strutt speaks to these folks about Puerto Rican street food, Peruvian hangover cures, food tourism and the immigrant experience.
Nibble scribe Raleigh Strott chats with Alberto Cabré, co-owner and head chef of Casa B, about dessert, produce and the intersection of architecture and culinary arts. Photos by Rachel Blumenthal.
In many restaurants you often find the “Dessert Divide,” where chefs shy away from baking and focus on the main event: entrées. Not so with Alberto Cabré, head chef and co-owner of Casa B in the heart of Union Square. “I love baking,” he says. “It comes from my background in architecture; the careful measuring comes easily to me.” In fact, the owners of Casa B—Alberto and his wife Angelina Jockovich—are both trained architects.
This background in architecture proved invaluable in opening their restaurant, which serves up creative Spanish and Caribbean food. Upstairs, the feel is light, airy, elegant yet homey. Yet the real transformation is downstairs. In what was once a dingy basement, there is now a modern kitchen (on view to diners), stylish upholstered stools and loveseats and a “living wall”—a vertical garden packed with leafy green plants that cover an entire wall. Casa B’s square footage is modest, yet Alberto and Angelina have created a sense of effortless spaciousness.
In the kitchen Alberto combines his two passions: architecture and cooking.
Travel with us to three of top destinations for a progressive dinner to Casa B, The Independent, and Journeyman.
The chefs at each location will provide diners with a specially prepared course and a paired libation, providing you with a taste of both an ingredient made right here in Somerville and that chef’s unique point of view. The focus is on good food and a good time.
We’ll start at 6:30 at Casa B, Union Square’s newest restaurant, opening just last December. Owners Alberto Cabre and Angelina Jockovich serve up tapas and pinchos, embracing romanticism, warmth and the spice of Latin-America. They’ll have a selection of delectable tapas ready for us and a glass of their exquisite sangria.
Next is The Independent where seasonal and sustainable ingredients are prepared classically. This long-time neighborhood favorite will serve up a savory course and paired beverage.
We end the evening at Journeyman where chefs Tse Wei Lim and Diana Kudajarova source their ingredients from small artisan producers to prepare elegant food that always surprises. They promise to end our delicious night memorably.
This is the first of what we hope becomes a series of tours to Union Square’s restaurant and night life destinations.
There’s just 24 seats for the dinner, with either an omnivore or vegetarian meal option.
Click below for tickets:
Here in Union Square we love our live music, but some of us, on the golden side of forty, aren’t the night owls we once were. When the bands take the stage at ten o’clock or even eleven, we’re thinking about hitting the pillow rather than the bar.
So it’s very pleasing that the Cantina La Mexicana, 247 Washington Street, has just launched a series of performances for those of us who love intimate music venues yet long for an earlier night. Producer Peter Ward, a familiar face to visitors of the Union Square Farmers Market after his season as market manager, is booking the venue. He currently has scheduled the gigs to start at 8:oo pm or 8:30 for most Thursdays and Fridays. ”We’re feeling our way,” he says, as he considers even early sets at 6:00 or 7:00 on week nights if there’s sufficient interest and crowds.
Peter’s line-up focuses on country, blues, bluegrass, with some jazz and swing for extra flavor. Last week at the inaugural event with Roy Sludge Trio featuring Duke Levine, it was standing room only as guests sipped their margaritas and Mexican brews to low voiced country tunes that would have had Johnny Cash thinking a long-lost brother was in town.
Dates and start times may change so double check with the Cantina La Mexicana before venturing out.
Feb. 9: Babe Pino and Per Hanson blues
Feb. 10: TBD
Feb. 17: Tom Eaton & Pick 3 bluegrass
Feb. 17 Peter Hi-Fi Ward and Robert Martino
Feb. 23: Pedro Oliveira
Feb. 24 TBD
March 1: Dan Blakeslee
March 2: Twangbusters retro cool
March 8: Matt Stubbs Trio
March 9: Thea Hopkins with guitarist Andy Hollinger
March 15: Rob Pisano and Tasa
March 16: Sarah Levecque
March 22: El Gran Mitote featuring Juan Pedrazza
March 23: Tom Eaton & Pick 3 (bluegrass)
March 29: Roy Sludge Trio featuring Duke Levine
March 30: TBA
April 6: The Fathoms (surf band)
April 12: Jimmy Allen Band (country)
April 19: Chris Stovall Brown & Shirley Lewis
April 20: Twangbusters (retro cool)
April 26: Roy Sludge Trio featuring Duke Levine
May 3: Chris Stovall Brown & Shirley Lewis
From the Somerville Arts Council’s Nibble! blog.
An afternoon with Cheolhyeon “James” Jeong, Arts Council Volunteer Extraordinaire, Rachel Strutt, and new Nibble Scribe Raleigh Strott, on a mini-tour of Korean eats in Union Square.
It was a crisp and wintery afternoon when Rachel and Raleigh met James at Buk Kyung for some hot tea, outstanding food and a primer on Korean cuisine.
Upon arriving, we were seated quickly and brought tall steaming glasses of tea, a very welcome respite from the cold. While we perused the menu, James clarified for us that many of the dishes served come from the southern-most areas of South Korea, where there is a strong Chinese influence. He explained to us that about 80% of the Korean vocabulary comes from China, and is also present in the food. For example Jajangmyun, a noodle dish served with pork, onion, potatoes, and zucchini in a sweet black bean sauce, is one such entrée; in Korea it is considered “Chinese food”, although such a dish is not common in China. It makes sense for such a delicious treat to be on the menu at Buk Kyung, the “Buk”, pronounced with a long “oo” sound, translates to “Beijing” in Korean and signifies the specialty dishes at this establishment.