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Tidbits: Taste of Somerville announces date, initial participants; Belgian Tuesdays; Brunello opens

Taste of Somerville's logo.
Taste of Somerville's logo.
Taste of Somerville

Taste of Somerville, where, for a modest sum you can taste samples from 30 restaurants and other local food establishments, today announced that the popular event will take place on Tuesday, June 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Washington Street. To date, 16 restaurants have signed on, including several I’ve already covered (Magoun’s Saloon, Orleans, Precinct Bar, Redbones, Sagra). The participants range from two bakeries (Kickass Cupcakes, Lyndell’s) to a relatively new take-out spot known for its wings and 34 “signature sauces” (Eat at Jumbo’s) to well-established places (Highland Kitchen, Orleans).

The restaurants demonstrate the diversity of cuisines we enjoy in Somerville, from exotic (Ronnarong) to American/comfort food (Highland Kitchen, Magoun’s) to Mexican (El Potro Mexican Grill) to gourmet pizza and Italian regional specialties (Amelia’s Kitchen). Other initial participating restaurants are the recently opened Brunello Bistro, Primas, and The Independent.

The event is being organized by, and will benefit, Door2Door Transportation by SCM, a provider of free car services to doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping, meal sites, arts programs, and more each month. Triumvirate Environmental signed on as the lead sponsor, and CPCU Credit Union, Partners Healthcare, and several other businesses and individuals have already agreed to support the event.

Reed Cochran, Door2Door’s Executive Director, said, “Our service is the vital link between home and the community. We love hosting a city-wide event that brings people together, just as Door2Door does.”

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, which is less than $1 per restaurant – what a deal! (There will be a cash bar.) They can be purchased at now and may be available in some Somerville retail outlets in May. Check the site for an updated listing of participating venues, many of which will be profiled here in the weeks to come.

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Orleans continues to experiment with tasty offerings to lure diners, and this month is no exception. On Tuesdays for the foreseeable future, the restaurant is offering Belgian beer and mussels dinners, which will offer three to four options each night, depending on what’s available that week. Last week featured mussels and crabmeat in broth, and a curried mussel dish. All are served with French fries and aioli, which is no surprise, since moules frîtes (mussels and fries) can be considered the national dish of Belgium. The dishes are all $14.95. There’s a revolving choice of bottled Belgian and Belgian-style beers to pair with the food, like Allagash White, an American Belgian-style unfiltered beer ($6/bottle) and Lechouffe from Belgium ($9/bottle) as well as Blue Moon on tap ($5).

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Brunello’s Bistro took over the space formerly occupied by Friends and Company on Broadway (in Winter Hill) in mid-March. The new owners painted the building a light brown and put up new signs, completely (and finally) eliminating any traces of the Bickford’s that did business there for many years. The menu, too, has been completely revised, and offers a range of American/Italian fusion dishes. The restaurant currently offers a three-course, $24.95 prix fixe dinner special, from Sunday through Thursday.