Farm & Fable’s Abby Ruettgers shares her favorite tastes and sips of the holiday season… and so do we.
American Seasons’ suckling pig confit with boudin noir pierogi, ham hock broth, and pickled apple.
A surefire way to be merry this holiday season? Sample some of Boston’s decadent, only-found-here dishes and inspired sips, from a cauliflower tortellini laden with velvety truffles to a martini made with an elegant shaker you can take home for a cool $10,000. Culinary maven Abby Ruettgers of the South End shop Farm & Fable shares some of her favorite dishes and restaurant experiences, plus we add a few of our own top choices for the season. Join Ruettgers on December 19 when she opens Farm & Fable’s doors for the South End Holiday Stroll.
“One of my favorite things about the holidays is that I get a chance to celebrate all of life’s exciting moments over the past year with friends and family. We have an opendoor policy in our home around the holidays, and this year I have an extra-special bottle tucked away. Exclusive to the Urban Grape, the Billecart-Salmon Sous Bois is the perfect special-occasion bottle and is frankly much better than other well-known Champagnes. ‘Sous bois’ literally means ‘under oak,’ so this particular Champagne is aged in oak barrels, which was the traditional method in the Champagne region.” 303 Columbus Ave., 857-250-2509
For a booze-free alternative, have L’Espalier tea sommelier Cynthia Gold make you a pot of Russian Caravan, lightly smoked with the scent of pinewood and needles. The tea is handmade in the village of Nagobilevi in Georgia and is exclusive to L’Espalier in the United States. 774 Boylston St., 617-262-3023
“My birthday is during the first week of December, and, as luck would have it, that always coincides with the Christmas Stroll on Nantucket. The streets are lined with Christmas trees, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on a Coast Guard cutter, and the restaurants and shops throw open their doors for one last weekend. We always head to the warm and inviting dining room of American Seasons. Chef Michael LaScola is known for his pork dishes, and the suckling pig confit is not to be missed.” 80 Center St., Nantucket, 508-228-7111
If you can’t get to the island but have a craving for pork, try the Taj Hotel’s crispy Berkshire pork belly, made with honey from the hotel’s own rooftop apiaries. 15 Arlington St., 617-536-5700
Flask & Funnel
“When I throw a party during the holidays, I want to be able to relax and enjoy the evening alongside my guests, so I have Andrew Fatato from Flask & Funnel craft a custom, signature cocktail tailored to my tastes and the season. The best part is that he can work the bar on the night of your party or batch the cocktails in advance.”
Have a sip of Avery Bar’s $10,000 cocktail. The martini Avery 10 comes in the British brand Asprey’s sterling silver lighthouse cocktail shaker, which you (naturally) get to take home with you. 10 Avery St., 617-574-7100
“Holidays are a time for traditions, and nothing is quite so traditionally luxurious as caviar. My new favorite holiday tradition is the caviar service at Bogie’s Place, featuring American sturgeon caviar, chilled vodka, and traditional accompaniments. I like that Bogie’s feels very old-school and club-like to me without being stuffy.” 21 Temple Pl., 617-338-5333
At Deuxave, nosh on executive chef and owner Christopher Coombs’s cauliflower tortellini, smothered in three or five grams of beautiful shaved white Alba truffles. 371 Commonwealth Ave., 617-517-5915