Pastry chefs and dessert lovers take note — Dessert Goals, the annual sweets-focused food festival, is being held virtually at the end of this month.
Customarily a New York and Los Angeles expo-style event, Dessert Goals is going online this year. Themed as “Creamsicle Dreamsicle,” the event will consist of web-based interactive programming on July 31 and Aug. 1.
The two-day event will include virtual panels, baking demos with celebrity chefs, and a daily dessert happy hour. Panel topics will range from “How to Start a Food Business” to “How to Become a Food Influencer.”
Tickets to this virtual event will incorporate access to a curated dessert marketplace of twenty-plus vendors, many of which will be offering specialty treats discounted for home delivery. Online attendees will also have access to recipes and a virtual “goody bag.”
Red Velvet NYC, a vendor of trend-forward dessert kits, is offering a discount code for a demo dessert box so that Creamsicle Dreamsicle participants can attend the bake-along demo session that Red Velvet will be hosting during the festival.
Admission to Creamsicle Dreamsicle is $25, with $1 from each ticket sold being donated to No Kid Hungry. Tickets may be ordered through Eventbrite.com at eventbrite.com/e/digital-dessert-goals-tickets-112565239662.
More information on Digital Dessert Goals can be found at the Dessert Goals website, dessertgoals.com.
Last weekend The Sierra Grille in Northampton, taking what chef-owner O’Brian Tomalin called “small steps,” began offering limited menu curbside takeout. Available Thursday, Friday, and Saturday starting at 3 p.m., the service involves order placement and payment over the phone and curbside pickup at the restaurant’s Strong Avenue location.
The inaugural menu included St. Louis style pork ribs, smoked chicken wings, mac & cheese, an assortment of panini sandwiches, and crab cake sliders. The bill of fare additionally offered a family-style entree of a whole grilled chicken with potato salad, coleslaw, and cornbread.
For the latest posted menu go to the restaurant’s Facebook page at facebook.com/The-Sierra-Grille-199431920091369.
The Sierra Grille answers at (413) 584-1150.
Arby’s Restaurants have introduced three new wrap sandwiches to their permanent menu. All three are built from a whole wheat tortilla wrap and sliced roasted chicken breast; the Chicken Club Wrap also incorporates peppered bacon, cheddar cheese, and honey mustard.
A Creamy Mediterranean Wrap features banana peppers and green leaf lettuce with a tzatziki sauce, while the Jalapeno Bacon Wrap gets its flavor signature from pepper bacon, roasted jalapenos, and a parmesan peppercorn dressing.
There’s an Arby’s Restaurant at 1483 Granby Road in Chicopee which answers at (413) 593-1437.
The Student Prince Cafe and Fort Restaurant in Springfield recently announced that it was resuming lunch operations Tuesday through Saturday.
Visitors can enjoy their midday meal either inside the restaurant, where limited, socially-distanced seating is available, or outside on Fort Street, where the restaurant has been allowed to set up an elaborate al fresco dining area.
The lunch menu offers a selection of “Fort Street Classics” than includes Hungarian beef goulash, Weiner schnitzel, skin-on pork shank, and various German sausages.
Sandwich specialties, entree salads, and a “choose your options” burger bar are also part of the noon hour agenda.
Reservations are suggested, and they can be made by calling the restaurant at (413) 734-7475 or reserving online through Open Table.
This summer Chick-fil-A outlets are featuring two limited-time-only beverage creations. Mango Passion Tea Lemonade is sort of an “Arnold Palmer” combination enhanced with tropical fruit flavors, while the Peach Milkshake, a blend of vanilla soft serve and peaches, takes its flavor from one of summer’s iconic tree fruits.
A Chick-fil-A restaurant operates on Route 33 in Chicopee across from the Massachusetts Turnpike entrance. Take out, drive thru, and delivery are available.
Champney’s Restaurant, the gastropub located at the Deerfield Inn in Deerfield, has reopened and plans to offer, going forward, a weekly calendar of dining specials.
Mondays will be “$15 Pizza Nights,” with pies custom-garnished with a full selection of toppings.
Tuesday evenings have been designated “Burger Nights.” Champney’s will be offering Black Angus beef burger, salmon burger, or veggie burger options as well as a changing-weekly burger special.
A Champney’s tradition, Oyster Wednesdays, are returning, with fresh oysters available from 4 p.m. until the supply is gone.
Thursday evenings will feature “Summer Music on the Terrace” with a different local artist each week. The live entertainment will start at 6 p.m., and a special barbecue menu will be available.
For more details contact Champney’s Restaurant at (413) 772-3087.
On the Border is enhancing its “to go” options by promoting a Build-Your-Own Taco Kit, a some-assembly-required family pack that incorporates 10 taco shells, a choice of ground beef or chicken tinga filling, and various garnish ingredients. Also included are chips and salsa, queso sauce, Mexican rice, and refried beans.
The kit is a limited time special offer.
Other Family Meals available from On the Border include enchilada and fajita packages. They can be ordered online at ontheborder.com. for delivery or pickup at the restaurant, which is located in West Springfield on Riverdale Street just north of the I-91 interchange.
Bistro Les Gras in Northampton has announced that the restaurant will be closing for a “summer break” beginning July 30. Chef Daniel Martinez is scheduled to take some medical leave, with the restaurant expected to reopen in early September.
Until the end of July Bistro Les Gras will remain open for outdoor seating on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays only under its Phase 2 plan. Outdoor dining requires reservations (which are handled online thru Resy) and is, of course, weather dependent.
Menu information is available on the restaurant’s Facebook page, facebook.com/bistrolesgras.
Refocusing on its pre-pandemic strategy of developing a trend-forward lineup of beverage offerings, Dunkin’ has been testing several new drink items locally this summer.
They include brown-sugar and strawberry bubble tea variants; the strawberry bubble tea has “popping bubbles” that deliver a burst of strawberry flavor in the mouth. The bubble teas are available at Dunkin’ locations in Westfield, Northampton, and Haydenville.
Other new products in test at various New England locations for the next month or so include a sparkling iced coffee (Rhode Island locations), two “shandy” beverages made with lemonade and cold brewed coffee or iced tea (south-central Connecticut), and coconut-cocoa infused cold brew coffee (greater Hartford, CT).
On July 7, the Mezze Restaurant Group in Williamstown announced that it had added two members to its ownership team.
Linda Stripp, who has worked for the Mezze Restaurant Group for 20 years, previously served as the director of Mezze Catering + Events, a business unit she grew dramatically during her tenure as Mezze’s event planner.
Mezze Restaurant Group Executive Chef Nicholas Moulton is another long-standing Mezze employee. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Moulton has recently appeared as a chef-competitor on the “Food Network,” where he was award the title of “Veggie King.” Moulton is also known for his strong commitment to the farm-to-table movement.
Stripp and Moutlon join Nancy Thomas and Bo Peabody as co-owners of the Mezze Restaurant Group, which is headquartered in Williamstown and operates Mezze Catering + Events and Mezze Bistro + Bar.
More information is available at the Group’s web site, mezzaresaturantgroup.com.
Hugh Robert is a faculty member in Holyoke Community College’s hospitality and culinary arts program and has nearly 45 years of restaurant and educational experience. Robert can be reached on-line at OffTheMenuGuy@aol.com