Boston Black Restaurant Challenge: What You Should Know

Have you heard about Boston’s Black Restaurant Challenge? It began on the first of February and ends tomorrow.

The challenge is to eat at four black owned restaurants in Boston during the month.

February is Black History Month and a great time to learn about the past. But it’s also a great time to learn about what’s happening now — and take that knowledge and use it to plan for the future.

So what do you do when the month is over? What if you missed the challenge?

Keep on or start supporting these small businesses! Now we have a great restaurant list.

Let’s be real. February is the shortest month of the year. In Boston, it’s filled with snow, ice, cold and generally blah weather. This year, the flu kicked into high gear and many people were sick.

But now we’re moving into March. There’s more daylight. Warmer temperatures. At least for me, the better the weather, the better I feel. So, I’m more inclined to venture out. I’ve tried a few places on the list already and I’m looking forward to trying some more.

Something else to know about the Black Restaurant Challenge is that it’s not just in Boston. Many cities around the country have been promoting Black Restaurant Week for the past few years and more are joining in.

Now this is a tasty trend that I hope keeps growing.

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Image: Boston Black Restaurant Challenge

 

Al Fresco Dining at Novara Restaurant in Milton

Views of outdoor seating at Novara restaurant.

Didn’t make it to Italy this summer? Neither did I. But while dining at Novara Restaurant recently, it felt like I was transported to Italy for a mini-vacation.

I took another mini-vacation in July when I was in Connecticut for a couple of days to see Maxwell in concert. The concert ticket price included Maxwell’s new CD blackSUMMERS’night, but you had to get it later via mail.

My friend received our CDs and asked if she should send mine or if we should get together. Get together of course! I suggested dinner at Novara and we enjoyed a wonderful summer night dining al fresco.

Starting off, the service was great. Full disclosure*, I was invited to visit Novara. However, I have been invited to visit other restaurants over the years and been shocked by less than stellar service and disorganization. Thankfully Novara’s staff was friendly, professional and organized.

My friend and I were both pleased with the delicious bread. Our cocktails were tasty, refreshing and strong.

Bread basket at Novara restaurant.

Cocktails at Novara restaurant.

Novara is the sister restaurant of Abby Park, which I wrote about on Craving Boston. It was a very warm evening, but we did get a quick rain storm out of the blue.

Because the tables have umbrellas over them, it wasn’t even a problem. A perfect summer night.

Entrees and dessert at Novara restaurant.

For my meal, I had the Special, which was lobster gnocci. So good! My friend had zucchini parmesan. She loved hers too!

Like its sister restaurant, Novara has a wonderful menu. I love Italian food, so I basically wanted to eat everything. I noticed people picking up food to go, so the take-out menu is a great option as well. Of course I had dessert. The chocolate mousse was the perfect ending to my meal.

I definitely recommend Novara and will return. Having a good restaurant so close to home makes eating out easier. Parking was not a problem and it’s often an issue in Boston.

Logo for Dine out Boston aka Restaurant Week Boston.

Restaurant Week, now called Dine Out Boston, is coming up in just a few days. Even though Novara is located in Milton, they have joined in as well.

You have two opportunities (August 14 -19 & August 21 – 26) to participate. If you want to start adding restaurants to your list, start with Novara!

 

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Disclosure* Thank you to Novara for the  complimentary dinner for two!

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