Every August, we start feeling a little frantic about the end of summer. We love September with its crisp back-to-school feeling and excuse to wear boots and sweaters and tights, but around this time each August, we start feeling like we didn’t take enough advantage of summer, like we have to grab it while we still can and engage with the season to the maximum extent possible. What’s the best way to engage with the season? By eating, of course! Although blackberries are technically in season through fall, their slightly tart, refreshing flavor makes them perfect for summer’s hottest month. Here are a few of Boston’s most unusual blackberry dishes and drinks.
•The menu for Meritage makes us salivate just a little bit with its description of bergamot-rubbed duck breast with broccoli rabe and blackberry sauce. Berries beautifully cut the richness of duck and broccoli rabe adds a nicely earthy note.
•We’re just going to give it to you straight. We hate margaritas. More accurately, we hate tequila. We’ve never had a bad experience with it or anything. We just think it tastes horrendous. If you’re less wary than we are, however, you just might enjoy the blackberry mango margarita at Sushi Teq (the Teq stands for tequila, which is why we haven’t been yet).
•The traditional course for blackberries is, of course, dessert. The peach-blackberry tart at Cha Fahn sounds like an excellent way to end any possible meal.
•In contrast to Sushi Teq, Rialto has a blackberry cocktail we can totally get behind. Their blackberry cosmopolitan is made with Ketel One, Cointreau, blackberry puree and comes with a sugared rim.
•Mamma Maria is one of Boston’s nicest dining surprises. The name would suggest a tourist trap, but the kitchen puts out some of the city’s most elegant Italian cuisine. Their dessert of three kinds of berries drizzled with brown sugar and sweet vin cotto is nothing less than simple perfection.