September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, so raise a toast to America’s whiskey, if you are so inclined.
That moniker for bourbon was enacted by Congress in 2007, and is a sequel to a 1964 act that declared bourbon America’s Native Spirit.
It comes by that name because bourbon must be distilled from at least 51 percent corn, and corn was one of those crops unknown in the world until Columbus stumbled on the Americas.
To be called bourbon, it must also be aged in new, charred American-oak barrels and be bottled at no less than 80 proof, which is 40 percent alcohol by volume. And it can’t be flavored or colored to be true bourbon.
Although the name derives from the Bourbon Dynasty in France – think Bourbon County, Kentucky, and Bourbon Street in New Orleans – it can be made anywhere in the country as long as you follow the rules.
In early 2020 there were 8.5 million barrels of bourbon aging in Kentucky alone, and 1919 national bourbon sales generated nearly 4 billion bucks.
Oh, and Jack Daniels is not a bourbon, no matter what a lot of you think.
Mac and Walt’s on Main Street in Norton, for one, has an excellent bourbon menu (including Japanese bourbon, which is white, and probably doesn’t count) and you can get bourbon flights. How about a Montana Mule made with bourbon at the Longhorn Steakhouse in North Attleboro.
So, go ahead, mix up an Old Fashioned. Or sip it neat like The Notester. Psst: There are only 15 days left in September.
The local scene
A plate of four lobsters for 40 bucks? It’s all part of the continuing lobster mania at Fresh Catch on Chauncy Street in Mansfield, which is celebrating its 40th birthday. The specials are served noon to 8 today, Thursday, Sept. 17.
Margarita Mondays are a special at Chardonnay’s on Taunton Avenue in Seekonk, which is now open Mondays and where the bar is also open. www.chardonnaysrestaurant.com
There’s a shepherd’s pie takeout dinner Saturday, Sept. 26, at The First Christian Congregational Church on GAR Highway in Swansea. 508.673.7179
You can get a lobster roll meal for 20 bucks and a colossal lobster roll for 22 bucks this weekend only at Ninety Nine Restaurants. Lobster Lovers weekend runs from this Friday, Sept. 18, through Sunday, Sept. 20. You can dine in, dine outside or pick it up curbside. www.99restaurants.com
There’s a takeout pasta and meatball supper this Saturday, Sept. 19, at Centenary United Methodist Church at North Main and Sanford Streets in Attleboro. Twelve bucks gets you the entrée plus a tossed salad, garlic bread and a dessert. For kids under 10 it’s 6 bucks. The meals must be ordered by this Friday, Sept. 18, and are ready for pickup at 5:30. Call 508.222.1759 or email email@example.com.
Chef Paul Wahlberg of Wahlburgers, honorary chair for the annual Rodman Ride for Kids fundraising effort that features 70 Massachusetts restaurants, is part of a prize in its silent auction Saturday, Sept. 26. Wahlberg will cook a dinner for 10 at the top bidder’s home. It’s a virtual event this year. www.rodmanforkids.org
Boston Public Market on Hanover Street — and its restaurants — has reopened Wednesdays through Saturdays, 8 to 6. www.bostonpublicmarket.org
New at Seven Stars Bakeries are a chocolate chip cookie made with 50 percent whole-grain flour plus white whole wheat and buckwheat, and a spelt pan bread. www.sevenstarsbakery.com
You can get clam cakes and chowder and sample the fresh seafood delivered daily at Cowesett Inn on Cowesett Avenue in West Warwick. www.cowesettinn.net
Tap, cask and bottle
Taproot Brewing at Newport Vineyards in Middletown has three new fruit ales: Beaches & Cream, Green Ale and Watermelon Patch. They are all available in four-packs to go. www.newportvineyards.com
The patio at Woburn-based Lord Hobo Brewing’s operation at Two Drydock in Boston’s Seaport District is open seven days a week for beer, wine and canned cocktails. www.lordhobobrewing.com
This Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 17-20: The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival is on in the City by the Sea. www.newportmansions.org
Wednesday, Sept. 23: There’s a tapas wine dinner at 7 p.m. at Stoneforge Tavern & Publick House on Paramount Drive in Raynham. It’s 65 bucks. 508.977.9840
Legal Test Kitchen in Boston’s Seaport District has closed.
After its obit was written in all of the media, big and small, for The Lafayette House on Route 1 in Foxboro, the owner tells us it just ain’t so. They are open, have been open and plan to be open for the foreseeable future. It all started with a request to the town for permission to raze the 200-year-old restaurant, which was only done in case it’s needed in the future.
Many food scholars believe mayonnaise comes from the French mayeau, or egg yolk. Footnote: Some of The Notester’s mysteries derive from the book “The Eaten Word” by Jay Jacobs.
Psst, let’s make a deal
Tuesdays you can get two entrees and a choice of app, salad or dessert for 25 bucks at 579 Benefit on Benefit Street in Pawtucket. www.the579.com
Here’s where and what The Notester dined on recently:
Bristol: The bowl of lobster bisque (15 bucks), half-dozen raw oysters (18 bucks) and the fried oysters platter (25 bucks) inside at The Lobster Pot on Hope Street. www.lobsterpotri.com
Hey, been some place good? Send it in. Don’t make The Notester do all the work. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOMETHING NEW Casa Loca Mexican Cantina
This is new at University Avenue in Westwood, brought to us by the folks at Local Kitchen & Drinks.
Thistle & Leek
This is a news gastropub in Newton Center, where Comedor used to be.
Sin City Superette
You can get prepared meals, groceries and coffee at this new spot on Exchange Street in Boston, brought to us by the folks at Nightshade Noodle Bar.
Bon appetit. And if you go, let The Notester know.