Openings: A new branch of East Boston’s ReelHouse is open in the Seaport (10 Waterside Ave.). This one is known as ReelHouse Oyster Bar, with a mellower ambiance than its splashy nautical sibling. Here, you’ll nibble Neapolitan pizzas, bar snacks, and sushi tacos from chef Marc Orfaly (Pigalle) at a 32-seat bar with an open kitchen. Soon, they’ll roll out a 30-seat waterfront patio. The restaurant has a harbor shuttle service, making it easy to zip to their other restaurants: the original ReelHouse in Eastie and Pier 6 in Charlestown.
Parties: Downtown Crossing throws a block party at noon on Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4. Temple Place will shut down for live music, food, and cocktails from Bogie’s Place, Boston Chops, Café 26, Café Bonjour, Democracy Brewing, Estella, George Howell Coffee, Herrera’s Mexican Grill, JM Curley, and The Wig Shop. Boston Chops, JM Curley, and The Wig Shop will preview new menus at the event.
The yeast mavens at Cambridge’s Elmendorf Baking will host the Elmendorf Grand Prix du Pain on Sunday, June 11, at the corner of Cambridge and 8th streets. It’s a riff on the famous Grand Prix de la Baguette, held annually in Paris. While East Cambridge isn’t quite La Rive Gauche, we can dream: Professional and amateur bread-bakers are invited to compete, focusing on either baguettes (pros) or sourdough (amateurs, who can finally put their pandemic skills to good use).
An esteemed panel will judge their wares: Jeffrey Hamelman, author of “Bread”; Hana Quon from Cafe Madeleine; Abe Faber and Christy Timon from Clear Flour Bread; and Mustapha Soykurt with the Consul General of France.
The winner of the professional baguette competition will become the official supplier of the French Consul in Boston for the year. (Amateurs get fun prizes.) There will also be food vendors (Batifol; Formaggio Kitchen), art stalls, live music, kids’ games — and wine. The festivities start at noon; sign up at www.eastcambridgeba.com.
Coming soon: The Smoke Shop will open a barbecue parlor at East Boston’s Clippership Wharf (45 Lewis St.) by Monday, June 19. Chef and pit-master Andy Husbands (Tremont 647) serves Texas-style brisket, St. Louis spareribs, and Nashville hot chicken sliders.