Chris Quercia’s inspiration for the Boynton Cobbler was the Mechanics Hall mural painted by Pow!Wow! artist, Morgan Blair.Chris Quercia’s inspiration for the Boynton Cobbler was the Mechanics Hall mural painted by Pow!Wow! artist, Morgan Blair.

At this moment, fourteen drab walls are undergoing a dramatic transformation just one block away from The Boynton Restaurant. The effort is part of Pow!Wow! Worcester, an international mural festival that has brought more than thirty artists to Central Massachusetts for a ten day art spree. The Boynton is fully embracing their neighborhood’s new look, and to prove it, Bar Manager Chris Quercia is premiering a very special cocktail on the menu.

Chris Quercia’s inspiration for the Boynton Cobbler was the Mechanics Hall mural painted by Pow!Wow! artist, Morgan Blair.In the case of pairing food and drink, context often serves as a deciding factor. There’s a reason we crave an apertivo after a long day at work or a PSL on a brisk autumn morning. Our tastes mimic the environments we’re immersed in.

As Pow!Wow! Worcester overtakes the city, it’s bringing the food and drink scene along with it. Quercia is just one of ten bartenders who has designed a drink based on the works of art that have rendered Worcester a “visitor destination” of late. The Boynton is donating $2 from each “Boynton Cobbler” sold in order to help engage our city’s youth in collaborative art during the festival.

Quercia’s inspiration for the Boynton Cobbler was the Mechanics Hall mural painted by Pow!Wow! artist, Morgan Blair. Blair herself gleans tremendous influence from tasty ingredients. As a child, she loved nothing more than watching the cake decorators at the grocery store. She also has an affinity for banana peels. Today, she is moved by shapes; many of her paintings mimic still images of hands at work. For her Mechanics Hall mural, Blair isolated shapes from inside the iconic Worcester concert hall and boldly represented them on the building’s brick facade.

Quercia also found influence from the building itself, learning that The Cobbler was an extraordinarily popular cocktail during the era in which Mechanics Hall was constructed. His Boynton Cobbler contains Montelobos Mezcal, Amontillado Sherry, Lejay Cassis, honey, and lemon. Caleb Borgen from The Boynton’s kitchen suggests pairing Quercia’s creation with a meat and cheese board including pancetta, house made dill pickles, King Ranch chicken sausage, house pickled beets, saucisson sec, grapes, and Brie. The sherry carries light tobacco notes and when matched with the assertive smoke of mezcal, its slight salinity attains fresh elegance. Each roasty sip seems destined to collide with the pepper of thick pancetta and the bright summer medallions of crisp dill pickles. Best of all are the beet rounds – earth candy grasping at rich and fruity doses of cassis.

We’re sure Blair would be particularly taken with the range of shapes on the board and the array of hands grabbing for grapes, slicing meats, and smearing cheeses. Nonetheless, guests will find their plates and glasses free of shapes in no time at all; this pairing is irresistible.

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