September, 19th 2013

Faidley Seafood in the Spotlight

FaidleyCheck out eater.com's pictorial, detailing a Friday afternoon at Faidley Seafood in Lexington Market.

You can't help but be proud of the national website's coverage of our hometown seafood purveyor that was founded in 1886.

Of course, now I want a Faidley crab cake.

Photo courtesy of eater.com

EXTRA: Here's the video we shot at Faidley Seafood for our July crab cakes issue:

10:23 am Comment Count Tags: crab cake
September, 19th 2013

It's Time to Get Crabby with Me

Crab BashJoin me in judging winners for the fourth annual Crab Bash at B&O American Brasserie, featuring some top chefs from Baltimore and around the country. It takes place from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, September 26.

Besides featuring great crab dishes, the event benefits The Pratt Contemporaries, a group committed to raising awareness of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

At the Crab Bash, guests will be able to cast votes for a "People's Choice" award. In addition, a panel of judges—including me—will pick a "Best in Show" winner. I can't wait to join the other judges, including Reagan Warfield, a morning radio host on Mix106.5, and WBAL meteorologist Ava Marie.

We'll be milling around with everyone, sampling the food and specialty cocktails. There's live music, too. Chef and drink stations will be located throughout the restaurant and in the lower lobby of the beautiful Hotel Monaco.

The offerings should be spectacular with dishes prepared by local chefs Brad Willits of B&O American Brasserie, Chris Amendola of Fleet Street Kitchen, Brian Lavin of Salt, Bill Buszinski of Mr. Rain's Funhouse, and Chad Gauss of The Food Market.

Crab boudinLast year's "Best in Show" winner Thomas Dunklin, who is now at Three Degrees Waterfront Bar & Grill in Portland, OR, will also be on hand to try for win number two. His creative crab boudin (pictured) with smoked-corn-and-bacon grits and spicy watermelon sauce wowed us last time.

Tickets are $35 in advance; $40 on the day of the event. They can be purchased through MissionTix.

Hope to see you there. Hint: Come early to avoid the crowds.

Crab boudin photo by me. 

September, 18th 2013

Alton Brown to Visit Baltimore Again

Alton BrownAlton Brown— food historian, scientist, and Food Network star—kicks off his national tour, "Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour," in October with a scheduled stop in Baltimore on Feb. 22.

He'll be appearing on stage at the Lyric Opera House at 8 p.m. Tickets are already on sale through Ticketmaster, ranging from $35-150.

The charming personality, who currently hosts Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen, last swung through town in March 2011 as part of the Hippodrome Theatre's Foodie Experience.

I had an opportunity to talk to him a few days before the show for the blog. On that visit, he said he was flying his own plane into Baltimore from his hometown of Atlanta. I'm not sure if he'll be doing that on this tour, which covers more than 40 cities.

This go-round, each show will feature "stand-up comedy, talk-show antics, a multimedia lecture, live music (he sings!) and 'extreme' food experimentation," according to a press release.

Audience members will also be selected to be Alton's assistants on stage. Ponchos will be provided for fans in the first few rows, the release said. (Shades of comedian Gallagher, who used to send smashed food into the audience.)

Whatever happens, the show promises to be fun. Alton told me last time: "With a live audience, every show, every audience is different. It's one of the things about my work that I love foremost." 

Photo courtesy of Food Network

September, 18th 2013

Dine Out on Thursday for a Good Cause

Woodberry KitchenReservations are filling up quickly for the 20th annual Dining Out For Life on Thursday, September 19. More than 50 participating restaurants will be donating a minimum of 20 percent of their profits to Moveable Feast.

The Baltimore nonprofit organization feeds and cares for Marylanders affected by HIV, AIDS, breast cancer, and other life-threatening conditions.

While many restaurants are giving a generous 20 percent of their profits, several restaurants are donating more: Woodberry Kitchen (100 percent); The Brewer's Art, Clementine, and Gertrude's (50 percent); and Alchemy, b Bistro, and Sauté Restaurant (35 percent)

In addition to its regular dining, Woodberry Kitchen (pictured) offers another way to give. It will host an after-party event that night, starting at 9 p.m. The $25 ticket includes food, drink, live music, and a silent auction.

Reservations are recommended at all the restaurants. What a great way to enjoy an evening and support a worthy cause.

—Danielle Moore 

September, 16th 2013

RA Sushi Has a Deal for You

Every Tuesday, RA Sushi is offering a "Friends with Benefits" lunch promotion from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Buy any lunch special and you'll get a complimentary dish of equal or lesser value for your companion.

There's a great menu selection, including an assortment of bowls, bento boxes (chicken teriyaki, pictured), and sushi. All include miso soup.

All you need to do is print out an online coupon and present it to your server.

RA Sushi is located in Harbor East. If the weather is nice, you can sit outside and enjoy your meal with a harbor view—complimentary, too.

—Danielle Moore 

September, 10th 2013

McCormick Hosts a Tailgate Cooking Class

Baltimore magazine

It's football season, and McCormick World of Flavors at the Inner Harbor is here to help with your tailgating spread. Its executive chef Kevan Vetter will be demonstrating recipes at the store from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 12.

Participants will learn chef-worthy tips, sample dishes, and receive printed copies of the recipes. Guests will also be entered to win an autographed Old Bay Ravens limited-edition commemorative tin.

Tickets are $40 per person. Register by calling the store at 443-853-1355.

—Danielle Moore 

September, 9th 2013

Name Change for a Canton Restaurant

Baltimore magazine

It's official. The Chasseur is the new name of the Canton restaurant previously called Adam's Eve. The owner, David Tobash, took over the space earlier this summer.

During the transition, chef/owner Mark Littleton left the restaurant he opened on Foster Avenue in spring 2012. He headed to The Grille at Peerce's, but has since left. He was unavailable for comment today.

The Chasseur (pronounced sha-sur) bills itself as a New American bar and restaurant. It's named after a ship that sailed from Fells Point and was used for a successful blockade during the War of 1812. On its return, it was dubbed the "pride of Baltimore."

The restaurant's chef is Sean Praglowski, who has put together an upscale comfort-food menu that includes entrees like Baltimore-style sour-beef short ribs and dumplings (pictured), meatloaf with bacon-horseradish jam, buttermilk-fried chicken with haricots verts, and crab cakes as well as salads, hot and cold appetizers, sandwiches, and burgers.

The chef attended Baltimore International College and has worked at "numerous fine restaurants, country clubs, and hotels," according to his Facebook page.

Good luck to the new staff, which also includes general manager Natalie diFrancesco. For more information about the restaurant, visit its website. 

September, 6th 2013

“Farm to Chef” Culinary Competition

Baltimore magazine

The fourth annual “Farm to Chef” Culinary Competition, pitting more than 30 restaurants against each other for a good cause, will be held September 30 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the American Visionary Art Museum.

The event highlights the importance of fresh produce from over 30 farms as chefs try to wow food enthusiasts’ palates. Guests will be able to vote on a People’s Choice Award while local judges will also choose their favorites.

Participating restaurants include Fork & Wrench, Oliver Speck’s Eats and Drinks, and Wit & Wisdom and farms include One Straw Farm, Prigel Family Creamery, and Milburn Orchards.

The competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) Baltimore chapter, benefits “Days of Taste,” a program that educates elementary school children on how food travels from the plows to their plates.

Guests are also presented with drinks from mixologists of The Baltimore Bartenders Guild in harmony with seasonal produce. Raffles will be announced throughout the night ranging from wine dinners and culinary classes to gift cards.

The all-inclusive tickets are $99 until September 29. Tickets will be sold for $110 the day of the event. For more information and tickets, visit the AIWF website.

—Danielle Moore

September, 4th 2013

Eat, Drink—And Play Ball

Baltimore magazine

On Thursday, waterfront restaurants and bars rally around the start of the NFL season and the Ravens game against the Broncos with drink and food specials. There are a lot of other celebratory festivities going on, too. Check out our On the Town blog for more NFL kickoff events.

Here are some of the restaurant promotions:

Dick's Last Resort: On their dock, pre-game live music, happy hour, games, and a ticket raid for the Shindig Music Festival. When the Ravens take the field, they will broadcast the game on a big-screen TV.

Hard Rock Café (with WPOC 93.1, 102.7 JACK-FM and Z104): A live performance by Parmalee, giveaways, and a chance to win a VIP experience at the NFL Kickoff Keith Urban concert. After the festivities, they will broadcast the Super Bowl champions' return to the field.

Phillips Seafood: Broadcasting the game and offering a $4 happy hour that begins at 4 p.m. and will be available until the end of the game.

Rusty Scupper: Watch the Keith Urban concert and the Ravens game at the topside bar and deck. Enjoy a $49 all-you-can-eat dinner buffet featuring a variety of appetizers, entrees, and desserts or a three-course dinner menu for $39.95, from 5-9 p.m.

Tir Na Nog Bar & Grill (with 98 Rock for a live broadcast): From their deck from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., giveaways and drink specials. The game will be broadcast on 13 flat-screen TVs throughout the restaurant.

Uno Chicago Grill: Broadcasting the game and offering $5 margaritas and $4.99 rail drinks all day; happy hour from 4-7 p.m. featuring appetizers and drinks starting at $2.99.

For a complete list, visit the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore's website. 

August, 30th 2013

Ale about Ice Cream

Baltimore magazine

The Charmery in Hampden has joined forces with Union Craft Brewing in Woodberry to present a limited-edition Duckpin Pale Ale ice cream on Monday, Labor Day.

The ice cream is chocolate-based with a Duckpin finish, Charmery owner David Alima said in an email. It's expected to be a sellout.

The popular ice-cream parlor, which opened on The Avenue in July, has an interesting lineup of rotating flavors, including Old Bay caramel, Maryland mud, and coffee by Spro. I'm particularly fond of the shop's sesame-and-sunflowers ice cream.

I also have to give a shout out to Prigel Family Creamery's caramel pretzel ice cream, which I devoured recently. The Glen Arm farm store has some other great flavors in addition to its scenic country location. 

There's never too much ice cream in one's life.

August, 28th 2013

No Need to Wait

Baltimore magazine

Johnny's omeletJohnny’s is making a change as it gets ready to celebrate its first anniversary in October. It’s abandoning its no-reservations policy.

Starting Sept. 10, the Foreman Wolf restaurant will accept reservations at the see-and-be-seen neighborhood spot in Roland Park.

Johnny’s offers a West Coast/Mexican-influenced menu and is open for breakfast (do try the Sacramento omelet, pictured), lunch, and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.

Omelet photo by Greg Haughey

 

August, 27th 2013

Rev up Your Taste Buds

Baltimore magazine

Why fight it? As the Grand Prix kicks into gear for the Aug. 30-Sept. 1 racing competition, many restaurants have embraced the proximity of the downtown speedway by offering prix-fixe menus and happy-hour deals throughout the week—from a French menu at Wine Market Bistro in honor of a 1906 Grand Prix event to a flat-iron steak dinner at Heavy Seas Alehouse.

Check with participating restaurants for specific days and times. For a complete list, visit the Grand Prix of Baltimore's website.

Here's what we found cookin' around the harbor this week:

Canton

Verde Pizza Napoletana (pictured), 641 S. Montford Ave., 410-522-1000: A three-course prix-fixe meal includes a glass of wine or tap beer, $35 a person. Also, on Wed., free Margherita pizza for kids under 10; on Thurs., featured desserts, $5; other happy-hour specials.

Federal Hill

Mother's Federal Hill Grille, 1113 S. Charles St., 410-244-8686: Happy-hour specials from 2-6 p.m. though Fri., half-pound shrimp or one pound mussels, $7; select appetizers, $5; drink deals.

Blue Agave Restaurante y Tequileria, 1032 Light St., 410-576-3938: Happy-hour specials in the bar area only from 3-7 p.m., a la carte tacos, $1.75; guacamole fresca, $4; wings, $4; drink deals.

Rusty Scupper, 402 Key Hwy., 410-727-3678: A three-course prix-fix menu for $39.95, Aug. 30-Sept. 1; parking for restaurant patrons.

Harbor East

James Joyce Irish Pub & Restaurant, 616 S. President St., 410-727-5107: Happy hour: $5 appetizer menu; drink specials.

Lebanese Taverna, 719 S. President St., 410-244-5533: Happy hour from 4 p.m.-close, appetizers, $3-5; drink specials.

The Oceanaire Seafood Room, 801 Aliceanna St., 443-872-0000: A four-course prix-fixe menu, $36.95 a person.

Downtown

B&O American Brasserie, 2 N. Charles St., 443-692-6172: A three-course prix-fixe menu, $30 a person; happy-hour drink deals.

Supano's Steakhouse, 110 Water St., 410-986-4445: A three-course prix-fixe menu, $30 a person; happy-hour drink specials.

Inner Harbor

Joe Squared, 30 Marketplace, Power Plant Live, 410-962-5566: A prix-fixe menu, $15, includes a 10-inch cheese pizza, a soft drink, and two scoops of ice cream; happy-hour drink specials from 4-7:30 p.m.

Tatu Restaurrant & Lounge, 614 Water St., 410-244-7385: Happy-hour specials from Wed.-Sat. include more than 50 items with half-price starters and select sushi rolls; drink deals starting at $3.

Little Italy

Ciao Bello, 236 S. High St., 410-685-7733: A three-course prix-fixe menu, $30.13; happy hour from 4-7 p.m., featuring complimentary pasta and pizza plus drink specials.

Heavy Seas Alehouse, 1300 Bank St., 410-522-0850: A three-course prix-fixe menu, $25, includes a grilled Angus flat-iron steak.

La Scala Ristorante, 1012 Eastern Ave., 410-783-9209: Happy-hour, $6 food specials on more than 15 items and $5 drinks.

La Tavola, 248 Albemarle St., 410-685-1859: A three-course prix-fixe menu, $35 a person plus tax and gratuity.

Locust Point

Wine Market Bistro, 921 E. Fort Ave., 410-244-6166. A three-course prix-fixe French menu, Fri.-Sat., $33 a person, $45 with a French wine flight; the menu is in honor of the 1906 Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France, Le Mans, France. 

August, 8th 2013

A new coffee program in Baltimore

Baltimore magazine

The rise of Baltimore’s coffee culture is inspiring a program that encourages coffee lovers to canvas the area, sipping all that Baltimore has to offer.

Beginning August 12, LAMILL Coffee will join forces with local coffee shops—including Charmington’s, Dooby’s Coffee, High Grounds, Pitango Gelato, and Sidewalk Espresso—to participate in a disloyalty program.

The program works like this: Customers can get a “disloyalty” card from any of the participating coffee shops. After visiting each of the shops and getting the appropriate stamp on their card, customers can then order one complimentary drink from the participating café of their choice.

Elissa Yotsuji, general manager of LAMILL, says that she hopes the program will “create a sense of community among not only Baltimore coffee shops, but Baltimore coffee lovers.”

The idea originally came from Gwilym Davies, World Barista Champion of 2009, who launched the program in London.

As of now, the program will run indefinitely, with the possibility of adding newer locations as time goes on.

Be sure to read more about the program in our September issue. 

-Laurnie Wilson 

1:01 pm Comment Count Tags: cafe, coffee, Pitango
August, 7th 2013

Nickel Taphouse to open in Mount Washington

Baltimore magazine

In late October, Robbin Haas, owner of Birroteca, will open Nickel Taphouse in the Mount Washington space that recently housed Blue Sage and, before that, The Falls.

The Taphouse’s menu highlights American cuisine, with special emphasis on dishes inspired from Haas’s hometown of Buffalo, New York. 

One such dish is beef on kummelweck, which features slow cooked beef, thinly sliced, and served on a roll topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds.

Haas also plans to serve oysters, which will be grilled behind the bar, as well as a variety of sandwiches and burgers.

Although meat and seafood will have a large presence on the menu, Haas explained that he’d like to “go heavy on the vegetarian side” as well. He says people have asked for more meat-free dishes, so “it was kind of a no-brainer” to accommodate those requests.

As for beverages, there will be an expansive American wine list, as well as 32 craft beers on draft, including local brews from both Union Craft Brewery and Salisbury-based Evolution Craft Brewing Company.

Haas hopes Nickel Taphouse—open for lunch and dinner—will have a “neighborhoody” vibe, reminiscent of the taverns and bars of his youth in upstate New York.

As a chef and restaurateur, Haas said he is “always looking for more opportunities” and that this one “kind of fell into our lap.” 

-Laurnie Wilson 

August, 5th 2013

Spike Gjerde to Open New Restaurant

Baltimore magazine

Are you a fan of acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant Woodberry Kitchen? If so, you’re in luck.

Spike Gjerde, executive chef and co-owner of Woodberry Kitchen and Artifact Coffee, is preparing to open a new restaurant: Shoo-fly.

Located in Belvedere Square, the concept will be a farmhouse diner centered on locally sourced ingredients, as well as Gjerde’s canning and preservation operations.

Patrick “Opie” Crooks has been selected to serve as Shoo-fly’s chef de cuisine. Most recently he served as chef/partner at Roy's in Harbor East. He explained that a main reason behind the new restaurant was that its expansive canning and preservation set-up had “maxed out the space” in Woodberry Kitchen and was in need of a good home.

Shoo-fly’s menu promises diner staples with a twist, like sourdough pancakes and the Hangtown fry with crispy bacon, fried oyster, fried egg, and toast. Gjerde and Crooks will maintain their dedication to locally sourced ingredients, making what Crooks described as “great, approachable food.” 

The new space is set to open in September, with an official date still in the works. Shoo-fly will be open daily for dinner from 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Brunch will also be available on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Ultimately, Crooks is optimistic about the restaurant, saying he hopes that it will help “revitalize the community.” 

-Laurnie Wilson 

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