Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
September, 6th 2013

One-Eyed Mike's turns 10!

Baltimore magazine

One-Eyed Mike's—the Fells Point bar with a particular penchant for Grand Marnier—is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend.

To commemorate a decade on Bond Street, the bar is throwing a block party tomorrow from 1-6 p.m. on Dallas Street behind the restaurant.

Expect live music, complimentary food, and plenty of GM to go around.

12:40 pm Comment Count Tags: bars, parties
Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
September, 3rd 2013

NFL Kickoff events around Baltimore

Baltimore magazine

Even though the first Ravens game won't be played here in Baltimore (due to conflicts with MLB and NBC), the NFL is still hosting plenty of events around town this week to kick off the start of football season. Here's a round-up of what to expect:

NFL Kickoff Community Legacy Project: Former Ravens Jamal Lewis and Duane Starks will join volunteers for a community-service project at Hilton Elementary near Ashburton on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will also be in attendance, as they celebrate the school's success in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Volunteers will transform the outdoor area behind the school, adding a greenhouse and garden beds. In addition, a new active play space will be built.

Kickoff Village: The NFL Kickoff Village will be open to fans on Wednesday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. The fan zone is located at the Harborplace Amphitheater, where there will be NFL players on hand both days to sign autographs for fans.

NFL Play 60 Youth Football Festival: Former Ravens players Rod Woodson, Jamal Lewis, Kyle Richardson, Jamie Sharper, Duane Starks, and Matt Stover will team up with more than 850 students in the area on Wednesday and Thursday at Utz Field at Patterson Park. Students will learn NFL flag drills, and Heads Up football skills from USA Football coaches and participate in activities with players. They will also learn about hydrating, helmet fitting, and concussion awareness at the event, which is also sponsored by HOPSprts, the National Dairy Council, and Under Armour.

Under Armour/GE Press Conference: The NFL, GE, and Under Armour will host a press conference entitled "Head Health Challenge: Innovative Approaches for Identifying and Preventing Brain Injury" on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at UA headquarters in Locust Point. Participants include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Kevin Plank, Boomer Esiason, and Cal Ripken, Jr.

NFL Back to Football Run & Play 60 Fun Run: On Wednesday night at M&T Bank Stadium, fans can celebrate the return of football with a youth half-mile run at 6 p.m. and a 5K at 7 p.m. Ravens cheerleaders and mascot Poe will be in attendance, and fans will have an opportunity to receive autographs from Ravens alumni and take a photo with the Lombardi trophy. Fans can sign up here.

NFL Kickoff 2013 Concert: Country star Keith Urban will perform live from a floating stage barge in the Inner Harbor next to the Maryland Science Center. The event starts at 6 p.m. and will include the concert, fireworks, a showing of America's Game: 2012 Baltimore Ravens, and a water light show. The event is free and open to the public, and guests should enter at the Baltimore Visitor Center. Guests planning to attend the event should follow @NFL345 on Twitter for the most up-to-date concert details.

Of course, this is all in preparation for the season opener between the Ravens and Denver Broncos on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Go Ravens!

2:44 pm Comment Count Tags: concerts, ravens
Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
August, 19th 2013

A night out at Oliver Speck's Eats & Drinks

Baltimore magazine

On Thursday, I attended an opening party for Oliver Speck's Eats & Drinks, in the former space of Vino Rosina in Harbor East. Under the same management and chef (former Top Chef contestant Jesse Sandlin), Oliver Speck's aims to be a more casual BBQ joint, rather than another New American bistro, which we've covered.

The space itself hasn't changed much and still retains exposed brick, wooden wine shelves, and chalkboard walls. But a more casual vibe became obvious in the details—new flat-screen TVs above the bar, staff wearing baseball T-shirts, and fun magnetic letters on the vent hood of the exposed kitchen.

We tried a couple of the cocktails, which all seem to have a whimsical, down-home vibe. Our favorite had to be the Ziggy Piggy, pictured, which was garnished with candied bacon (!) and featured scotch, Domaine de Canton, muddled plum and mint, ginger simple syrup, and ginger beer. A lot of scotch tends to be too strong for me, but the sweet/spicy/aromatic flavors were such great counterpoints (and the bacon was a lovely added bonus).

We also recommend trying the Maine Mule (their take on a mule, served in a Mason jar, made with organic potato vodka from Maine) and Life's a Peach with Bulleit Rye, peach, lemon, lime, and brown-sugar syrup. Of course, we also got to nibble on some food, including some extremely crunchy and salty pork cracklins, horseradish-heavy deviled eggs, and a pulled pork slider topped with vinegary, house-made barbecue sauce.

Though it's early, we suspect that this new, fun concept will stick around for a while. For a full restaurant review, look out for our November issue.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
August, 7th 2013

'80s Night at Pabu

Baltimore magazine

When I told people that I was attending an '80s party at Pabu in the Four Seasons Baltimore, a common reaction was, "There's another restaurant in the Four Seasons?"

People were of course referring to Wit & Wisdom, A Tavern by Michael Mina, which has won critical acclaim for its classic American food and stellar cocktail program. But adjacent to it is Pabu, a casual Japanese pub that offers sushi, small plates, and more than 100 varieties of sake.

Last night, Pabu decided to throw an '80s party (no doubt inspired by bar manager Nick Jones's love of Karate Kid) and they went all out. For $29, guests got to sample a ton of food from Chef Jonah Kim, who created upscale takes on dishes from the decade—including Salisbury steak, Ramen noodles, chicken nuggets, and Twinkies.

For his part, Jones crafted "wine coolers," aka bottled cocktails, pictured, like a well-balanced bourbon and lemonade and an aromatic cocktail of raspberry vodka, pomegranate, yuzu, and lavender bitters.

Of course, everyone was clad in their best denim jackets, leg warmers, and hair-metal tees. And while '80s classics played on the stereo, movies like Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Stand By Me were featured on flat-screen TVs. We even spotted an amazing 80s-themed iPhone case.

All in all, it was a great reminder that there is another restaurant in the Four Seasons—and it knows how to throw one awesome party.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
August, 2nd 2013

Best of Baltimore Party recap

Baltimore magazine

The roaring '20s came roaring back to life last night at the Hippodrome Theatre during our 25th Best of Baltimore Party. The tri-level venue was packed with revelers, who embraced the speakeasy theme and weren't shy to spread the word via social media.

3:59 pm Comment Count Tags: BOB13, parties
Laurnie Wilson's picture
August, 1st 2013

Best of Baltimore Party

Baltimore magazine

Are you ready to don your pearls or bowler hat? Prepare to channel your inner ’20s socialite because the 25th annual Best of Baltimore party is tonight at the Hippodrome Theatre.

Here’s what you can look forward to this evening:

Cocktails, regional wines, and specialty beer lounges will give the party a true speakeasy vibe.

Delicious fare from nearly 40 of Baltimore’s best restaurants—including Heavy Seas Alehouse, Tatu, and The Food Market—will make your taste buds want to do the Charleston.

Additionally, rock band Burnt Sienna, ragtime act Bumper Jacksons, and dance music from DJ Kopec will keep your feet tapping all night long.

Don’t forget, you can tweet and Instagram throughout the night with #BOB13.

Very limited tickets are remaining, so be sure to get yours before it’s too late.

10:46 am Comment Count Tags: BOB13
Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
July, 31st 2013

Dogfish Head is No. 1!

Baltimore magazine

According to a survey conducted by food and drink website The Daily Meal, Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Del. is the best craft brewery in America.

The website conducted the survey by asking leading craft beer experts to nominate their favorites out of the 2,538 craft breweries in the country. The criteria to be considered best included "solid flagship beers, interesting new styles and seasonal beers, as well as the business of design, marketing, and fan base-building."

The Daily Meal received 72 nominations, then asked its readers to put it to a vote. What's left is a ranked list of 25 breweries in the nation, including New Belgium, Sam Adams, Lagunitas, and Stone Brewing.

But at the very top was Dogfish Head, which the website says "packs a giant punch, as they now operate out of a 100,000-square-foot converted cannery and sell their beer, including their original Shelter Pale Ale, to more than 25 states." They went onto say that the brewery will continue to be a game changer and quoted Jason Morgan, the founding partner of Craft Brewing Business: "When I think of craft beer, Dogfish Head is the first brewery that pops into my head."

Congrats, Dogfish Head! We think we'll celebrate with a refreshing 60 Minute IPA.

9:05 am Comment Count Tags: beer, breweries
Amy Mulvihill's picture
July, 30th 2013

Symphony of Time: Nerd Nostalgia at the BSO

BSO/Legend of Zelda

This blog was written by editorial intern Zoe DiGiorgio.

It was a different crowd that filed into the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Saturday night. Instead of a sea of suits and ties, dresses and pantsuits, there were costumes, wigs, green caps, pointed ears, and T-shirts, and the average age of the audience was about 20 years younger than usual. Yes, this audience was full of fans eager to see the BSO perform the “Symphony of the Goddesses,” a four-movement work highlighting the music of The Legend of Zelda video-game series. The series, which has spawned 15 official games, a breakfast cereal, and even a fantastically cheesy cartoon series, has inspired multiple generations of gamers since its first appearance in 1986. The adventures of Link, Princess Zelda, and the evil Ganondorf have become iconic in video-game history, and the BSO masterfully brought to life the legendary sounds that have touched millions.

The “Symphony of the Goddesses” is the first video-game themed concert to feature new arrangements of game music in a complete four-movement symphony. As arranger Chad Seiter and producer/creative director Jeron Moore explained at the start of the show, original composer Koji Kondo granted the production permission to arrange his classic themes for an orchestra and approved the results. Seiter and Moore, said they wanted the concert to bring to life the magical experiences they had with the game as children. Conductor Eímear Noone, who helmed the BSO for the performance (and even sported a green jacket for the occasion), also brought an energy and enthusiasm for the music that was palpable.

After an epic overture showcasing the different themes for Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf, which form the core of the series’ music, the body of the performance was a four-movement symphony which told the stories of the games, starting with the creation of Hyrule by the goddesses Din, Nayru, and Farore. (This was shown on-screen, for anyone who needed a little brushing up on his or her Hyrule history.) The Handel Choir of Baltimore loaned their voices to help the BSO reflect the varied moods of the different movements; from solemn perils to triumphant victories, serene friendships to puzzling challenges that Link faced, the movements grew in intensity toward the climatic final battle against Ganon. For the more playful “Wind Waker” movement, Noone conducted using a replica of the conductor’s baton Link uses in the game, much to the delight of fans. In the final movement, Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf’s themes shined through, and the chorus and orchestra hailed Link’s victory loudly before returning to the soft song of the goddesses at the end of the symphony.

 Though there was no arguing that this moving symphony demonstrated the beauty and artistry of the Zelda games, the most powerful component of the concert was the emotional responses elicited by the combination of the imagery on the screen and the sounds, which for many audience members harkened back to a simpler time. As the Orchestra played, the screen behind the stage showed footage of the games, showing Link’s transformation from an 8-bit blob of pixels to the young 64-bit hero from Ocarina of Time to the cell-shaded playful Link of Wind Waker and the more refined Link of the modern generation of Zelda games. The audience giggled and groaned in response to the familiar in-game moments in the early interludes. Audience members of all ages muttered to their companions about their experiences with some of the more frustrating dungeon levels, and laughed loudly as Link chased the comical yet deadly cuccos (chickens) around. A younger fan in the crowd chanted “Yes! Yes! Yes!” as various versions of Link dodged fireballs, tossed pots, fought several dragons, and received a blinking, wish-granting, Triforce in one on-screen montage. The audience grew quiet as the symphony wore on, though: awestruck and rapt, and then ample with their praise when the lights came up after each movement.

After several standing ovations, Noone signaled for the audience to remain seated so she could finish the three encores (including a powerful orchestration of the Gerudo Valley theme, a personal favorite). Joel Guttman, a student at the University of Maryland, College Park and president of the university's Gamer Symphony Orchestra, praised Noone as a conductor and noted, “The performance did a wonderful job of encapsulating the essence of the franchise a whole.” The performance also succeeded in capturing the emotional connections the audiences had with the franchise; Justin Zelinsky, a lifelong fan of the series, said “It brought tears to my eyes and brought up wonderful memories of when I played the games as a child. The arranger did every piece justice and Koji Kondo would be proud to hear how well the BSO performed his famous pieces.” Through the power of nostalgia, the BSO brought the beautiful music of a beloved game series to life, and introduced Baltimore-area Zelda fans to one of the city’s premier cultural institutions.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
July, 25th 2013

Embassy Suites James Bond party

Baltimore magazine

 

Last night, I attended a party to celebrate the re-branding of the former Tremont Plaza Hotel, which is now Embassy Suites Baltimore. The party was a multi-level extravaganza with a clear James Bond theme.

All of the hotel staff stayed in character, welcomed us as "agents," and handed us our passport programs as we entered. Various rooms had different themes, including the Gypsy Camp with fortune tellers, the Diamonds are Forever Lounge for dining, and the Casino Royale room for gambling (with fake money, of course). Along the way, guests had to obtain gold coins to enter certain rooms and various Bond girls (some even painted gold) circulated the crowd.

The event was certainly crowded, so lines were long to get food and drinks. The menu included, of course, shaken and stirred martinis, rum punch, raw oysters and clams, crab and scallop sliders, carved prime rib, and a chocolate fountain with fruit. The most fun had to be the fifth floor with roulette, blackjack, and craps tables—and an adjacent room with a dance floor.

While there were not too many changes to the downtown space, there were slight signs of sprucing up, like new carpeting. But we appreciate that Embassy Suites has kept the historical building's integrity intact, and also chose a very creative way to celebrate its new identity.

10:06 am Comment Count Tags: hotels, parties
Laurnie Wilson's picture
July, 24th 2013

Paint Nite in Baltimore

Baltimore magazine

The cool breeze of air conditioning was a welcome relief as I stepped out of the muggy Baltimore evening last Wednesday and into Tatu in Power Plant Live. Once inside, I headed to the upper level to partake in a fun, new-to-Baltimore event: Paint Nite

With the catchphrase “drink creatively,” Paint Nite combines the creativity of making art with the excitement of a night-on-the-town atmosphere. Currently held at Alonso’s on Tuesdays and Tatu on Thursdays, guests are provided with a canvas, an apron, and paint supplies so that they can recreate and, in many cases, reinterpret, the evening’s selected painting, all while enjoying a drink or two. 

Next month, Paint Nite plans to add Monday nights at Leinenkugel’s Beer Garden to the mix. And, as chief fun officer Scott Hakanson told me, Paint Nite is currently in 20 states, and will soon be international, with events in Toronto and London. Not bad for a Boston-born company that started just last year.

The room I entered was spacious and bright, with two long tables running parallel down the center. Blank canvases were set up on both sides of the tables, along with palettes of paint and three brushes of varying sizes.

Guests ordered a wide selection of wines and cocktails from the bar before finding a seat.  The painting we would be recreating was situated on a high easel at the end of the room. Everyone was eager to have a good view.

Once all of the guests were seated, Caren Shelley, resident Paint Nite Baltimore artist, went through the first steps, explaining how we could begin the background.

The feeling in the room was both relaxing and inspiring as everyone set to work; some chatting eagerly with friends, others preferring to focus on the task at hand.

Within minutes, each blank canvas was transformed into a tapestry of color. Some people stuck to the same color scheme as the example painting, while others branched out entirely, replacing peach and tangerine tones with navy and plum, all mixed from the primary colors on their palettes.

When I finished, I was amazed to discover that two hours had already passed. I am certainly no artist, but I came away very proud of my work.  It was a great event, and a really memorable way to spend a Thursday night. 

Afterwards, Shelley spoke enthusiastically about her involvement with Paint Nite. She believes that “if there were more events like this, the world would be a better place.” And after the fun I had, I couldn’t agree more. 

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