The holiday season is in full swing this week, with tons of opportunities to shop for food-related gifts – and to eat – all over town. Here’s a look at what’s happening:
Openings & Announcements
Chef Chris Amendola, known for his love of local produce, has announced that he will be taking over the Hampden space recently vacated by Aromes. Chef Amendola will open a new spot called Foraged, which will be a BYOB restaurant with a “hyper-seasonal” menu.
Foraged is slated to open later this month.
Changes are afoot at Cross Street Market. While barbecue favorite Smoke opened this week (to many cheers), locals were also upset to learn that Big Jim’s Deli, which has been a market fixture for decades, will close on Dec. 16.
Local restaurants, markets and other food and drink-related companies are making it easier than ever to shop local this week, with numerous pop-up shops and holiday gift events.
At Woodberry Kitchen, a pop-up shop is operating right inside the restaurant, every weekday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., from now until December 29. The shop includes items like jams and jellies, local ingredient spices and Snake Oil hot sauce. And a bonus: while you shop, you can snack on hot cider and cookies.
Lexington Market is a fun spot during the holidays. On Saturday, it’ll be even more fun than usual when Allison Robicelli hosts a book signing for 111 Places in Baltimore You Must Not Miss at Stephen Wise Baltimore. The book, which would make a great holiday gift, is packed with tidbits about Baltimore, including more than a few food references (no surprise, since Robicelli is both a baker and a prolific food writer).
Also on Saturday, Sagamore Farm in Reisterstown will host a holiday market featuring goodies from Sagamore Racing and Sagamore Spirit – plus free samples of Sagamore Rye.
Saturday also brings the second annual Holistic Holiday Pop Up Market at Mt. Vernon Marketplace, including wares from vendors like Pure Chocolate by Jinji and Hex Ferments.
And also on Saturday, Harford Road will come alive with Holidays on Harford. The day includes all sorts of fun activities (and opportunities to shop), as Santa bops around from Silver Queen Café to Emma’s Tea Spot to Mutt Mart and Red Canoe.
Waverly Brewing Company will host its second annual Christmas Bazaar on Sunday, starting at 2 p.m., featuring goods from all sorts of local artisans and creators, from Tree Frog Hot Sauce to Charm City Wax.
Giving Back for the Holidays
This week, local restaurants are making it easy to give to others.
On Tuesday, Dec. 12, Mt. Washington Tavern will host its fourth annual Holiday Wish Drive (And Happy Hour) event, benefitting the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital.
Head to the Tavern with an item from the hospital’s wish list or a gift card then settle in to enjoy happy hour (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.).
Wednesday, Dec. 13, The Greene Turtle will host its annual Tips for Tots event, during which the staff at 43 Greene Turtle locations will donate all the tips they earn to Toys for Tots and, for every location earning at least $1,000 in tips, the restaurant’s franchise organization will donate an additional $500.
Last year, the initiative raised over $90,000; this year, they hope to break $100,000.
Also on Wednesday, head to Harbor East for a fun evening of cookies and caroling. The Cookies & Carols event includes cookies in shops throughout the neighborhood, photos with Santa, tons of carols and a cocktail bar. Tickets are $5 and include a signature ornament and free parking – plus 100% of proceeds go to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Baltimore.
On Thursday, Dec. 14, the Gambrills location of Grotto Pizza is hosting a fundraiser for Tina Frost, the local woman who was shot during the Las Vegas country music festival shooting in early October. Diners who present a voucher (downloadable here) will have 20 percent of their bill donated to offset Frost’s medical bills.
From now through Dec. 20, Boat House Canton is collecting canned food for the Maryland Food Bank. The restaurant will pass on any canned goods and non-perishable items received and, as a thank you for the donation, will offer 15 percent off your check.
R. House Turns One
Sometimes, it feels like R. House has been part of the Baltimore food scene forever. But the Remington food hall is a newcomer – and it turns one this week.
The food hall is celebrating all day long today, Dec. 8, but the real party starts at 6 p.m. The evening will include live music, a Charm City Cakes demonstration (plus cake for 100 lucky attendees) and even a rare nighttime appearance from the crew at Ground & Griddled.
In other R. House news, the terrific Hampden Indian spot, The Verandah, will take over the pop-up space starting on Monday. The menu includes tons of vegan options and brunch foods.
On the Rocks at the Walters
Saturday night, Dec. 9, the Walters Art Museum gets frisky with On the Rocks: A Drinks Party. The evening, which is hosted by the Women’s Committee of the Walters Art Museum and is organized in conjunction with the Baltimore Bartender’s Guild, raises funds for bus transportation to the Walters for students attending Title I schools in Maryland.
The galleries are open during the party, which has a reputation for being a blast, and the drinks are mixed by Bartender’s Guild stars.
Salt Goes Vietnamese
Butcher’s Hill favorite Salt is going Vietnamese on Thursday, Dec. 14, when Chefs Jason Ambrose and Conrad Neiberding collaborate on an exciting menu featuring Vietnamese classics, updated with their own special touches.
Urban Oyster at MCS
On Friday, The Urban Oyster will pop up at Modern Cook Shop in Fells Point. Urban Oyster Chef Jasmine Norton will be preparing grilled Bayshore Brand oysters three ways, all of which are sure to be excellent.
Pop that Bottle
All month long, Petit Louis is featuring a special Champagne Menu during dinner. The three-course prix-fixe meal starts with a potato and leek veloute, followed by grilled filet mignon and finished with a grapefruit mousse. The meal can be paired with one of three different Champagne selections.
Battle of the Female Bartenders at Everyman
This Thursday, Everyman Theatre’s production of The Revolutionists will be made even more fun with a pre-show party featuring cocktails from three of the city’s best female bartenders: Chelsea Gregoire, Pam Haner, and Amie Ward.
Each bartender will share holiday party bartending tips and pouring their own creations. Guests will then have the opportunity to vote for their favorite.
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:
December 21: House of Ruth donations at The Corner Pantry
December 23: Feast of the Seven Fishes at Gnocco
January 12: Krautfest at Gertrude’s