Hot Plate: LB Speakeasy Opens, Dutch Courage Announced, New Chef at The Elephant

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LB Speakeasy’s menu will include drinks like the 12 Mile and Southside.

November is a big month for food in Baltimore – when the month closes with a holiday like Thanksgiving, how couldn’t it be? This week, Baltimore’s restaurants have a lot to offer, including tons of great news about the launch of new spots and a handful of charity-related events that sound delicious.

Here’s a look at what’s happening around town this week:

Opening & Announcements

This week includes all kinds of good news about openings and happy changes.

LB Speakeasy, a hidden spot in the Lord Baltimore Hotel, opens for its second season this Saturday night. The bar, which will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, is housed in a hidden space that was built into the hotel in 1928.

The menu will focus on Prohibition-era cocktails, including a build-your-own Old Fashioned and Manhattan.

Brendan Dorr and Eric Fooy, both bartenders at B&O American Brasserie and highly acclaimed members of the local bartending community, announced this week that next spring they will open a gin-focused bar called Dutch Courage in the Old Goucher building that also houses production for Kinderhook Snacks.

There’s news this week out of Belvedere Square, with the news that Spike Gjerde and Corey Polyoka’s Foodshed group will sell Grand Cru wine bar to Jayce Flickinger, who worked at the shop for several years when it was owned by the late Nelson Carey. The sale and liquor license transfer are still in the works, but should be completed by mid-month.

Flickinger plans to make some adjustments to both the drinks and food menus, making both more similar to what was offered during the time when Carey was at the helm.

During the month of November, the newly renovated Cross Street Market will add four new pop-up stalls: doughnut shop Sundays, Cookie Dough & Co., the popular barbecue spot Smoke, and Prescription Chicken, which will stall with Gertie’s Yummy Yogurt Bowls.

The Elephant welcomed a new chef this week: Orlando Amaro, a Venezuelan-born chef who worked under molecular gastronomy godfather Ferran Adria, started in the Mt. Vernon restaurant on Halloween.

Mezcal, the popular Owings Mills Mexican spot, has a new location in Lutherville in the same shopping center as MOM’s Organic Market. The new outpost officially opened last Monday.

Among all this good news, there’s a little sadness: the Hampden restaurant Aromes is closing its doors on Nov. 11. However, there’s a silver lining, as chef/owner Steve Monnier has another project in the works: Chez Hugo, which will open in downtown Baltimore at some point in the future.

Stars, Stripes & Chow Chili Cook-Off for The Baltimore Station

Saturday, Nov. 4, eat – and judge – some chili to benefit The Baltimore Station, a residential program that helps veterans and others in challenging circumstances get back on their feet and regain independence.

The event takes place at City Garage. Tickets include unlimited samples of chili made by people from across the state (and you can vote for fan favorite), plus a buffet from Mission BBQ, beer and wine,courtesy of City Limits. There will be music and a kids’ zone, too.

Vino in Vogue in Harbor East

Also tomorrow, spend a few hours tooling around Harbor East, glass in hand, when the neighborhood hosts Vino in Vogue. All afternoon, tables will be scattered throughout the sidewalks of Harbor East, hosting tastings of wines available at local restaurants. Full glasses will also be available for purchase and inside the stores, shop owners will offer complimentary sweets, cheese and small bites.

Movember Brunch at La Food Marketa

On Sunday, La Food Marketa will host a Movember brunch to raise money for men’s health issues. A portion of brunch sales will be donated to the Movember Foundation, and Chesapeake Urology will be on hand to help educate patrons about men’s health issues. Plus, the menu will include a bunch of “Movember” themed items – think lots of fun, fake mustaches.

Changes – and a Party – at P&L

Parts & Labor announced some major changes this week. The restaurant will open today at 11 a.m. with a new look and a new format. The menu will be lower priced, with more of a focus on sandwiches, soups, snacks and beer, and the restaurant will be a more casual environment (including games like cornhole outside).

On Sunday, P&L is hosting a kickoff block party featuring the new sandwiches, live music and the debut of Snake Oil Black Lager, the company’s beer collaboration with Flying Dog.

Food Truck Week Rolls into Baltimore

Baltimore Food Truck Week, a week-long celebration of local food trucks, kicks off on Monday and lasts through Nov. 12.

As part of the week’s events, Thursday, Nov. 9, Chef’s Expressions will host a food truck-themed wine dinner at the Gramercy Mansion. The meal, which will in part benefit TasteWise Kids, will feature classic food-truck fare paired with wines.

The week’s other big event falls on Nov. 10, when local trucks gather for a celebration in Patterson Park. In addition to the food trucks, the party will include other vendors, a bar and music.

Calling All Francophiles

On Nov. 7, Chef Alex Thacker of SoBo Café will prepare a five-course French dinner. The menu includes dishes like braised rabbit and seared duck breast; each course will be paired with wine chosen by a French wine specialist with the importing company Bacchus.

Seating must be reserved, and tickets purchased, in advance.

The Food Market at Home

Food Market chef/owner Chad Gauss announced today that he has published a cookbook, The Food Market at Home, that will be available this holiday season. The book launches later this month, with a release party at Trohv on Nov. 21.

Planning Ahead

Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:

November 15: Champagne the Gunther Way

November 29: Basque Cider Dinner at La Cuchara

December 4: Feast of Seven Fishes at The Local Oyster

Kit Pollard

Kit Waskom Pollard is a Baltimore Fishbowl contributing writer.She writes Hot Plate every Friday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.

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