Food & Drink

The Charmery’s new Towson location to open this Saturday

Charmery co-founders David and Laura Alima outside their newest location on York Road. Still via video.

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, the official opening of pool season and the unofficial start of summer, Towson is getting a much-anticipated new ice cream shop.

Hot Plate: Preakness parties, royal wedding treats, Biggie Smalls brunch and more

Hot Plate: Preakness parties, royal wedding treats, Biggie Smalls brunch and more
Sagamore Spirit Rye drinks are on Preakness celebration menus at Mt. Washington Tavern and Ryleigh’s Oyster this weekend.

With Preakness, a royal wedding and a bunch of other fun food events on the horizon, this week is shaping up to be a good one in Baltimore. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Restaurant Review: Chez Hugo Bistro is a stellar addition to Baltimore’s restaurant scene

Photo courtesy of Chez Hugo Bistro.

With the fancy food coming out of the kitchen brought out by a wait staff dressed in jeans, Chez Hugo Bistro is a place that straddles the line between the old-school, white-tablecloth notions of high-end French cuisine and the new, more democratic approach to “good” food that characterizes 21st century American restaurants.

Hot Plate: Festivals, restaurant openings, Mother’s Day, a Parts & Labor yard sale and more

The Maryland Craft Beer Festival takes place in Frederick on Saturday, May 12. It’s one of several festivals happening on Saturday.

Last week, the news out of Baltimore’s restaurant scene wasn’t great, with several beloved restaurants announcing their closing. This week, the view from Charm City is much sunnier, with multiple openings on the horizon! And, of course, a day dedicated to moms (and brunch).

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

Grano Emporio closing in Hampden at end of June

Grano Emporio Hampden closing
Photo by Ethan McLeod

Grano Emporio, the traditional Italian restaurant tucked into a Hampden rowhouse and known for its simple and delicious fare, will close down on June 30, its owners announced Thursday night.

Heavy Seas to expand and overhaul taproom, add experimental brewing line

Heavy Seas to expand and overhaul taproom, add small-batch line
Rendering via Heavy Seas Beer

Heavy Seas Beer’s taproom is getting a makeover, with the Halethorpe-based brewery planning to expand and modernize the space by next summer.

Looking for casual, sophisticated, al fresco dining? Here’s three spots close to home

Village Square Cafe

Every few weeks, on a Friday night, my husband and I meet up with his oldest pal and his wife. Inevitably we choose to dine at Donna’s in Cross Keys. It’s close to both our homes, and the food is fantastic.

Even on the minor level: I don’t usually order a Caesar salad anywhere because it consists of just a bowl of Romaine lettuce with some croutons on top. But the Caesar at Donna’s is unlike any other salad I’ve ever eaten. I don’t know what the secret is, but I promise you will flip!

When I asked co-owner Alan Hirsch recently what was up for spring, he said, “We’ve made some changes to our menu for spring, and there are more to come. Our patio is officially open, and we’re seating on it whenever it’s over 65 degrees during the day. Note that when you reserve at Donna’s Cross Keys, you can reserve an outside table simply by asking for it (both over the phone and online). This particular patio has been named as one of the dreamiest in Baltimore by various travel sites.

Hot Plate: Restaurant closings, farmers’ markets return, Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby and Mother’s Day plans

The Sandlot opens for the season on Saturday, May 5, with a party featuring a new Monument City Brewing beer.

Not all of this week’s restaurant news is good–-a couple tough closings have recently been announced. But we have a big party weekend ahead of us, Baltimore, and a lot to look forward to for the rest of the month.

Here’s a look at what’s happening:

Fork & Wrench in Canton reportedly closing

Image via Instagram

Days after owners Andy Gruver and Jason Sanchez announced the pending closure of Modern Cook Shop, their staple restaurant, Fork & Wrench, has reportedly met a similar fate.