Food & Drink

Hot Plate: Steak for dads, cocktails for Pride, Cunningham’s chef on ‘Chopped’ and more

The Tomahawk steak at Topside is one of several Father’s Day weekend specials that will make carnivorous dads happy.

From wine to Pride to Father’s Day and beyond, this weekend and week are busy in Baltimore. Check out what’s happening in the local restaurant world:

The Elephant’s owners want you to know they are, in fact, open

Photo via The Elephant/Facebook

Steven Rivelis found himself in an odd position the other day. He was sitting outside The Elephant, the restaurant he co-owns at 924 N. Charles St., having a drink when a woman approached him to offer her condolences for their closure.

When he informed her The Elephant is actually still very much open, pointing to an “OPEN” sign on the door nearby and diners inside, she said he was wrong. She had read the coverage of the Mount Vernon eatery’s impending demise and was certain they had shut down, despite what he was telling her. (“There are people eating dinner in the window, you can see that,” he says he protested.)

Baltimore Spirits Company branches out, now distributing to West Coast

The Baltimaro herbal liqueur line from Baltimore Spirits Company. Photo courtesy of BSC/Merchant Professional Services.

Union Collective-based booze maker Baltimore Spirits Company has headed west—or, at least, sent some of its products that way.

Rosé in the Garden – A Summer Soiree – June 23


Rose in the GardenNothing tastes better than rosé in the summer. Fill your glass up and toast to the start of an unforgettable season. Sunday, June 23, Downtown Baltimore will be hosting a summer soiree like no other at Preston Gardens – Rosé in the Garden. Grab a couple of friends and dress in your best garden party attire. Spend the day sipping on rosé, munching on bites from some excellent Downtown restaurants and swaying to DJ Cory Banks. Age is 21+ and tickets can be purchased here. Cheers!

Sagamore Spirit, Heavy Seas announce new collaborations

Images via Sagamore Spirit and Heavy Seas Beer

Two of Baltimore’s booze purveyors announced partnerships today on products outside their respective wheelhouses.

Sagamore Spirit, makers of Maryland rye whiskey, are partnering with Sierra Nevada on a beer–naturally, a rye ale aged using Sagamore’s barrels. Per the distiller, the red ale uses Maryland-grown malt and will feature some of the same flavor notes as the company’s signature rye: clove, nutmeg and hints of walnut and brown sugar.

First Maryland Foodie Fest Features Cooking Competitions, Maryland Restaurant Food Sampling


Maryland Foodie Fest

The Restaurant Association of Maryland will present the first Maryland Foodie Fest, a family-friendly food festival at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen on Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Maryland Foodie Fest will feature cooking competitions, food pairings and samples from restaurants throughout Maryland, craft beer and wine, vendors and live music.

The festival will host two cooking competitions—burgers and seafood—the only cooking competitions in Maryland sanctioned by the World Food Championships. Open to both home and professional chefs, the competitions will give participants the chance to win prize money and compete in the World Food Championships, the largest competition in food sport.

Hot Plate: Clavel turns four, celebrations of Italian, Chilean and Lao flavors, Donut Bike Crawl and more

Clavel just wrapped up its fourth year in business. That’s four years of excellent ceviches, tacos and mezcal cocktails like the Amado Nervo.

This week in Baltimore’s bar and dining scene is filled with events featuring international flair–and lots of wine, plus a few donuts. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Rocket to Venus owners fundraising to film their search for a long-lost spaceship

Rocket to Venus co-owners Geoff Danek and Brian Carey meet with Lance Barley, Robert Condit’s great-nephew and pour through documents about the mysterious rocket. Photo courtesy of Urban Goat Films.

Legend has it that in the late 1920s, brothers Harry and Sterling Uhler and fellow amateur scientist (and recent Poly grad) Robert Condit built an actual rocket in a western Hampden garage. The primitive spacecraft included a 50-gallon gas tank and steel pipes for rocket tubes, and a sidewalk serving as a launchpad to send them off on their journey—anywhere from 24 to 162 million miles away–from Earth to Venus.

Historic Pigtown bathhouse and fire station transformed into apartments, ground-floor café

Photo by Ethan McLeod

Kim Lane likens Pigtown’s three blocks along Washington Boulevard to a barbell.

The weights down in the 700 block, closer to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, are the local shops that have served as the commercial core of the just-barely Southwest Baltimore neighborhood. Up in the 900 block, past a stretch of mostly row homes with addresses in the 800s, are more weights—newer ones—comprising newer businesses and organizations, including the Mobtown Ballroom, the year-old Suspended Brewing Company, the Hopkins-operated SPARC women’s health center and, soon, a three-story culinary workforce training outpost for the nonprofit Paul’s Place.

“Our work now is how to connect the two [sides], how to get people walking down here, flowing back and forth,” says Lane, executive director of Pigtown Main Street.

Hot Plate: The Feast of St. Anthony, Forest Hill’s Strawberry Festival, al fresco dining in Fells Point and more

The four-day St. Nicholas Greek Festival, always a foodie destination, kicks off on Thursday.

With summer (unofficially) underway, we’re looking at a great week filled with festivals, strawberries and soft shell crabs, among other things. Here’s what’s coming up: