Food & Drink

Foreman Wolf to Open New Restaurant, This Time In Columbia



Officials of The Howard Hughes Corporation, the management company of Columbia’s Lakefront, announced today that it has signed a 10-year lease agreement with Foreman Wolf Restaurant Group for a new restaurant on the ground floor of the Exhibit Building. The restaurant will occupy 6,943 square feet of the space formerly occupied by the Red Pearl restaurant. The restaurant concept will be announced at a later date.

“This is a huge opportunity for downtown Columbia,” said John E. DeWolf, Senior Vice President of Development for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “The addition of another quality restaurant will just add to the vibrancy we are creating on the lakefront and in downtown.”

The Chesapeake Reopens



The long, loooooong dormant Chesapeake restaurant at Charles and Lanvale finally reopened for dinner last night. The revived eatery boasts new owners, a new menu, and — so they claim — lower prices (but the burger’s $15, so they must be adjusting for inflation pretty hard.)

New Martick’s Restaurant and Speakeasy to Open in August


It’s a good time to celebrate the Roaring 20s. Director Baz Luhrmann has remade “The Great Gatsby” movie. WC Harlan in Remington is one of Baltimore’s hottest bars. And now the former Martick’s Restaurant Francis is about to be remade into a modern-day speakeasy when it reopens in August.

Speakeasies were hidden bars where in-the-know customers could enjoy a cocktail during Prohibition. It will still be called Martick’s, in honor of the late Morris Martick, the restaurant’s long-time owner, but there won’t be a sign at the Mount Vernon restaurant — just like its predecessor. If the light is on, it’s open. If not, you’re out of luck, says co-owner Brooks Bennett. Another co-owner is Alex Martick, Morris Martick’s brother.

Swinging Swamies Tonight at Belvedere Square


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The Swinging Swamies play an eclectic mix of jazz and world rhythms. From 1930’s jazz to 1970’s funk and everything in between, it is the band’s goal to present to listeners a wide range of popular as well as lesser-known music.

Charm City Cook: Ice Cream Shop to Open in Hampden



Local, local, local. I’m all about it…you probably are, too. And in Baltimore, we’re getting more and more great local restaurants, bakeries, breweries and more…and now a new ice cream spot! The Charmery ice cream shop is opening soon in Hampden, hon, and earlier this week, I got a sneak peek!

Kale and Potatoes: Baltimoreans Embrace Vegetarian Cuisine

Kate St. John and husband Aaron Ross, do-directors of the Humane League. Photo by Steve Ruark.
Kate St. John and husband Aaron Ross, do-directors of the Humane League. Photo by Steve Ruark.

It hasn’t always been easy being a vegetarian in a meat and crab cake town like Baltimore.

“Twelve years ago, you’d be lucky to find maybe one soy milk in the grocery store,” says Baltimore vegan Aaron Ross. “Now even chain stores have choices — sometimes even whole aisles dedicated to vegetarian options.”

Along with the growing number of choices for the herbivore consumer, Ross points to more evidence that vegetarianism is gaining currency: Baltimore City last month became the first “Meatless Monday” public school system in the U.S. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is one of the partners in the effort.

Baltimore’s soul may still be made of meat and crab cakes, but the city has seen more vegetarian-friendly restaurants, groups, and activities springing up around town. They include Liquid Earth in Fells Point, Mount Vernon’s Land of Kush and One World Cafe in Charles Village.

Irish Rock Band Donegal Xpress at Belvedere Square Tonight


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The Donegal (pronounced ‘dä-ne-gäl) X-Press has emerged as one of the premiere Irish-American roots rock groups in the country. The high-energy, six-piece outfit has gained praise and fans from New York to Ireland, Baltimore to Nashville and beyond. DXP blends a unique combination of traditional Irish music with American country and blues, folk and rock, rhythm and funk, which John O’Regan of Roots Magazine calls, “…creative ferocity not seen since The Clash’s London Calling period.”


“Best Pizzeria in New York” to Open Highly Anticipated Hampden Branch Any Day Now

Paulie Gee's Regina pizza, with Fior Di Latte, Italian tomatoes, Pecorino, Romano, olive oil and fresh basil. Photo courtesy  Nick Solares/Serious Eats
Paulie Gee’s Regina pizza, with
Fior Di Latte, Italian tomatoes, Pecorino, Romano, olive oil and fresh basil. Photo courtesy Nick Solares/Serious Eats

In a city with more than 1,600 pizza parlors, New York City’s Paulie Gee’s is regarded as the napkins-down best slice in town according to many local aficionados. “Paule Gee’s is my favorite pizza joint in New York,” says Brooklyn pizza expert and creator of the Snack Compass app Jason LaFerrera. “The Hell Boy is the perfect marriage of salty and sweet. The combination of Sopressata and honey make me consider adding pork products to my trail mix.” And pretty soon you won’t have to take the Bolt Bus to the city to sample those delights; this week,  Paulie Gee’s announced that its branch in Hampden (3535 Chestnut Avenue, aka the former Hampden Republican Club) will be opening “ASAP.”

Vino Veritas: Confessing a Summertime Love for Sangria



Every summer, without fail, that first blisteringly hot and sticky Maryland afternoon, all I want is a pitcher of sangria.

I know. Don’t freak out, even I’ve had to learn to embrace this habit wholeheartedly (unlike my affection for tequila, which I normally keep on the down low). Critics and hard-core wine snobs may declare it a bastardization of wine itself, but when it comes right down to it, heavy red wine is not pleasurable to drink on a 95+ degree day. It just isn’t. And the goal of the perfect party drink is to deliver a pleasurable (and often alcohol-rich) experience to the consumer, is it not? So while sangria may possess little finesse, there certainly is much enjoyment and that’s what I’m usually after.  So let’s break this down two ways, one classic red sangria and one for those who, like me, are abstaining from alcohol this summer and must make do traipsing up and down the stairs to the basement to get ice out of the only freezer we have, a habit that will become increasingly precarious as I grow in girth courtesy of this pregnancy.

Sangria breaks down to a simple formula: wine, fruit, booze, and some kind of sweetener if you so desire. Don’t over think it, remember that what you’re trying to provide is, in fact, the best party beverage ever, and should therefore induce pleasure not only from that frosty, fruit-filled glass, but also in the process of its creation. So take a deep breath. Enjoy.

The Wine

Charm City Cook: Out of a Rut and Into B&O American Brasserie


You know how you get into ruts with restaurants? You stick close to home, stay with safe bets on dishes or go to the same places over and over. I sometimes joke that I never leave Hampden, but…I’m really lucky. Since moving to my ‘hood 13 years ago, it has become better and better, especially where food is concerned. We have some pretty great places like The Food MarketCorner BYOBArtifact CoffeeBirroteca and more. But everyone has to branch out and I’ve been doing lots of that lately.

Last month I did a piece on spring cocktails around town and for it, I went out for drinks six nights in a row. I honestly was exhausted. But really glad I did it. I met some great people and had incredibly creative cocktails. On my tour, I visited B&O American Brasserie in the Hotel Monaco (Baltimore & Charles).  It’s in a ‘hood I don’t visit often since I don’t live or work downtown, which is part of the reason I hadn’t been there in about two years. I’d forgotten how gorgeous the 1906 Beaux Arts building is – it’s the former headquarters for the B&O Railroad. After valeting your car, make sure you walk through the hotel’s lobby to take it all in.

B&O Brasserie

Here are the cocktails my friend and I had that first night – they were fantastic.