Food & Drink

Hot Plate: Oyfest 6, Baltimore Beer Night at the BMI, wine dinners and more

This week is chock full of fun events featuring beer, wine and spirits – including a beer discussion and tasting at the Baltimore Museum of Industry on Thursday.

Mid-November is prime time for food in Baltimore. From comfort food to wine dinners to holiday catering menus, this week offers tons of opportunities to eat and drink well. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

In response to one-star review, Atlas Restaurant Group attacks The Sun

Image via the Atlas Restaurant Group’s Facebook page.

Baltimore Sun reviewer Christina Tkacik thought the crab cakes at The Choptank were bland, the french fries were “cardboard-stiff,” the calamari had too much Old Bay (if there is such a thing) and the atmosphere was stuffy.

Q&A: Chef Zack Mills talks oysters, seafood, and creating a menu that celebrates the Chesapeake at True Chesapeake Oyster Co.

True Chesapeake Chef Zack Mills.

Step into the month-old Hampden restaurant True Chesapeake Oyster Co., and you can almost see and taste the Chesapeake Bay. Jay Fleming’s photos of lighthouses floating on the water grace the walls and the color palette contains various shades of blue. Its signature dish makes its way into the design as thousands of crushed oyster shells are featured in the wraparound bar and oyster cages hang near the entrance.

“There are so many vignettes around the restaurant that make me smile,” says Chef and Partner Zack Mills says of the first restaurant in Whitehall Mill, an 18th century mill undergoing restoration by Terra Nova ventures. “When you’re in a building that’s really beautiful, it’s more fun to come to work.”

Heavy Seas Beer announces Froot Joose IPA


In the latest spin on its signature Loose Cannon IPA, Heavy Seas Beer is loading up the fruit juice–er, froot joose.

The second brew in the Joose Cannon series remixing Loose Cannon is hazier and juicier than the flagship beer, the brewery announced today. Thanks to Citra, Galaxy and Enigma hops, the Froot Joose IPA has hints of a fruit punch, with notes of pineapple and citrus rising to the surface, the brewery said.

Reminder: It’s Matthew Judon Day at area Taco Bell locations

A Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco. Image via Taco Bell’s Facebook.

Among the many wonderful things to happen during the Baltimore Ravens’ dominant win over the New England Patriots last Sunday was linebacker Matthew Judon’s on-air introduction.

As the “Sunday Night Football” production team cycled through the Ravens defense, with each player saying his name and college program, Judon made the beautiful, out-of-left-field pronouncement “Matthew Judon, body built by Taco Bell.”

Hot Plate: All Things Apple at Union Collective, Fells Point Wing Fling, Champagne at Magdalena and more

Union Collective hosts All Things Apple, a festival celebrating the fall fruit, on Saturday.

This week offers food lovers the opportunity to celebrate everything from champagne to chicken wings–and oysters, of course, since it’s autumn in Baltimore. Here’s a look at what’s coming up in the local restaurant scene:

The Laughing Pint in Highlandtown to close later this month

Image via Facebook.

The Laughing Pint, a Highlandtown corner bar that felt as lived-in and welcoming as any canonical Baltimore watering hole, will close later this month after 13 years in business.

Guinness launches stock ale aged in Bulleit Bourbon barrels

Courtesy of Guinness Open Gate Brewery.

Just in time for the very-real International Stout Day, Guinness Open Gate Brewery is releasing a heavy a blended beer aged in the barrels that house delicious bourbon.

The full name: Guinness Stock Ale Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels. Pretty straightforward. But what exactly is in the stock ale?

Excerpt from ‘Lost Restaurants of Baltimore’: Jimmy Wu’s New China Inn


Two years ago, fellow food writer Suzanne Loudermilk and I set out on a journey to explore the stories behind the beloved restaurant’s of Baltimore’s past–places that were once hot spots but, over the years, shut their doors for one reason or another. The result was “Lost Restaurants of Baltimore,” which includes the tales of 35 of the most iconic restaurants from Baltimore’s past, from those that came and went in the 19th and early 20th centuries, to those that closed their doors just a few years ago.

Baltimoreans are a notoriously nostalgic bunch, so convincing local restaurant owners, chefs, wait staff and guests to share their memories was a fun experience. We heard stories of favorite dishes, of wild nights in kitchens and of famous faces in dining rooms. We include those stories–and more–in the book.

Below, we’ve shared one chapter from the book, the story of Jimmy Wu’s New China Inn, a N. Charles Street destination from the late 1940s through the early 1980s. Like many of the restaurants featured in the book, the New China Inn’s story has a little bit of everything. Inside the dining room, Jimmy Wu’s inviting personality was a dominant force, while outside the restaurant’s walls, Baltimorean’s tastes and attitudes rapidly evolved.

Hot Plate: Dia de los Muertes at La Calle, fall cocktails at Clavel and Topside, champagne dinner at Charleston and more

The Gettysburg, Golden Hour cocktail at Topside is one of a new crop of autumnal drinks available around Baltimore this season. (Photo by Grace Clark.)

The candy is gone and the temps have dropped: It’s November. But it’s not time for turkey just yet. This week in the Baltimore restaurant scene, there’s a diverse collection of events planned, from wine tastings to margarita pitchers.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up: