Hot Plate: Bacardi dinner at The Bygone, Boiler Room opens, DaMimmo closes and more

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Bourbon, whiskey and rum lovers have their pick of tasting events and cocktail dinners this week.

It’s cold outside but with local restaurant week promotions in full swing and a handful of fun events on the horizon, there are plenty of good reasons to bundle up and head out to eat in Baltimore this week. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings & Announcements
The Boiler Room in Highlandtown officially opened this past week.

Rathskeller in Elkridge is now open for lunch Monday to Saturday and Sunday brunch.

For the new year, Pierpoint has brought back its popular $14 midweek meals, including dishes like gruyere chicken pot pie, which might be the perfect January food.

This week also brought a bit of disappointing news. The Little Italy classic Da Mimmo announced on Wednesday that it has closed its doors. However, some members of the restaurant’s team will continue to work together, organizing and hosting guided trips to Italy.

Coelum, the very good Canton restaurant that opened last year, announced on Facebook that due to infrastructure problems, they have closed indefinitely. But they do hope to resolve the problems in their building so they can reopen. Hopefully, that’ll happen soon.

Baltimore Restaurant Week
Baltimore City’s Restaurant Week is underway, with city restaurants offering $15 or $20 two-course brunches and lunches and three-course dinners for $25, $35 or $45. This year’s promotion officially lasts until Jan. 19, but some restaurants have already announced extensions, so if you haven’t hit your favorite spot yet, now is the time.

Baltimore County’s Restaurant Week begins Friday and lasts through Feb. 1. The county’s event features prix fixe menus ranging from $15 to $35.

Happy birthday, Betty White!
To celebrate our national treasure, Betty White, turning 98, Johnny’s is offering a turmeric-spiced hot chocolate, called “The Golden Girl,” for $5.

NiHao pop-up at Salt
The soon-to-open spot NiHao hosts a weekend-long pop-up at Salt in Butcher’s Hill. To try some of the creative Asian dishes and drinks you might see when NiHao opens in Canton later this year, head to Salt this Friday or Saturday. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also call ahead for reservations.

Dining for a cause
A couple local spots are turning their focus on the devastating Australian fires this week, hosting fundraisers to generate funds to help the people and animals affected by the fires.

At Duck Duck Goose, all Friday dinner proceeds will be donated to Ellen Degeneres’ Australia Bushfire Relief Fund. The same fundraiser will also take place at Duck Duck Goose Bethesda and George’s Chophouse, both of which are also helmed by DDG Baltimore’s chef Ashish Alfred.

On Sunday, a portion of La Food Marketa’s brunch proceeds will be donated to the Australian Red Cross.

Top shelf tipples
Chilly weather makes sipping a warm drink that much more appealing. Whatever your poison, local restaurants have a good opportunity for you this week.

Monday, The Bygone teams up with Bacardi for a cocktail dinner featuring four luxe courses, each paired with a Bacardi cocktail. Courses include a saucisson sec pork plate paired with a duck fat washed Bacardi old fashioned, and scallops matched with a Bacardi and Cocchi concoction.

On Wednesday, Liberatore’s Bel Air location hosts a bourbon tasting dinner highlighting four bourbons, each paired with a dish. Courses include matches like Old Forester 1920 paired with espresso-rubbed New York strip with bacon mushroom sauce.

On Thursday, La Cuchara hosts its annual Whiskey Rocks event benefiting Pathfinders for Autism. The party includes signature dishes from the Basque restaurant plus the opportunity to sample premium whiskeys.

Maryland Made Drinks
Tuesday evening, the MPT show “Maryland Farm and Harvest” airs an episode dedicated to locally made drinks. The show, which sounds fascinating, features a variety of types of beverages, from paw paw lemonade to kombucha to wine.

Lunar New Year celebrations
Lunar New Year–also known as Chinese New Year–takes place on Jan. 25 this year, and a couple local spots have events planned to mark the occasion, as we enter the Year of the Rat.

The Corner Pantry will celebrate a day early, on Friday, Jan. 24, putting a fun Baltimore spin on the holiday, in honor of our beloved rats.

Chez Hugo’s celebrations start Thursday and run through Saturday, Jan. 25. The downtown bistro will offer its regular menu during that time but will also have a special menu, including dishes like whole Peking-style duck served with bao buns and other side dishes. Diners must pre-order the Lunar New Year menu, so if you’re planning to give it a try, be sure to call ahead.

Planning Ahead
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:
Feb. 23-25: Harry Potter at The Charmery 
Feb. 28: Partying through Time Workshop at London Town 
March 11: Stag’s Leap Wine Dinner at The Milton Inn

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