Hot Plate: Baltimore Seafood Festival, Dining Out for Life, pawpaws are back and much more

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Seafood is in the spotlight at several events this week, including the 6th annual Baltimore Seafood Festival on Saturday and an Ocean & Garden dinner at Noona Wednesday.

Baltimore’s food scene offers a little something for everyone this week, whether you’re a seafood lover, a dedicated carnivore or a foraging vegetarian. This week brings news of high-profile openings and some excellent opportunities to raise money for good causes while eating well.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings and announcements
Today is The Choptank’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony. Expect to see a lot of the new Fells Point crab house and seafood restaurant on the news this week.

Rice Crook, a Korean concept, has opened a stall in Cross Street Market.

True Chesapeake Oyster House, the much-anticipated Whitehall Mill seafood spot, was originally supposed to open this week, but the restaurant team has pushed the official first day of service to Oct. 1. 

The restaurant/bar/bookstore Busboys & Poets, which was founded in Washington D.C. in 2005, is opening a new outpost in Columbia. It will be part of the newly designated Merriweather District and is slated to open in 2020.

Baltimore magazine reports that, sadly, the Upper Fells Point café Canela closed last week. 

Haute Dog Carte, the beloved hot dog spot in Mt. Washington, has served its last dog. The owners announced on Facebook that as of Sept. 2, they are closed indefinitely.

Baltimore Seafood Festival
One of the biggest events this weekend is the sixth annual Baltimore Seafood Festival, which takes place at Canton Waterfront Park on Saturday afternoon.

The festival, which is always a huge hit, is kid-friendly but also lots of fun for adults, featuring dishes from more than 40 local restaurants and food trucks. Participating ones include Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, Bertha’s, Faidley’s, Nick’s Fish House, The Urban Oyster and more.

Tire Shop pop-up series back at Parts & Labor
On Saturday afternoon, chef Pat Morrow heads to the old Parts & Labor space for a fun BBQ pop-up.

Chef Morrow will be cooking meats on a wood-fire grill; options include slow-smoked pit beef, smoked and grilled chicken wings, and smoked and fried cauliflower steak, among other things. Plus, the bar crew from R. House will be on hand with cocktails and other beverages.

Bon Anniversaire to L’Eau de Vie
On Saturday, L’Eau de Vie Organic Brasserie celebrates one year in business–congratulations to them! The restaurant will mark the event with a party (open to the public) featuring live music and lots of festivities.

Rock and Rye
On Saturday, WTMD takes over Port Covington for Rock and Rye–A Maryland Spirits & Music Showcase.

The event starts at 6 p.m. and features spirits from 18 Maryland distilleries, plus sets from DJ WHO and DJ Baby Alcatraz and a live show by Never Ending Fall (NEF).

Korean Fried Chicken Party at Fadensonnen
On Sunday, chef Seung Hee Lee will pop up at Fadensonnen, cooking Korean food (including fried chicken, of course). The party will also include special wine pairings and music from Dan Deacon.

Pawpaw season
Pawpaws, the historically interesting, sweet fruit native to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is in-season right now. Pawpaw season is short and harvesting the fruit is tricky, so if you like it, make sure you grab one while they’re ripe.

Two Boots Farm in Hampstead is one of a handful of local farms that grows and harvests pawpaws. They’ve just released their “pawpaw pop-up” schedule for the year, which includes a couple D.C.-area stops and a booth at the JFX Farmers’ Market, with pawpaws available every Sunday this month.

Hendrick’s Garden Party at Gunther & Co.
On Sunday afternoon, Gunther & Co. will host Hendrick’s Gin and the crew from Flowers & Fancies for a garden party, to be held on the patio.

Guests will have the chance to sip gin cocktails while they create their own floral bouquets to take home.

Top Crab Cake Challenge
Who makes the best crab cake in Baltimore? Everyone has an opinion!

On Tuesday evening at Patapsco Arena, a bunch of restaurants and catering companies will pit their crab cakes against one another during Maryland’s Top Crab Cake Challenge, an event benefiting the Ed Bock Courage Award Foundation. Participants include Raw Bar Baltimore, Al’s Seafood and more.

There will be sweets and beer and wine from local companies, as well.

Ocean & Garden dinner at Noona’s
On Wednesday, instead of regular dinner service, Noona’s will open for a special dinner featuring seafood and produce from the mid-Atlantic region, plus foraged fruits, herbs and mushrooms.

The 10-course meal is a collaborative effort between chef Cai Lindeman (formerly of The Dabney in D.C.), Brian Javier (formerly of Parts & Labor), Irvin Seo of Old Boy and Collin Morstein of Scratch Made. That’s a killer lineup of chefs; the dinner is sure to be a special one.

Learn to make pasta
Cosima hosts an end of summer cooking class on Wednesday. The focus is on how to make pasta, perfect for the seasonal change as we shift into fall. Carb weather!

Wine and cheese pairing at the French Paradox
Also on Wednesday, Slow Food Baltimore teams up with French Paradox Wines and Loaf Bakehouse for a wine and cheese pairing class. It’s sure to be illuminating and fun–and also delicious.

Dining Out for Life
Thursday is a huge day in restaurant fundraising, when Baltimore’s annual Dining Out for Life event takes place all over the city and surrounding counties.

That day, participating restaurants will donate a portion of proceeds to Moveable Feast, a nonprofit that helps feed Marylanders with life-threatening illnesses. To get involved, diners don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary–just go out to eat at a participating restaurant (and consider making a reservation to make sure you get a spot!).

The event is a great one, raising tons of money and offering a wonderful excuse to go out for dinner (or lunch or breakfast… or all three). For more information and a list of participating restaurants, visit the Dining Out for Life website.

Taste for the Cure
On Thursday, Nottingham gets tasty with Taste for the Cure, a foodie event benefiting Susan G. Komen Maryland.

The party, which takes place at Columbus Gardens, features food from tons of local restaurants, including Lib’s Grill, under-the-radar favorite Ravage Deli and McFaul’s Iron Horse Tavern.

Brew news
The Baltimore beer scene is hot right now and this week is an especially fun one, with the release of a couple new brews.

On Friday, Sept. 20, Heavy Seas releases Dat Booty Doe, an Oktoberfest-style lager that’s a collaboration with MIX 106.5’s Reagan and Bethany. The beer will be celebrated at a party at the Heavy Seas taproom that afternoon.

And tomorrow, Guinness Open Gate Brewery celebrates the launch of its second-ever nationally-released canned beer: Over the Moon Milk Stout. The beer will be available all over the country this fall, but locals can taste it first, starting Saturday, at the brewery.

The Brewer’s Art celebrates 23 years
Also of note among local beer makers, The Brewer’s Art is celebrating its 23rd anniversary today by cutting drafting beer prices to their original levels, “partying like it’s 1996.” It’s even the very same day–Friday the 13th–that they originally opened.

Planning Ahead
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:

Sept. 21: Charm City Night Market 
Sept. 22: The Big Dill Pickle Party 
Oct. 12: Ryleigh’s Oysterfest 13 

Kit Pollard

Kit Waskom Pollard is a Baltimore Fishbowl contributing writer.She writes Hot Plate every Friday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.


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