Topside’s Pimlico Pie is one of several traditional Maryland dishes found on special menus around the region this Thanksgiving.
Topside’s Pimlico Pie is one of several traditional Maryland dishes found on special menus around the region this Thanksgiving.

This time of year is a huge one for food lovers in Baltimore and beyond. Thanksgiving is, of course, the focus, but it’s not the only thing happening in the local restaurant scene. Check out below for other fun events and openings announced recently:

Openings & Announcements
The new outpost of the café Baby’s on Fire, located inside The Sound Garden in Fells Point, opened this week.

Trinacria’s Mount Vernon café has reopened.

NiHao, a “modern Chinese” restaurant from Chef Peter Chang, is set to open in Canton this winter.

Shake Shack has been announced as the first tenant at the Circle East redevelopment project in Towson. A 2020 opening is anticipated.

A new French bakery and café, Croustille Café, is slated to open in the Pikesville Shopping Center on Reisterstown Road.

Chef Jesse Sandlin has plans to open a new restaurant, Sally O’s, in the old Laughing Pint space.

The Manor, a new restaurant and “ultralounge,” will open in the former home of The Elephant during the winter of 2020.

Unfortunately, Batch Bake Shop in Hamilton is closing.

New menus
Ida B’s Table has revamped its lunch menu to offer a more casual dining experience. The new menu is concise, with a focus on favorites like smoked fried chicken and a build-your-own-bowl option.

And Cinghiale has launched a new enoteca menu that sounds terrific. One of many new options is a classic lasagna made with veal.

Jubilee at Gunther & Co.
On Saturday afternoon, Gunther & Co. welcomes Toni Tipton-Martin, a James Beard Award-winning author of “The Jemima Code,” and the first African American food editor of a daily American newspaper, for Jubilee: a Celebration of African American Cooking.

The luncheon, hosted by Les Dames d’Escoffier, features recipes from two centuries of African-American cooking, and a presentation by Tipton-Martin.

Baltimore Whiskey Festival
Calling all whiskey lovers: On Saturday, the Baltimore Whiskey Festival takes over The Assembly Room for the evening. The festival includes tons of food and fun and, of course, lots of whiskey. More than 100 whiskies from all over the world will be available for sampling. The event also includes seminars given by whiskey and scotch experts.

Hops Vines Beers Wines
On Saturday night, Port Discovery Children’s Museum grows up a bit with an adult takeover and fundraiser featuring beer and wine from a variety of local and national makers, and light fare from local restaurants, including Ida B’s Table, Phillips Seafood and The Point.

During the event, guests will have a chance to check out (and play on) the museum’s new exhibits, while raising money for Port Discovery’s access programs.

$10 pasta at Sotto Sopra
On Sunday, Sotto Sopra is saying thank you to its loyal customers for a great year of business with an equally great deal: $10 pastas.

Belizean street food class
This is an interesting experience now available via AirBnB (though it has nothing to do with lodging): a local chef with Belizean roots is offering cooking classes for small groups (up to four people). The classes focus on street food and include discussion about the dishes and ingredients.

Miracle pop-up at Lib’s Grill
Get a jump start on the holiday season this year when Miracle, the holiday pop-up bar, takes over the Fulton and Perry Hall locations of Lib’s Grill and the Pasadena location of Mutiny Pirate Bar, starting on Monday.

The pop-up is a fun seasonal event that happens in different venues all over the world. It features specialty cocktails, lots of festive décor and a general air of holiday spirit.

Thanksgiving plans
Thanksgiving is on Thursday, which means if you’re planning to dine out or order in, now is the time to make those plans.

Last week we rounded up some options for catering your turkey day meal. If you’d rather dine out on Thanksgiving, local restaurants have you covered on that front, too. Some Baltimore restaurants open for the holiday include:

One World Café will kick off the holiday a little early, hosting a vegan Thanksgiving on Wednesday night.

Both Blue Moon Café locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, serving the standard menu plus some “traditional and not so traditional” Thanksgiving specials.

At Johnny’s, the menu includes classics such as roast turkey, plus additional specials like turkey leg confit, grilled Scottish salmon and braised beef short ribs.

At The Milton Inn, Chef Brian Boston offers a three-course meal including options like harvest salad and hand-carved turkey–with sauerkraut, of course.

Blackwall Hitch will offer a buffet including traditional dishes plus some of the restaurant’s specialties.

Charleston’s Thanksgiving menu looks gorgeous, with starter options like Charleston She Crab Soup or butternut squash and andouille sausage soup, mains including turkey (roasted breast and confit leg) or rockfish, and shared sides including collard greens and Hoppin’ John.

Chez Hugo’s menu also looks beautiful, with traditional dishes like roast turkey breast and sourdough stuffing alongside French-accented sides like potato gratin dauphinois. The bistro will also offer $10 and $20 carafes of Beaujolais Nouveau.

Rye Street Tavern’s three-course Thanksgiving meal will be available starting at 2 p.m. Options include everything from gumbo made with Wellfleet oysters and andouille sausage to confit turkey leg stuffing.

Rusty Scupper is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, serving a buffet featuring the traditional feast plus some Maryland-y additions, like oyster stuffing. And of course the meal also comes with the restaurant’s unparalleled view of the harbor.

Topside will be open for Thanksgiving brunch between 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and will have a prix-fixe Thanksgiving dinner available stating at 9 p.m. Dinner includes a variety of traditional sides, turkey or ham, fun appetizers and a choice of dessert.

The Capital Grille is offering a traditional turkey dinner, one that includes its terrific mashed potatoes.

The Oregon Grille’s Thanksgiving meal is full of classic dishes, including free-range turkey from Springfield Farms with pan gravy and herb stuffing.

Café Troia’s a la carte menu will be available on Thanksgiving Day, as well as a prix fixe dinner featuring traditional dishes.

The Manor Tavern’s Thanksgiving buffet includes all the holiday favorites, including several types of dressing and several more types of potatoes.

B&O American Brasserie will offer a traditional Thanksgiving meal–and the TV will be on football all afternoon and evening. Plus, a portion of proceeds from the Thanksgiving buffet will go to benefit No Kid Hungry.

Spirit Cruises offers a Thanksgiving Day lunch cruise, leaving from downtown, as well as special Thanksgiving cruises all weekend long.

The Four Seasons Hotel will celebrate with brunch in the hotel’s ballroom and a sneak peek of the hotel’s rooftop skating rink.

Citron will offer a three-course prix fixe meal with seatings between noon and 7 p.m. Private rooms are available for reservation, as well.

Alizee’s buffet will offer a variety of traditional and updated dishes, including gluten free and vegan options.

There’s also still a little time to order catered meals and/or desserts from a few places, including Chef’s Expressions, Eddie’s, Classic Catering, Ida B’s Table, Patisserie Poupon and The Charmery.

Also, in case you need to grab some last minute vino: BIN 604 in Harbor East (and its Annapolis counterpart BIN 201) will be open on Thanksgiving Day.

Christmas spirit starts
Once turkey day is over, it’s time to shift gears into the holiday season. This year, Baltimore’s Christmas Village is back in the Inner Harbor and, as ever, it is chock full of opportunities to shop, eat and drink. The village is modeled on German Christmas markets and visiting is a wonderful–and tasty–way to get into the spirit of the season.

Giving back is another excellent way to embrace the holiday vibe. On Black Friday, La Food Marketa will donate a portion of all brunch proceeds to the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation.

Planning Ahead
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:
Dec. 1: Ouzo Bay Cocktail Dinner 
Dec. 11: Cookies & Cocktails in Harbor East 
Dec. 15: Star Wars Brunch at Outpost American Tavern 

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

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