Hot Plate: Bastille Day dining, make-your-own rocks glasses at Sagamore Spirit, gearing up for Restaurant Week and more

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This week includes plenty of opportunities to grab great fries – from food truck stops to Bastille Day dinners.

As summer kicks into high gear, it’s prime time to get out and about and explore the local dining scene. Here’s a look at what’s coming up this week:

Vacation news
Several local spots have shut their doors – briefly – to take much-deserved vacations.

Café Troia is closed this weekend for vacation but will be back on the evening of July 13.

Sotto Sopra is also temporarily closed for vacation and will return on July 12.

Magdalena’s crew returns from their own holiday and “summer refresh” for dinner service on Friday — today!

Maryland Food Truck Week
Maryland Food Truck Week starts Friday. For the next two weeks, local food trucks will be out in force, popping up all over the region.

The Food Truck Week website includes daily calendars for easy planning. This weekend includes tons of potential stops, including the Hopkins Farm Brewery first anniversary party on Saturday. The Havre de Grace brewery will host Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, The Pit Shack, Cowboy Eats and Dough Slingers Funnel Cakes.

On Sunday, there’s another great lineup, including a Bmore Greek Grill stop in Nottingham for the Perry Hall Food Trucks for Leah Fundraiser.

Like spice?
On Sunday, Water Song Yunnan Kitchen is all about the spice. The restaurant is hosting a spicy crab challenge: finish three crabs seasoned in Water Song’s spiciest style and you’ll receive 15% off your bill (for a table of up to six), a $20 gift card and a photo on the wall. You do have to sign a waiver to participate – and you can expect some real heat.

Making your own rocks glass
Also on Sunday – and also featuring heat, but of a different kind – head to Sagamore Spirit Distillery for a make-your-own rocks glass event, run by the crew from McFadden Art Glass.

During the outdoor event, guests will learn about the glassblowing process and will have the opportunity to make their own glasses (under the watchful eye of the McFadden staff); it’s an activity that’s a lot of fun. The event also includes a guided tasting of Sagamore products.

Bastille Day fêtes
Wednesday is Bastille Day, the annual celebration of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité – and amazing food.

At Petit Louis, which is always a fun Bastille Day stop, the menu starts with camembert, ends with macarons, and in the middle features lamb and ratatouille.

Chef’s Expressions makes its post-pandemic return to Gramercy Mansion for a Bastille Day wine supper featuring dishes like peach soup with lobster, paired with a Loire Valley Sancerre, and foie gras with duck confit “nuggets,” paired with a Burgundy Pinot Noir.

Women Crush Wednesday at Nick’s
You’ve heard of WCW on social media…but Nick’s Fish House is turning the hashtag into a real life event. On Wednesday, The Flywire and DJ Keebe will be at Nick’s to entertain while the crowd enjoys crabs, crushes and the vibe.

Baltimore Beer Week at Max’s
Wednesday, Max’s Taphouse kicks off Baltimore Beer Week 2021 – a multi-day focus on local brews at the quintessential Fells Point beer bar.

In addition to taps featuring Baltimore beers, Max’s has put together some fun events, including three days of “brews cruises” on the Baltimore Water Taxi. The cruises, which take place on July 15, 17 and 18, start off-boat, with a tasting at Max’s, then depart from the Fells water taxi dock.

Restaurant Week is coming
Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week is right around the corner – it starts July 23. The promotion is back to normal this summer, after a couple rounds of pandemic changes, and will likely be more fun than ever.

Participating restaurants have started sharing menus; now is the time to get a head start on planning your week and nabbing those reservations.

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for:
August 7: Crabs, Wine & Beer Festival 
August 21: Wanderland at the Shrine of St. Anthony 
September 25: Susquehanna Wine & Seafood Festival 

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