Sotto Sopra’s Opera Night is back this Sunday evening.
Sotto Sopra’s Opera Night is back this Sunday evening.

April is here and in Maryland, that brings warmer weather, the opening of crabbing season, and tons of good news in the food world. Here’s a look at what’s happening to kick off the month:

Openings and announcements
Hampden has a new Italian spot. Bella Italia has opened in the former home of 13.5% Wine Bar. 

Bonchon in Towson is celebrating a year in business, starting on April 11. The popular Korean chicken restaurant is marking the occasion with giveaways throughout the month and a free rice bowl to the first 100 customers dining in on April 11.

OMGFood auction is live
OMGFood, the annual fundraising event for The League for People with Disabilities, has launched its online auction. Auction participation is open to the public and includes some terrific options, including a five-course dinner and cocktail pairing by the team at State Fare in Catonsville.

Opera Night at Sotto Sopra
Sotto Sopra’s Opera Night, which was on extended pause during the pandemic, is back and as wonderful as ever. The next installment of the event is Sunday, April 3. The evening features several singers and a special menu with dishes like yellow corn risotto with sauteed shrimp and orange gremolata. Reservations can be made online or by calling the restaurant.

Faces from the radio at Tark’s
On Wednesday, personalities from WYPR and WTMD will take over behind the bar at Tark’s in Green Spring Station for a fun night of guest bartending while raising funds for the stations. This is a great opportunity to meet your favorite radio voices in person – and to see how they make a drink.

Razom benefit at La Cuchara
On Thursday, La Cuchara will donate all proceeds from the evening to Razom, the humanitarian organization delivering aid – including medical supplies – to the people of Ukraine.

The restaurant will be open as usual on Thursday – no set menu or tickets are needed, but reservations are recommended.

New Beers Day at True Chesapeake
Also on Thursday, True Chesapeake Oyster Co. will celebrate New Beers Day – a fun party featuring live music and new brews from Union Craft Brewing, Waverly Brewing and Checkerspot Brewing. Everyone’s first beer is only $1 and 1930’s attire is encouraged.

New month, new latte
April 1 means a new latte option at The Corner Pantry. The Brit-backed restaurant has introduced a Sticky Toffee Latte, inspired by the traditional English dessert sticky toffee pudding.

Booze-free beverages
With warmer weather upon us, it is prime time for fun cocktails. But sipping something exciting doesn’t have to come with a buzz. Several local spots are showcasing non-alcoholic drinks that look easily as enticing as high octane cocktails.

At The Bluebird, drinks like The Dead May Nourish #2, which is typically made with housemade squash soda and orange liqueur plus Catoctin Creek brandy, is also available in a zero-proof version concocted with herbal hydosols from Star Bright Farm.

Dylan’s Oyster Cellar offers NA Purple Drink, a pretty purple beverage made with blue lotus tea.

Duck Duck Goose’s cocktails – which are some of the most photogenic around – are also available with or without alcohol.

Easter plans
Easter is just a few weeks away, which means it’s time to start thinking about menus and reservations. Restaurants are just beginning to announce their plans and some, like Heritage Smokehouse, have released Easter Sunday carry out menus that will likely sell out – so if you’re planning to order in for Easter, now is the time to make some choices.

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for:
May 1: Fire Hero Chili Cook Off at Of Love & Regret 
May 28: Brew at the Zoo
June 11: Chesapeake Seafood Festival 

Kit Pollard

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