Hot Plate: Bentley’s, Gangster Vegan and Bon Fresco open, new menu at Pitango, La Cuchara farmers’ market dinner and more

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Pitango in Fells Point has recently introduced a bunch of new menu items, including cocktails and sandwiches made on freshly baked bread.

As summer winds down, the Baltimore restaurant scene is heating up. This week brings news of openings, pop-ups, collaborations and a couple terrific-sounding seasonal dinners.

Openings and announcements
Gangster Vegan Organics (GVO) opens in Cross Street Market today. The vegan menu is all-natural, with food and drinks that are “organic, unprocessed, raw, soy and gluten-free.”

Pitango Bakery + Café in Fells Point has recently expanded its location and menu. The café has a new slate of cocktails and sandwiches made on bread baked in-house. Keep an eye out for special events over the next month or so, too; the café is hosting Saturday night wine tastings, waterfront yoga classes and more.

Bentley’s Restaurant, Bar & Lounge has opened in a spot along Antique Row on N. Howard Street.

A new outpost of Bon Fresco, the coffee and sandwich shop with several locations around the state, opened in the Inner Harbor on Thursday. This location will be run by Dooby’s and Noona’s owner Phil Han; his father-in-law founded the chain.

The Choptank, the Broadway Market seafood restaurant being developed by Atlas Restaurant Group, now has an opening date. The hotly anticipated spot will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 13 and is set to open to the public the following week.

The Alexander Brown Restaurant debuted new lunch and dinner menus this week.

To Bean or Not to Bean, a new café on the first floor of the Baltimore Center Stage theater, opened earlier this month. The café serves snacks, plus hot and cold coffee drinks and teas.

Food at the Fair
The Maryland State Fair is back as of yesterday, and that means it’s fair food time.

One new local addition to the lineup is an interesting take: Goetze’s, maker of Cow Tales, will be serving up a Fried Sour Strawberry Cow Tale on a Stick.

Yes, that’s a lot to wrap your head around. The Sour Strawberry Cow Tale flavor is new, available for a limited time. And the fried element? That’s classic fair food.

REVIVE!
On Saturday, the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City comes alive with REVIVE! Divine Food + Divine Beer. The annual event, organized by the Brewers Association of Maryland and Baltimore magazine, features beers from the 2018 Maryland Craft Beer Competition winners, a who’s who list of local craft breweries.

The evening will also include live music and terrific food.

Farmers’ market dinner at La Cuchara
Right now is just about the best time of year for local Maryland produce. The tomatoes are beautiful, the corn is plentiful, and farmers’ market tables are overflowing with peppers and squash.

On Sunday, La Cuchara is teaming up with the Maryland Farmers Market Association to celebrate all this bounty. The Basque restaurant will host a dinner using ingredients from local farmers, paired with cocktails made with Hex Ferments products.

A portion of proceeds will benefit the Maryland Market Money program, which provides matching funds to low-income families who use benefits like SNAP and WIC to purchase food at farmers’ markets.

Murder Mystery Dinner at Cunningham’s
On Sunday night, get your Clue on at Cunningham’s, when the Towson restaurant hosts a Murder Mystery Dinner based on the famous board game. The meal will be interactive and is sure to be a good time.

Don’t fear if you can’t make it on Sunday, as the restaurant plans to host similar evening events once a month through the fall.

Fun at Fadensonnen
Fadensonnen in Old Goucher has had a great lineup of food pop-ups lately, with faces both new and familiar.

This week’s visitors include Liberian food truck COL BOL on Friday, Filipino pop-up Masarap on Saturday, Stone’s Throw Hash for brunch on Sunday, followed by Sorofia’s Taste of Kenya food truck for dinner that evening, and a visit from Ekiben owner Steve Chu’s Ojichan Tsukemen food truck on Wednesday.

Happenings at Guinness
Guinness Open Gate Brewery is getting a head start on Labor Day this year, with the Tuesday launch of Guinness x Carhartt Labor Day Lager, a new beer collaboration between the Guinness crew and the apparel company. Proceeds from the brew will support Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that supports veterans who mobilize to help people and areas suffering from natural disasters.

As part of the collaboration, Guinness and Carhartt partnered with designer and engineer Jimmy Diresta to design and build three bars, here in Baltimore. Two of the bars will be sent to Team Rubicon operations spots (one in Houston and one in Dallas) and the third will be auctioned off to benefit the nonprofit.

Made in Baltimore Maker Conversation with Wild Kombucha
On Thursday, Made in Baltimore welcomes the founders of Wild Kombucha to the SNF Parkway Theatre for an installment of its (free) Maker Conversations series of talks.

The discussion will offer insight into the Wild Kombucha story and why the team has chosen Baltimore as its home.

French collaboration
On Thursday, Chez Hugo Bistro will welcome Sacré Sucre Pastry Studio for a one-evening-only dessert tasting event.

The bistro’s regular menu will be available for dinner (eat lightly!) and, for dessert, there will be a special collaborative tasting menu with six fabulous dishes.

Valle d’Aosta wine dinner at Café Troia
Café Troia’s monthly wine dinner is next Thursday, and this month, the event features wines and dishes from the tiny northwestern region Valle d’Aosta.

The five-course meal will include dishes influenced by the cuisine of the region, which borders France and Switzerland. Among the dishes: beef tenderloin carpaccio and homemade potato gnocchi with fontina, truffle butter and red wine.

Vegan Restaurant Week still going strong
Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week started last week and is still going strong. From now through Sept. 1, local restaurants offer special vegan menus and fun events.

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

September 21: Charm City Night Market
September 22: The Big Dill Pickle Party
October 12: Ryleigh’s Oysterfest 13



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