Photo via press handout

As summer winds down, the local food scene is heating up. This week brings numerous events, from cocktail dinners to crab feast fundraisers. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings & Announcements

Blue Moon Café celebrates its 21st birthday this weekend! Both the Fells Point and Federal Hill locations of the super-popular breakfast joint will celebrate with food and drink specials, like Bloody Mary eggs Benedict and champagne and strawberry French toast.

Modern Cook Shop has a new chef and a new menu. On Wednesday, get to know executive chef Corey Laub at “A New Taste of Modern Cook Shop,” with a three-course tasting celebrating the launch of the restaurant’s brand new menu.

Baltimoreans who fly south for the winter will have something new to look forward to next season, when Loch Bar opens an outpost in Boca Raton. This is the second Boca expansion for the owners of Atlas Restaurant Group; Ouzo Bay opened a Florida location last year.

Baltimore received some sad news this week, too, when Ryleigh’s Oyster announced it was closing its Mt. Vernon location. The restaurant, which originally opened in 2014, closed this past week. The Federal Hill and Timonium locations remain open.

On a happier note, many Baltimore restaurants are extending their Restaurant Week specials through the weekend, or even through the month. So if there’s someplace you were hoping to check out but you ran out of time, check their social media pages or give them a call – you might not be too late!

Saturday Fun

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a fun day for local food lovers.

Start your morning at the Waverly Farmer’s Market, where Gertrude’s chef Doug Wetzel will be showing off his pastry chops with his Donut Stop Believin’ pop-up. This week’s pop-up will be Harry Potter-themed, and all tips go straight to Moveable Feast.

After the farmer’s market, stop by The Food Market for a mimosa or two: Saturday mimosa sales will be donated to Believe in Music, a nonprofit that promotes music education. Believe in Music will also be the beneficiary of a portion of proceeds from brunch at Miss Shirley’s on Wednesday, Aug. 16, so consider a mid-week trip there, too!

Starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Waverly Brewing Company (the other Waverly – not Waverly Farmer’s Market) is the place to be. The brewery is teaming up with The Local Oyster and Smoking Bowls for a Buddha Tooth beer release and “Orient Meets the Bay” pop-up collaboration featuring Asian/Bay-inspired dishes like crab cake steamed buns and raw oysters with cucumber-ginger mignonette.

Also on Saturday, the Al-Rahmah School Education Trust is hosting the Muslim Food Fest, a festival of halal foods. The event includes entertainment, games and other vendors, plus halal food from all over the region.

Also on Saturday, Union Square Baltimore will host its third annual Crab Feast Fundraiser in Union Square Park. The event features all-you-can-eat crabs plus a bake sale, games and face-painting for kids, and other fun additions.

And finally, it’s peach season in Maryland, which means peach cake, peach jam, peach ice cream – and Weber’s Cider Mill Farm’s Peach Festival. The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday and includes all kinds of great food, plus crafts, art, live music and more.

Coffee with Lindsay

Beloved barista Lindsay DiFabbio is returning to Johnny’s for one morning only this weekend. On Sunday, starting at 9 a.m., DiFabbio will return to the Johnny’s coffee bar, where she used to work – if you miss her, don’t miss this!

Mason Dixon Finals

Have you heard about the Mason Dixon Master Chef competition? It’s a head-to-head cooking competition pitting some of Baltimore’s best and brightest against one another. The competition happens over the course of multiple events. This Sunday is the final installment.

The finale takes place at Points South Latin Kitchen in Fells Point; doors open at 5:30 on Sunday. Chef Fabio Mura of Grille 620 and River Hill Grill will compete against Chef Damon Hersh of The Inn at Brookeville Farms.

Cocktails in the City

On Monday, Aug. 14, head to Harbor East for a multi-course cocktail dinner at Ouzo Bay. The five-course meal will include dishes like grilled mahi mahi and Australian lamb lion and each course is paired with a custom cocktail.

On Thursday, Birroteca joins the cocktail game with an event dubbed Cultivating Unusual Cocktails with Hendrick’s. The evening will feature a variety of drinks showcasing the botanicals associated with Hendrick’s, including classics, new concoctions and even popsicles.

Hopfest at Max’s

Starting on Thursday and lasting all weekend long, Max’s will host its annual Hopfest, featuring over 70 beers on draft, 50-plus bottles and cans and several beers in casks. The weekend will also include a special can release from Baltimore-based Diamondback Brewing Company.

Planning Ahead

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

August 19: Crab Bash at B&O American Brasserie 

August 26: Vegan Soulfest 

September 15: Picnic in the Park

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