Gunther & Co. is one of many local restaurants making the most of the season with produce-heavy dishes. Photo courtesy of Gunther & Co.

The air is hot and humid but tomatoes are ripe and peaches are sweet – July is a great time for dining in Baltimore. Here’s a look at what local restaurants have on tap this week:

Openings & announcements

The Bluebird Pub will reopen on Friday, July 22. The pub will be open Fridays and Saturdays and will offer a menu featuring American whiskeys, beer, wine and bar snacks, including cured meats.

Atlas Restaurant Group announced this week that it will take over the Harbor East space that formerly housed Fleming’s Steakhouse. Atlas has plans to divide the space to create a 30-seat cocktail bar and a 200-seat steakhouse featuring a large wine cellar and dry-aging facility.

Bottomless brunch has returned at Of Love and Regret – it’s available every weekend day until 3 p.m.

Döner Brös has opened a new Harbor Point location.

Lexington Market has announced a few new vendors: mac and cheese spot Elbows and smash burger-maker Buns N’ Sons.

The Tilted Row has a new chef at the helm. Chef Amy Hessel is a Houston native who attended Baltimore International College’s culinary program and worked at Josef’s Country Inn and Gunpowder Fall Brewing.

Storm reports

Tuesday afternoon’s wild storm left a large swath of the region without power – including numerous restaurants and food-related businesses. Given the scope of the outage and damage done to some areas, some of those businesses haven’t been able to reopen right away.

Before heading out to your favorite spot, check to make sure they are open. And consider making an extra stop or purchase at places impacted by the storm; in addition to the financial hit of not being able to open as usual, some lost considerable amounts of food due to the power outage.

Birdland Crab Feast

On Sunday, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood is hosting a second edition of its popular Birdland Crab Feast event benefiting Special Olympics Maryland. The party includes crabs, of course, plus a big buffet with lots of non-crab options, bottomless beer and wine, chances to win Orioles goodies, and more.

Mandela Day chicken

On July 18, Nando’s PERi-PERi reprises its annual Mandela Day event, honoring the birthday of anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., all U.S. locations of the restaurant (which was founded in South Africa) will give guests free quarter chickens and chips.

Nando’s will also collect school supplies and donations to pass along to local non-profit organizations.

Crop to Keg at Inverness

Starting Thursday, head to Inverness Brewing for a fun outdoor weekend of great beer plus food and goods from other local farmers and businesses. The Monkton brewery’s Crop to Keg weekend will offer opportunities to pick up produce, flowers, bread, honey and more. Plus, there will be extended hours and live music every evening and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Good Bad Taste at Tapas Teatro

To collaborate with The Charles Theatre’s series “The Filthiest Films Ever Made,” Tapas Teatro has created a fun new cocktail menu celebrating the “good bad taste” of John Waters. Drinks include the Car Accident, a vodka, lemon-lime soda and Luxardo drink honoring “Female Trouble,” and the Miss Baltimore Crabs, a vodka, lemon, ginger beer and Old Bay concoction made for “Hairspray.”

All about Restaurant Week

This week marks the start of not just one, but two, restaurant week promotions.

Beginning on Monday, July 18, Black Restaurant Week kicks off in the Baltimore/Washington area. The event lasts through Sunday, July 31; during that time, local Black-owned restaurants will offer specials, promotions and more. Lots of Baltimore restaurants are participating this year, including Fishnet, The Land of Kush, and Cuples Tea House.

This week also marks the start of Baltimore Restaurant Week; the event starts on Friday, July 22 and also lasts through July 31. Restaurant Week participants will offer prix-fixe menus at $25, $35 and/or $45, along with other fun promotions and activities.

Produce plates

This is the best time of year to indulge in local produce. Local restaurants know this and are putting together plates that make the most of the season.

At La Cuchara, a salad of tomatoes, basil and pickled zucchini is garnished with fresh ricotta and smoky croutons.

The Food Market’s salmon panzanella also involves fancy croutons – this time marinated – tossed with tomatoes, grilled sweet corn, arugula, burrata and peaches.

At The Corner Pantry, the tomatoes are strained to a pulp and mixed with ricotta to create a savory filling for a pastry.

This weekend’s menu at Peter’s Inn includes all kinds of seasonal produce, like eggplant, basil and fava bean pesto with burrata, and crab corn bisque with chive oil and peekytoe crab.

Alma Cocina Latina dresses up tomato gazpacho with Dijon aioli, basil oil and balsamic pearls, creating a dish that is as gorgeous as it is flavorful.

At Café Gia, the summer flavors are also in the glass, with housemade options like watermelon mint ‘cello.

Gunther & Co. has veggies all over its menu, including on top of a crispy flatbread.

True Chesapeake Oyster Co.’s menu includes a chilled tomato beer soup topped with blue crab and Fresno chilis.

Planning for the future

Mark your calendars for:

July 23: Bmore for Ukraine Festival

Aug. 1: Lobsterama begins at Gertrude’s

Sept. 30: Passion for Food and Wine benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Maryland

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