Hot Plate: Bluebird turns two, fried chicken and champagne at Chez Hugo Bistro, Gertrude’s Crabaret and more

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Bluebird Cocktail Room, which celebrates its 2nd anniversary Sunday, has added several new seasonal drinks to its menu.

The fireworks might be over, but summertime is just heating up in Baltimore. Local restaurants and shops are celebrating the season–and themselves–this week with new menu additions and fun events. Here’s what’s coming up:

Openings and announcements
The Baltimore Business Journal reported this week that The Charmery’s operators plan to open an outpost on Cross Street in Federal Hill. This shop will be on the smaller side, with a walk-up window only. No word yet on an opening date yet.

Fishnet, a College Park seafood restaurant, will open a location in Mt. Vernon Marketplace this summer. The grand opening celebration is next Friday, July 12.

Sam’s Canterbury Café is closed for a quick summer vacation. Doors will be open again July 9.

Wine and drinks at Bar Vasquez
On Friday and Saturday, Bar Vasquez is offering a special four-course menu featuring two wine pairings with each course: you get to try both and decide which is the better option. The menu includes dishes like fluke ceviche with spicy grapefruit and ginger citronette plus avocado and radish, paired with Durigutti Cab Franc or Zorzal Pinot Noir, and lobster and corn cake with mushroom vinaigrette and fennel pollen pesto paired with Fabre Montmayou Malbec or Las Casas de Vaqueria Carménère.

Also at Bar Vasquez, the new July happy hour menu is in full swing. It includes a peach cocktail that’s already earned rave reviews.

Independence Day continues at Broadway Market
Broadway Market is keeping the 4th of July celebrations kicking through the weekend with a Saturday block party hosted by El Tigre. The party on the patio includes lawn games, classic outdoor fare like pulled pork, and tiki drinks featuring Baltimore Spirits Company products.

Busy month at Chez Hugo
Chez Hugo Bistro has a lot going on right now, starting with Fried Chicken and Champagne on Saturday. That evening, in honor of National Fried Chicken Day, chef Steve Monnier’s menu will be lowbrow (fried chicken) and highbrow (champagne) at once.

Chez Hugo is also celebrating July with a monthlong Cellar Raid. It’s a great deal: with the purchase of any two entrees, diners can order an $11 bottle from a select menu, and the restaurant’s reserve list will be offered at a deep discount.

Happy 2nd to Bluebird
The Bluebird turns two on Sunday, and is celebrating with specials and prizes in both its pub and cocktail room all day long.

Both venues will have all-day happy hour prices, and $1 from every cocktail sold in both spaces will be donated to the Hampden Family Center. Drink purchases also come with raffle tickets to win a variety of prizes, like gift cards and a private cocktail class for six.

Bluebird has also added a handful of new drinks to its summer menu, including a vodka, Lillet Blank, corn, lime and sugarcane concoction called The Goddess Strikes #2.

Summer cocktails
And there are other local spots adding new, summery drink options to their menus.

Atlas Restaurant Group‘s The Bygone and Ouzo Beach have a couple new drinks that sound perfect for hot weather. The Bygone’s Bümer’s Manifest mixes Jägermeister Manifest with several juices, amaro, maple syrup and chartreuse for an elaborate tiki drink. And at Ouzo Bay, the This is Sparta! is a refreshing concoction of cucumber, tonic, vermouth and Jägermeister.

Here’s a list of some other summertime options (including the above) put together by The Sun‘s John-John Williams IV.

Project Fire on MPT
Season two of “Project Fire,” a barbecue show staring Maryland native Steven Raichlen, debuts on Maryland Public Television on Saturday at 1 p.m. The topic for this one, grilling with wood, is certainly appropriate for the long holiday weekend!

The season is 13 episodes long and includes one focused specifically on Maryland ‘cue. Mark your calendars; it airs Aug. 24.

Tastes of the Bay at Eddie’s
Eddie’s of Roland Park continues its 75th birthday celebrations on Thursday, with Tastes of the Bay at the N. Charles Street location.

The store will be teeming with free samples, free Utz crab chips for the first 100 attendees and Conrad’s crabs for purchase and carry-out. Plus, there will be live music and shrimp and corn dinners to enjoy on the patio.

Crabaret
The annual Crabaret celebration at Gertrude’s takes place on Thursday, July 11. The party, which happens outside in the Sculpture Garden at the Baltimore Museum of Art, benefits House of Ruth Maryland and features all sorts of fun crab dishes, plus dancing, an auction and excellent beers and wines.

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

July 14: Bastille Day at Petit Louis 
August 2: Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week 
August 10: Flower Farm Dinner at Two Boots Farm 



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