Hot Plate: Bluegrass and brews in Mt. Airy and Baltimore, Champagne at The A.B., Clavel at Union and more

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This weekend is a great one for food-friendly festivals, including the Bluegrass, Brew & BBQ Festival at Red Shedman Farm in Mt. Airy.

This week is a fun one in Baltimore, with tons of food-friendly festivals and special events celebrating beer, champagne and, of course, a lot of food. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings & Announcements
Mobtown Brewing Company in Brewer’s Hill officially opens on Friday with a kid- and dog-friendly party featuring beers and food from Wilde Thyme.

Bodhi Corner, the Hampden Thai spot that’s been earning rave reviews, will open a second location in the Federal Hill space that formerly housed Live2Eat and In Bloom.

Keystone Korner, a new jazz club with food from Michelin-starred chef Robert Wiedmaier, opens Tuesday in the old Mussel Bar & Grill space in Harbor East.

Cross Street Market is busy these days, announcing new vendors on a regular basis. This week’s additions to the lineup include Pizza di Joey, Gangster Vegan Organics and a bar from the team at Old Line Spirits. The market’s first vendors are slated to open next month.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse is reviving Prime Rib Sundays. Every Sunday, starting at 4 p.m., prime rib will be available in either 12- or 16-ounce portions.

Clavel at Union
Two local favorites team up Friday night when Clavel pops up at Union Craft Brewing. That’s a killer pairing and one you won’t want to miss.

Bluegrass weekend
This weekend is a big one for bluegrass (and food) lovers.

Charm City Bluegrass Festival takes over Druid Hill Park this Saturday and Sunday and, as in years past, the festival features some very fun food and drink options.

Union Craft Brewery creates a special beer for the festival each year: This year’s contribution is the aromatic Mountain Girl Hefeweizen (it will also be sold in cans at local retailers after the festival is over).

The Charmery also creates something new for the festival each year. This year’s custom flavor is Bluegrass Paletas, a blueberry lemongrass ice cream. At the festival, The Charmery will also offer Malty Chip, Ice Cream Sando and Blackberry White Chocolate.

Also on Saturday, Red Shedman Farm in Mt. Airy hosts Bluegrass, Brew & BBQ, featuring music from five bands, beer from 30 breweries, crafts and, of course, barbecue.

Tacos ‘N Taps
Harbor Point gets festive this weekend with the Tacos ‘N Taps Festival, featuring, as you might guess, tacos–plus, beer, tequila and other Mexican food.

Belvedere in Bloom
Belvedere Square celebrates the season on Saturday with Belvedere in Bloom, a fun party featuring live music, craft vendors, fresh flowers from Dutch Floral Garden (which makes gorgeous arrangements) and tons of food.

Reisterstown Beer and Wine Festival
On Saturday afternoon, the intersection of Main Street and Village Center Road in Reisterstown will come alive with the Reisterstown Beer and Wine Festival.

The festival will include beverages from a bunch of local breweries, wineries and distilleries, including Reckless Ale Works and Great Shoals Winery, plus live music, food and artisans.

Underground dinner
There’s still a little time to grab a seat for Saturday night’s underground dinner, hosted by Chef Beej Flamholz. His dinners are a blast: Buy a ticket and find out the morning of the event where to go for the multi-course meal.

Community dinner at Guinness
On Sunday, Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House is hosting a dinner to raise funds for the Maryland Food Bank. The five-course menu will be “spring-inspired” and begin with passed appetizers and a “beer hour.” Courses will be paired with beers of different styles.

The dinner will be prepared by Guinness Executive Chef Kevin McCarthy in collaboration with the Food Bank’s Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Arts Manny Robinson.

The dinner will raise a guaranteed $10,000 for the Maryland Food Bank as part of an ongoing fundraising partnership between Guinness and the organization.

Greek Easter at Cypriana
Most Easter celebrations took place last weekend, but Cypriana celebrates Greek Orthodox Easter this Sunday.

The restaurant will honor the holiday with a feast including traditional dishes like stuffed grape leaves and Greek Easter soup, followed by grilled whole baby lamb and desserts like pistachio bakalava.

Baltimore Cocktail Week
Baltimore Cocktail Week is in full swing and lasts through the weekend. The week of special events and workshops comes to a close on Sunday night with a party at Pen & Quill. The event will have a DJ and party favors, plus hors d’oeuvres and music-themed punches.

Fête-ing France at Petit Louis
Petit Louis’ annual April in Paris celebration takes place Sunday afternoon. The party happens outdoors, with grilling, French treats and more.

The restaurant has also created a special three-course menu, available now through Sunday, May 5, benefiting the restoration efforts of The Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris. The menu, which is $59 per person, includes courses like Parisian gnocchi with mushrooms, peas and lemon beurre noisette and pan-roasted scallops with seared foie gras.

Taste of Italy
Also on Sunday, Little Italy’s Sons of Italy Lodge will host a Taste of Italy dinner raising funds for the lodge’s scholarship. The meal will include five courses of traditional Italian dishes, each paired with wine. Plus, the event will include raffles, prizes and a silent auction.

The Elephant goes to auction
The Mount Vernon restaurant The Elephant has been in the news a lot recently with the announcement of its impending closure, followed by a few final weekends with the doors open.

On Wednesday, May 1, the building goes to auction. The live auction, to be held on the premises and conducted by auction house Alex Cooper, begins at 11 a.m.

Moët et Chandon at The A.B.
On Thursday, May 2, The Alexander Brown Restaurant celebrates the wines of famous champagne maker Moët et Chandon with a winemaker dinner featuring five courses from Chef Andrew Fontaine and discussion from the Moët et Chandon team.

Courses include dishes like fried quail with English peas, biscuit and pickled ramp paired with the winery’s Grand Vintage 2009 Brut and duck breast with morel mushrooms, black truffle and cherry paired with Grand Vintage 2009 Rosé.

First Thursday & the After Party
Thursday is also a big day for music lovers: It’s WTMD’s first First Thursday concert of the year. The concert takes place in Canton Waterfront Park, and the official after party is right around the corner at Alma Cocina Latina, which has some of the best and most beautiful food and drinks in the city.

Planning Ahead
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:
May 5: Mezcal Dinner at The Outpost American Tavern 
May 11: The Witches High Tea at Nancy by SNAC 
June 8: Hampden Craft Brew Walk 

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