The Guinness Holiday Light Walk has opened for the season. Photo courtesy of Guinness Open Gate Brewery.

With the turkeys behind us and lights being strung up around town, we’re entering the season of cocoa, champagne, and lots of food-related fun. Here’s a look at what’s coming up this week in the Baltimore restaurant scene:

Openings and announcements

Owings Mills residents have a lot to look forward to in the new year, as Canton mainstay Mama’s on the Half Shell has plans to open a new location in Foundry Row sometime in 2023.

Covalent Spirits, a new distillery in downtown Westminster, has opened for business. The distillery, owned by a husband and wife team with a background in math and science, sells bottles of its products out of the space as well as cocktails from its tasting room.

Have you been to The Local Oyster’s new Locust Point location yet? The restaurant is now fully up and running – and has introduced trivia Thursdays, starting this week.

Congratulations to Foraged Eatery, which just celebrated a year since its move into bigger digs in Station North.

GINgle Bells at Dutch Courage

Throughout the month of December, Dutch Courage is more festive than ever, with special cocktails and food items celebrating the holidays. First up, earlier this week, was a happy hour cocktail dubbed “It’s That Thyme of the Year” featuring gin, apple brandy, lime, bitters and several other liqueurs – and garnished with sprigs of fresh thyme.

Sips, bites & lights

Tis the season for festive lights and fun activities around town – and all the delicious drinks and snacks that go with them.

The Christmas Village, with its many shopping, food and drink options, has reopened in the Inner Harbor.

Nearby, in Center Plaza on N. Charles St., the light installation Candy Lane is back this year with oversized candy-theme lights, fun activities designed for many ages, and treats and hot and cold drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcholic). Candy Lane opens on Saturday with a 21+ après ski-themed party featuring live music and food trucks. On Sunday, Santa will make an appearance and there will be rowhome gingerbread making and other crafts.

Later in the week, activities at Candy Lane include trivia night, date night, holiday karaoke and a “Frozen” singalong.

At Guinness Open Gate Brewery, the annual holiday light walk is back, with Guinness-inspired outdoor light installations scattered around the brewery grounds, and a keg “tree.” During this season, Guinness is also offering three seasonal beers to enjoy: Old Fashioned Inspired Ale, Coquito Stout (influenced by the traditional Puerto Rican holiday drink coquito) and a vanilla and cinnamon-scented Winter Warmer Ale.

Treehouse Café holiday pop-up

Some of the most famous Baltimore lights of all – Hampden’s Miracle on 34th St. – have a new nearby pop-up this year. On select dates, now through Christmas, Big Softy and Grano will pop up at the Treehouse Café on Chestnut Ave., selling pizza, paninis and sandwiches, alongside holiday-themed drinks.

Santa spotting

This is also the season for parents of little ones to keep an eye out for breakfasts with Santa (and sometimes the Grinch).

Saturday, head to Checkerspot Brewing for a fun holiday market featuring lots of local makers, a pair of new holiday beers, and the opportunity to grab a photo with Santa. The photo ops are available for kids, adults and even dogs.

Manor Tavern’s Santa brunches start on Sunday, Dec. 4 and includes the opportunity for kids to get face to face with Santa himself.

Richardson Farms in White Marsh is hosting dinners with Santa on Friday and Saturday evenings this weekend and next. The meal, which takes place in the farm’s heated greenhouse, is prepared in the farm’s kitchen.  

Bridgerton tea

Fans of Bridgerton – the show, or just the era of the show – have an opportunity to dive into the Regency times this Sunday, when the Elkridge Furnace Inn hosts a Bridgerton-themed tea. The multicourse afternoon tea is sure to be fun – and possibly more than a little dramatic.

Bubbles & Bites at The Tilted Row

On Wednesday, The Tilted Row gets fancy with a Bubbles & Bites Champagne Dinner featuring a spread of hors d’oeuvres paired with champagne cocktails and a special dessert.

Fighting hunger with a meal

Thursday evening, True Chesapeake Oyster Co. and the Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger are teaming up for an evening of giving back. That night, True Chesapeake will donate 10% of proceeds from the restaurant to the Maryland Food Bank.

Best of the Best wine dinner

On Thursday, Chefs Expressions hosts its annual end of year Best of the Best wine dinner at the Gramercy Mansion. The multicourse meal features the top tier dishes and wine pairings from the company’s wine dinners held throughout 2022.

This year’s meal starts with fried oysters and pear tarts from the Judgement of Paris dinner, followed by courses like duck confit from the Bastille Day supper and a goat cheese souffle that made its debut during the late summer supper.

Holiday boxes at Pierpoint

Pierpoint Restaurant chef/owner Nancy Longo is getting into the holiday spirit with a couple of seasonal boxes of dishes and snacks available to-go. One includes a Christmas dinner, with appetizers and dessert, while the other focuses on the apps: it is an antipasto “tree” available in one of two sizes.

Holiday shopping

It’s still early in December – but if you haven’t started on holiday shopping, now is probably the time. To get you started:

Liberatore’s annual holiday gift card sale kicked off this week. Libs is one of several local restaurants that run great gift card deals around the holidays. Theirs includes an additional $5 gift card for every $50 gift card purchased up to $200. The deal only runs through this week, though, so take advantage of it now.

Juniper Culinary Apothecary, which makes terrific gifts, is popping up at events throughout the month, including Holiday Heap and the Greenspring Station Holiday Market, both on Dec. 10. In the meantime, the company’s cutely-packaged products are also available online.

Planning for the future

Mark your calendars for:

Dec. 10: Old Goucher Holiday Crawl

Dec. 11: Feast of the Seven Fishes Cooking Class at Cosima

Dec. 14: Gingerbread Haus Decorating at Das Bierhalle

Kit Pollard

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

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