Hot Plate: Chili cook-offs, Baltimore Craft Beer Festival, Dom Perignon at Magdalena and much more

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The Stars, Stripes & Chow chili cook-off benefiting The Baltimore Station is one of two local chili events taking place on Saturday.

It’s time to put away the candy and break out the chili and beer…and champagne. This week offers a little something for everyone, no matter how highbrow or lowbrow your tastes are. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings and announcements

L’Eau de Vie Organic Brasserie, the new restaurant in the Inn at The Black Olive, has been open for a couple months, but it’ll be celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 3 with a party including raffle prizes and giveaways.

Bar Vasquez has debuted a new happy hour menu and a signature cocktail for the month of November. The Taza de Oro (Cup of Gold) cocktail mixes bourbon, lemon and a sweet and spicy fall spice syrup.

Some sad news this week: After over four years in business, the waterfront spot Boathouse Canton announced it has closed.

For Woodberry Kitchen lovers: If you’re looking to make a reservation and can’t find the restaurant on Open Table, don’t despair. The restaurant hasn’t closed (or quit taking online reservations). It has, however, moved to reservation platform Resy.com.

Meet the Makers

Love things made locally? Head to the Sagamore Pendry Hotel today for Meet the Makers: a Made in Baltimore Maker Fair.

Meet the people behind your favorite goods, including a variety of food and beverage items like coffee, chocolate and more.

Smithsonian Food History Weekend

Food history buffs should head to D.C. this weekend for the Smithsonian’s annual Food History Weekend. Through Saturday the National Museum of American History will host talks, performances and demonstrations by a handful of food history thought leaders, exploring topics related to the influence of region on food culture.

International Stout Day extended

International Stout Day was this past Thursday, but Guinness is keeping the celebration going all weekend long. Through Sunday, for every pint of Guinness Small Stout sold at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House, the company will donate $1 to the Maryland Food Bank.

Guinness Small Stout is one of the Relay brewery’s new experimental beers. It’s brewed using the parti-gyle method, which means multiple beers are created from a single wort.

Baltimore Craft Beer Festival

Speaking of beer, Saturday is a big day for lovers of the brew, as the Baltimore Craft Beer Festival takes over Canton Waterfront Park.

The festival, organized by the Brewers Association of Maryland and sponsored by Nepenthe Homebrew, features tons of Maryland craft brews, and guests have the opportunity to vote on their favorites. In addition to beer, there will be food trucks, games and live music. Proceeds benefit Strong City Baltimore.

Chili on Saturday

Chili season is upon us, which means that it’s also chili competition season. This Saturday, local chili connoisseurs have their choice of two competitions.

The annual Stars, Stripes and Chow Chili cookoff, a fundraiser for The Baltimore Station, will be held at South Point at West Covington Park in Pork Covington. The party includes tons of chili options, fun activities and food from Mission BBQ and the Pizza di Joey food truck.

On the northern side of the city, Belvedere Square will host its second annual Chili Fest and Classic Car Show, featuring live music, face painting, a classic car show by Hunt Valley Horsepower, and chili competition entries from different Belvedere Square tenants. Proceeds benefit Station North Tool Library.

Vino in Vogue

In addition to chili and beer, Saturday will be a great day for wine and shopping, as Harbor East’s annual Vino in Vogue event returns.

Throughout the afternoon, tasting tables will line the streets of Harbor East, as local sommeliers and wine experts offer tastings of Maryland wines and other vintages offered at neighborhood restaurants. In addition to sips of wine, there will complimentary cheese, sweets and light bites inside the shops, plus oysters from The Local Oyster and live music.

Shrooms in Hampden

On Sunday, Nov. 4, Foraged Eatery is partnering with Artifact Coffee and Woodberry Kitchen for “Down to Earth: a Celebration of Local Mushrooms.” The dinner will be hosted at Artifact and is sure to be a good one.

Braised Meat Monday is back

It’s not just chili season; it’s also time for hearty foods.

At Thames St. Oyster House, that means the reemergence of Braised Meat Monday, the seafood restaurant’s weekly homage to slow-cooked meats.

L’Arco wine dinner at Cinghiale

On Monday, Nov. 5, Cinghiale welcomes Luca Fedrigo of Italian winery L’Arco for a multi-course meal paired with wines from the Valpolicella Classico estate.

The dinner includes courses like pumpkin risotto made with pork broth paired with L’Arco’s Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2015, and with the winery’s Veronese Rosso Pario 2015.

Classes & cocktails

On Monday, Nov. 5, learn to make coffee cocktails from the team at Johnny’s. During the class, attendees will learn how to make two drinks, including Johnny’s cold brew coffee, and they will get to drink their work.

Tuesday, Nov. 6, head to Azumi for an installment of the Japanese restaurant’s popular Sushi 101 class.

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, learn something different at Cocktails & Calligraphy at Ludlow Market. The class, which is designed both for beginners and calligraphy veterans, is taught by Nikki from Shotgunning for Love Letters. Attendees will receive a calligraphy starter kit, and there will be cocktails involved, too.

Vote…then eat and drink

In case you somehow haven’t heard, this coming Tuesday, Nov. 6, is Election Day. A few local spots are doing their part to encourage civic engagement by offering special deals for voters.

After voting, head to Topside atop Hotel Revival wearing your “I Voted” sticker and you’ll be given a free draft beer. 

The same sticker will get you a 10 percent discount at The Elephant, so be sure to hang on to it. And at Roy’s, you can celebrate voting with a three-ounce pour of Dom Perignon for just $1 with the purchase of an entrée.

Dining for a cause at Chez Hugo Bistro

Beginning this week and lasting through the end of 2019, for every diner ordering from the tasting menu at Chez Hugo every Wednesday and Thursday evening, $10 will be donated toward youth education in Baltimore. The menu is $85 per person.

Next year, at the end of the campaign, the restaurant will host an event to celebrate the program.

Champagne wishes

This week offers several opportunities to raise a glass filled with bubbles.

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, Magdalena will host An Evening with Dom Perignon, a tasting featuring four offerings from the legendary Champagne house, plus canapés, seafood and wines to taste.

On Friday, Nov. 9, Ampersea looks to the weekend with a happy hour party focused on Cupcakes and Champagne. The desserts, from CakeByJason, will be paired with six different champagnes.

Beer dinner at Germano’s Piattini

Germano’s is teaming up with Flying Dog Brewery for a beer dinner on Thursday, Nov. 8.

The dinner includes five small places (aka. “piattini”), each paired with a beer from the brewery. The dishes, like pork meatballs with butternut squash puree paired with Dogtoberfest Marzen, and duck confit with celeriac and roast apple salad paired with Doggie Style Pale Ale, offer a glimpse at Germano’s’ new fall menu.

ABI Gala

On Friday, Nov. 9, The Accelerator Space will light up with the ABI Gala, an event supporting the ABI Schools Health & Wellness Initiative MISSION: POSSIBLE. The event’s proceeds will help advance physical and nutritional programs within the ABI Schools charter network.

The party will include live music, a buffet dinner from Chef’s Expressions, cocktails and dancing.

Thinking about Thanksgiving

With November officially upon us, it’s time to start thinking about plans for turkey.

If your hopes for the day involve dining in but not cooking, you have some options, including ordering your meal from The Classic Catering People. They are accepting Thanksgiving orders from now through Monday, Nov. 19.

They’re also running a fun contest. If you “like” the Classic Catering Facebook page between now and Nov. 14, you’ll be entered to win a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 10.

Planning Ahead

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

November 11: Moveable Feast Chili Cookoff at Union Craft Brewing 

November 12: Wine dinner at Petit Louis 

November 17: Oyfest



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