Summer might be winding down, but that spells good news for local food lovers, as restaurants kick into high gear with a variety of events and festivals on the horizon.
Here’s a look at what’s coming up:
Openings & Announcements
Station North will get a new bar/café/performance venue this fall, when Showroom opens in the North Avenue artist incubator space Motor House. The restaurant, which is located in a former Ford showroom that was built in 1914, is slated to open in October. The menu, designed by Chef Daniel Horwitz, will include globally-inspired dishes from a Peruvian chicken sandwich to Texas brisket to Asian-influenced tuna salad.
Cantonites have something new to keep them cool these last few weeks of summer: the team behind Iron Rooster has opened DJ’s Ice House, an ice cream and snowball stand next to Iron Rooster’s Canton Crossing location.
Chefs Cyrus Keefer and Kevin Perry recently announced that they are joining forces to open a new spot called In Bloom, in the Federal Hill space currently occupied by Perry’s restaurant LIV2EAT. The new restaurant is slated to open at the end of the month.
Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week
Mid- to late-summer is Restaurant Week season and in the Baltimore area, it’s not over yet. Starting today, over 30 local restaurants will participate in the first ever Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week.
The participating restaurants are not necessarily always vegan establishments, but this week, they will be offering a wide array of big and small vegan offerings.
St. Gabriel’s Italian Festival
All weekend long, get into the Italia spirit in Little Italy, where St. Gabriel’s Italian Festival will be raging. The festival, which benefits St. Leo the Great Church, features live music, games and kid-friendly activities and – of course – great Italian food and drinks.
Fiesta Del Sol
On Sunday, Aug. 20, several of Baltimore’s favorite food and drink makers will team up for a celebration of the sun at Union Craft Brewing. The day will include tacos from Clavel, ice cream from The Charmery and an official release of Union’s two new brews, both fruity variants of the Old Pro gose – one guava and one passionfruit.
Also on Sunday, B&O American Brasserie hosts its annual Crab Bash, featuring chefs from all over the city facing off against one another to create the best crab dish in town.
The event benefits Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative and features not just great crab bites, but also live music, raffle prizes and cocktails created by the Baltimore Bartenders’ Guild.
Pop Ups All Over
The eclipse isn’t the only exciting thing happening on Aug. 21. That evening, the team from haenyo will pop up at Gnocco for a casual, locally sourced Korean meal. The menu will focus on noodles and seafood for a Korean take on Gnocco’s usual Mediterranean fare.
Reservations are not required; the restaurant will also forego table service for the evening to keep the vibe simple and casual.
Also that night, The Lunchbox Lady will pop up for an eclipse-themed party at Wet City. The menu includes eclipse-oriented baked goods and eclipse slushies, in addition to the beer bar’s normal offerings.
On Aug. 24, SoBo Market will transform into Cashville Hot Chick’n, a night of Nashville hot chicken paired with a Johnny Cash soundtrack. The folks behind the pop-up were also responsible for SoBo Café’s recent Led Zeppelin-themed Led Lobster night.
Many of this week’s best events are more driven by what’s in the glass than what’s on the plate.
On Saturday, Aug. 19, The Elephant and Ciroc team up for a two-course brunch featuring cocktails made with Ciroc Apple and Ciroc Mango.
Coffee lovers should head to Ceremony Coffee Roasters’ Mt. Vernon location the morning of Aug. 22, when the lovely coffee shop will host a workshop dubbed “Sensory Skills.” The session will feature discussion and instruction on how to taste coffee and how to talk about what you’ve tasted.
On Aug. 23, Waterfront Kitchen hosts another of its wine cruises, this one focusing on the wines of Italy. The night begins with wine, cheese and a 90-minute sail down the Pataspco River. After the cruise, guests enjoy a three-course dinner with wine pairings. The whole event benefits Living Classrooms’ Shipboard Education Program.
Cocktails & Meats
Modern Cook Shop is calling all charcuterie and cocktail lovers: on Aug. 24, the Fells Point restaurant will team up with Baltimore Whiskey Company for Meats, Cocktails & Gloriousness.
BWC’s co-founder Max Kennedy will be at the restaurant to talk with guests, who will receive four cocktails and a plate of paired charcuterie.
Mark Your Calendars for Dining Out for Life
Dining Out for Life, an annual restaurant fundraiser for Moveable Feast, will be held on Thursday, Sept. 14 this year. Make your reservations early.
Moveable Feast prepares and delivers meals and groceries to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other challenging illnesses.
On Sept. 14, all restaurant lovers have to do to give back is go out to eat. Participating restaurants then donate a portion of proceeds – going as high as 50 percent – to the organization. It’s as simple as that.
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:
August 26: Vegan Soulfest
September 3: La Cuchara’s Tomatina Batttle & Food Festival
September 15: Picnic in the Park