Hot Plate: Duck Duck Goose chef on TV, True Chesapeake Oyster Co. opens, new fall menus and more

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Duck Duck Goose owner and chef Ashish Alfred makes glazed beets with crème fraiche and toasted pistachios on Food Network’s “The Kitchen” this week.

From fall festivals to new harvest menus to fancy wine dinners and lots of oysters, Baltimore food lovers have many choices this week. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings and announcements
After a long renovation and many months of anticipation, True Chesapeake Oyster Co. opens its doors at Whitehall Mill next week. Opening day is Wednesday.

One of the partners in True Chesapeake, The Local Oyster, has more to celebrate this week: its Mt. Vernon Marketplace stall turns four and is celebrating with a party on Friday, Oct. 11. 

And even more oysters! A new White Marsh spot called Curious Oyster is poised to open any day now.

Fried chicken specialist BRD‘s standalone Federal Hill location officially opens on Monday.

Johnny’s has a new private dining space with a full bar and projection and sound capabilities. And it’s very pretty!

Haitian food stall Sobeachy has opened in Cross Street Market.

Fall menus
Local restaurants continue to roll out new menus featuring heartier fare and showcasing the best of harvest season.

At La Calle, fall means dishes like Scottish salmon with squash, corn, tomatoes and poblano cream sauce and a carnitas-style pork shank with salsa verde, radishes and cipollini onions.

Miss Shirley’s’ new fall menu includes treats like s’mores mini doughnuts and apple pie biscuits (and much more).

Clavel’s new menu for the season will launch Oct. 23.

At Gertrude’s, new seasonal dishes include red wine-braised beef short ribs and a roasted sweet potato bread pudding made with sweet potatoes from One Straw Farm.

New selections at Cunningham’s include a Honeycrisp apple salad with roasted plums and pecans and a brand new lineup of autumnal cocktails.

Urban Oyster launched a new brunch menu last weekend. The McHenry Row restaurant’s brunch has some fun non-food elements too, like live music and a photo booth.

Birroteca also has a new menu this month, including seasonal dishes like butternut squash agnolotti.

Birroteca fundraising
Speaking of Birroteca, the Clipper Mill restaurant has announced a yearlong fundraising partnership with The Red Devils. Every month, a portion of proceeds will be donated to the charity, which supports families impacted by breast cancer.

To celebrate the partnership, Birroteca has created a special drinks menu, with options like a Ta-Ta-Tini–a cocktail including cranberry vodka, rosemary clove syrup and cherry puree.

Friday is National Taco Day, and Papi’s in Hampden is celebrating the major occasion with a taco eating contest.

Night Brunch Festival
The Night Brunch, an organization that works with restaurants to plan fun nighttime breakfast parties, is going big this weekend with its first-ever festival. It takes place in Harbor Point on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The party will include artists and musicians, plus food from a wide variety of local restaurants like Clavel, The Local Fry, Urban Oyster, Home Maid, Orto and Vida Taco Bar.

Each day includes something unexpected–think mermaids by 1405 Point’s rooftop pool–and on Friday there’s a philanthropic element, with a portion of proceeds going to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Oktoberfest events kicked off last weekend and keep trucking all month long.

This Saturday, Crossbar celebrates the month in all its sudsy glory with a huge Oktoberfest party featuring food, games and prizes (and, of course, beer). The party starts at noon and lasts until 10 p.m.

Saturday is also Stein Day/Lagerbierfest at Diamondback Brewing. The brewery will have pretzels made in-house, plus barbecue from John Brown General and sausages from Snake Hill, along with live music and tons of beer.

Hops & Harvest Festival
On Saturday, the Hops & Harvest Festival returns to Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods, in Columbia. The festival features beer, wine and spirits from tons of Maryland’s best producers, plus live music, artisans and food from various vendors, from Little Boy Bakery to HomeSlyce to Jimmy’s Famous Seafood.

Baltimore on TV
Chef Ashish Alfred, owner of Duck Duck Goose in Fells Point, will appear on the Food Network show “The Kitchen,” on Saturday morning.

On the show, chef Alfred will prepare a fall recipe that’s one of his favorites: glazed beets with crème fraiche and pistachios.

Festival time
This week, two terrific international festivals hit town.

On Sunday, the first-ever Italian Heritage Festival comes to Stiles St. and Exeter St. in Little Italy. The event includes fun kids activities, beer and wine, live music, a bocce tournament and Italian food from local restaurants and the Little Italy Lodge.

On Thursday, the Baltimore Greek Festival returns for its 48th year. This festival, which lasts through the weekend, is beloved for all its focus on Greek culture, from dancing to history, and for its terrific food.

Grand Cru week
On Thursday night, Charleston hosts a special wine dinner featuring top Grand Cru and mature Burgundy wines from Tony Foreman’s personal cellar. The wines will be paired with a multi-course meal from chef Cindy Wolf for what is sure to be a spectacular meal.

Oenophiles also have something to look forward to on Friday, Oct. 11, when Citron hosts a wine dinner showcasing numerous Grand Cru wines paired with owner Charles Levine’s dishes.

Oysterfest kickoff
Ryleigh’s’ Oysterfest is back for its 13th year next weekend. The festivities kick off on Thursday, with the annual Moet Oyster Ball held at Ryleigh’s Oyster in Federal Hill.

The party, which benefits the Living Classrooms Foundation’s restoration of the skipjack Sigsbee and Maryland’s Oyster Recovery Partnership, features a 16-foot raw bar stocked with over a dozen different types of oysters, an open bar and other seafood fare, plus prizes and photos.

Planning ahead
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:
October 19: Harvest at the Hill at Manor Hill Brewing
October 24: Chicken and Champagne at Chez Hugo
November 2: Baltimore Craft Beer Festival 

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