Hot Plate: Dylan’s Oyster Cellar Opens, Clementine Reopens, New Year’s Eve Plans

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La Cuchara is one of several Baltimore restaurants offering a special menu for New Year’s Eve.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, Baltimore – holiday week is upon us! It’s time to celebrate, both at home and in restaurants. And with openings, reopenings and other happy news, there is a lot to celebrate in the Baltimore restaurant world this week.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in and around Baltimore this week:

Oysters Opening

After months (years?) of anticipation, Dylan’s Oyster Cellar has finally opened in a permanent location in Hampden, at the corner of Chestnut and 36th Street. Originally a pop-up in Mount Vernon, in the space that now houses Sugarvale, Dylan’s is an excellent spot for oysters and more.

Owner Dylan Salmon is one of Baltimore’s foremost oyster experts. Check out the menu, which includes a wide range of dishes from the sea, including tons of oysters, naturally, as well as local classes, like coddies.

Clementine Reopens

Clementine is back! As of Wednesday night, the restaurant has reopened with, for now, an abbreviated menu and chef/owner Winston Blick in the kitchen. The restaurant will be open for dinner tonight from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the bar will stay open until midnight. The menu is a mix of Clementine classics (mac and cheese!) and new dishes.

Coffee Growth

Clementine isn’t the only business making news on Harford Road.

Zeke’s Coffee fans will be pleased to hear that the company is about to move its brick-and-mortar location into larger digs. Zeke’s will move from its current Harford Road spot into a larger building down the street. The anticipated opening is later this spring.

New Greg’s Ownership

Earlier this year, patrons of Greg’s Bagels in Belvedere Square were saddened to learn that the owner, Greg Novik, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The shop, a longtime Belvedere tenant with many loyal customers, closed and next steps were uncertain.

This week, a sign on the door announced that the shop will reopen in January. The name and, reportedly, the menu will remain the same. The new owner, Tommy Hearn, was an employee under Novik and a longtime customer himself. 

Trinacria Updates

In the new year, expect the menus at Trinacria Café and the grocery to get an update and an upgrade.

Matt and Allison Robicelli, who moved themselves and their eponymous bakery from Brooklyn to Baltimore earlier this year, have signed on to take over the kitchen in the café and to revamp both menus. Expect Sicilian comfort food and some great new desserts.

“Nothing fussy or inaccessible – as always, the credo over here has been good food for all people,” Allison Robicelli wrote in a Facebook post.

This Weekend

It’s still not too late to head out and about this weekend. For last minute reservations, check out this list of places open on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

Ringing in the New

Christmas and Christmas Eve might traditionally be spent at home, but New Year’s Eve is a night to head out on the town. Local restaurants have a ton of great plans in the works for the big night.

Check out Wit & Wisdom for dinner or drinks in the lounge; consider reserving seats that’ll put you in the line of the windows for a great view of the fireworks.

At Charleston, there will be two seatings with prix fixe menus featuring dishes like grilled French quail and mixed grill of lamb rack chop and iberico chorizo.

At The Elephant, the  main dining rooms will offer three, four, or five-course tasting menus (with wine pairings optional), while the swanky second floor Marble Bar & Lounge will be open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. serving a small plate menu (there will be a cover charge upstairs).

La Cuchara will offer a five-course prix fixe menu including dishes like duck breast magret with quince and escarole and wine pairings from La Cuchara’s uber-talented sommelier Greg Schwab. Items from the prix fixe menu will be available a la carte at the bar, as well.

Grand Cru in Belvedere Square will host a New Year’s Party starting at 9 p.m. Tickets include fancy snacks (think oysters and Parts & Labor cured meats), two drinks and a midnight toast (you can always buy more drinks, too!).

Gunther & Co. will offer a four-course tasting menu, including dishes like foie gras mousse and Korean short ribs plus an optional additional oyster course and shellfish platter.

Cinghiale will ring in the new with a four-course modern Italian dinner, plus party hats, midnight toast and a great view of the fireworks.

At B&O American Brasserie, diners will have a choice of a three or five-course prix-fixe menu – and everyone will get a complimentary glass of champagne. They’re hoping to see people the next morning, too, for “The Morning After: Hangover Brunch,” featuring all sorts of greasy food.

Citron, in Quarry Lake, will host a four-course champagne dinner for New Year’s Eve, with dishes focusing on “contemporary American” cuisine.

Ouzo Bay, Azumi and Loch Bar all have big plans for the big night. All three restaurants will offer four-course meals. At Loch Bar, guests will be able to step right out onto the patio to see the fireworks. Azumi will have a DJ spinning music in the lounge and there will be live music – and a complimentary glass of champagne – at Ouzo Bay.

Waterfront Kitchen, another spot with a great view, will have a prix fixe dinner menu and an open bar on the patio.

Other spots with special menus on New Year’s Eve include Le Garage, Wine Market Bistro, Cunningham’s, Cinnamon Tree and Maggie’s Farm.

Planning for Next Year

Already thinking about what you might eat in 2017? The Sun has just announced the date for their next Secret Supper. It’ll be on February 8…and the location is TBD. Past suppers have been held at Birroteca, Cunningham’s, Wine Market Bistro and Aggio.

Planning Ahead

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

January 12: Whiskey Rocks at La Cuchara

January 17: Ina Garten at the Hippodrome

February 4: Heavy Seas Oyster Festival 



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