Hot Plate: The Emporiyum, Manor Tavern’s Oyster Festival Headline Weekend Menu

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The Local Oyster at The Emporiyum
The Local Oyster

Happy Tax Day! Or, as is the case this year, happy last hurrah weekend before Tax Monday.

This might not be anyone’s favorite time of year for financial reasons, but at least the sun is shining – and we have plenty of opportunities this week to eat, drink and be merry. All the better to distract ourselves from matters involving the IRS.

The weather this weekend looks gorgeous, which is great news, since there are fabulous food events taking place all over town (and beyond).

Here’s what’s happening in the Baltimore restaurant world this week:
Weekend Extravaganza

On both Saturday and Sunday, food fest The Emporiyum hits downtown, bringing with it nearly 100 food vendors, many of which are small local businesses. This is a jam-packed event and if you’re into food and the small companies that make Baltimore great, it’s something you won’t want to miss.

But on Saturday, it competes for your attention with Decanter, the horse-and-wine festival in Laurel, a ladies’ champagne brunch at The Chausseur in Canton and Cellar Sessions at Wit & Wisdom, which is a great, knowledge-packed time for anyone interested in vino.

Also on Saturday, The Baltimore Museum of Art is hosting “Crab Cakes and Conversations: A History of Baltimore’s Public Markets.” If history and food are your thing, this talk, given by Lexington Market Manager Stacey Pack, is sure to fascinate. Plus, there will be free samples of Faidley’s crab balls, Konstant’s Peanuts and Berger cookies.

Or, if you’re up for a Saturday drive for the country, head to Red Shedman Farm Brewery, for Bluegrass Brew & BBQ, a day filled with bluegrass music, local beer and wine and some great barbecue.

And that’s not all! On Sunday, Manor Tavern’s Oyster Festival celebrates all things bivalve and at Birroteca, knitters unite for Fiber, Food & Fun.

Whew. That’s a good weekend, all the way around. 

Great Chefs

On Monday at 6, The Grand Lodge of Maryland in Cockeysville will host one of the region’s very best chefs, five-time James Beard Award winner Patrick O’Connell, owner of the Inn at Little Washington. Chef O’Connell will be cooking a five-course meal as part of a benefit raising money for The Family Tree, a local non-profit dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect.

The event, called the Great Chefs Dinner, will also feature a live and silent auction. Over the past 25 years, the Great Chefs Dinner has raised millions of dollars that have been allocated to parent education, a 24-hour helpline and other youth and family support services.

Happy Birthday, La Cuchara!

La Cuchara, the terrific (and gorgeous) Basque restaurant on Clipper Mill Road, celebrates a year in business with a party this Monday. The party will feature pintxos – the little Basque bites that whet the appetite – and plenty of bright, sparkling cava. Plus, a special dessert to celebrate the big day.

Drinking for the Feast

On Wednesday, April 20, Union Craft Brewing and Rebels with a Cause are partnering on their fourth annual Brew for the Feast. Held at Union Craft and featuring bites from Woodberry Kitchen, Dooby’s, Wit & Wisdom, Family Meal, Fox’s Den, Shake Shack, City Café and Skinny Dipper oysters from True Chesapeake Oyster Company, the party will benefit Moveable Feast’s efforts to feed Marylanders struggling with debilitating illnesses.


On Thursday, April 21, Café Troia will host a five-course dinner featuring four Frog’s Leap wines. The meal includes dishes like snapper ceviche paired with Sauvignon Blanc and guinea fowl paired with the celebrated California winery’s merlot.

Spring & Love

Also on Thursday, Tark’s Grill will host a Spring Fling. The party starts at 5 p.m. and will feature lots of fun, plus guest bartenders, a silent auction and raffles benefiting the One Love Foundation.

History Revisited

On Thursday April 21 and Wednesday April 27, Pen & Quill will host Historic Happy Hours. Pen & Quill is located in the building that once housed the iconic Chesapeake Restaurant. To honor the restaurant, P&Q is partnering with Preservation Maryland to collect stories about people’s experiences times at the Chesapeake, along with memorabilia. These items and recorded stories will be on display at Pen & Quill on Mother’s Day.


Spring is here, but the final nail in winter’s coffin won’t come until Friday, when The Gathering kicks off its season at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. The food truck rally, which pops up around town on a regular basis, will start at 5 p.m. and will include 20 of Baltimore’s best food trucks, plus drinks, live music and local art.

Tiki Tuesday

Another surefire sign of spring? Summery cocktails all over the place. At Le Garage in Hampden, Tiki Tuesday is back. Island drinks and half price burgers at the bar are a great way to get in a summertime frame of mine.

 Planning Ahead

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

April 24: Flavio Sala Guitar and Dinner at Alma Cocina Latina

April 28: MADE: In America preview party

June 11: FEASTIVAL -A Food Adventure for a Cure, from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation


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