Hot Plate: Emporyium Details, Vaccaro’s Turns 60 and More Pizza

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Dooby’s at The Emporiyum in 2015

With warmer weather, a fun parade, lots of desserts and a bunch of events recognizing the end of winter and onset of spring, this week will be sure to be a fun one in Baltimore. Here’s a glimpse of what’s happening with restaurants:

Plans for Tonight

If you don’t have plans this evening, don’t worry. There’s plenty happening.

Tonight, Gertrude’s hosts the fourth annual Rebels’ Keg Party benefiting Moveable Feast, including  food and drinks from several local restaurants and breweries. All proceeds benefits fundraising efforts for the Ride for the Feast.

Head to Waverly Brewing this evening for barbecue, beer and TV, to watch the food truck The Smoking Swine’s debut on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Delicious at 60

Iconic Baltimore dessert maker Vaccaro’s turns 60 this month and it’s celebrating with several great deals, including 60-cent cannolis available from March 14 through March 18. On the shop’s official birthday, March 16, the Little Italy location will feature a special menu including rum cake, cannoli cake, gelato, granita, cappuccinos and lattes, each for $2.60.

Going Green

St. Patrick’s Day festivities kick into high gear this weekend and the big day itself is on Thursday. Yes, there’s plenty of beer and whiskey to go around, but also some great food.

Slainte in Fells Point continues its 17 days of St. Patrick with $10 corned beef and cabbage and $5 Irish coffees on Sunday, a pour your own pint contest on Monday, benefiting the recovery fund for Dogwatch Tavern employee Jill Boram, who was hurt earlier this year, traditional Irish music on Tuesday, Irish trivia Wednesday and general Irish festivities starting at 6 a.m. on Thursday.

During Sunday’s parade, Ware House 518 will offer an Irish-themed brunch. Ware House is right on the parade route – a prime spot to watch all the action at one of the city’s most fun, spirited parades.

Chef Takeover

New Reservoir Hill coffee shop, Dovecote Café, will launch a “chef takeover” series of events this Sunday, March 13. On the second Sunday of every month, the café will host a special dinner with a new chef taking over the kitchen and dining room to serve a four-course meal. The chef behind the first event is private chef Heather Smith, who will draw on global influences for a fun, interesting meal.

Drinks & Books

Put a literary twist on dinner on Tuesday, March 15, when the Pratt Contemporaries  Eat, Drink, READ! series stops at Mt. Vernon Marketplace. Get to know the Marketplace vendors while you chat up Pratt Contemporaries members and other guests.

The Last of Winter

Enjoy the last few days of winter on March 16, at The Milton Inn’s Winter Wine Dinner. The five-course meal will feature the wines of Ramey Wine Cellars in Napa and Sonoma.

Spring in the Mix

The Oregon Grille is calling all amateur mixologists. Share your favorite drink recipe for a chance to be included on the restaurant’s Spring drink menu – and win a gift card for $50.

April Events

A trio of exciting food events taking place in early and mid-April will keep food lovers smiling all month long.

On April 4, Taste of the Nation DC will feature not just food from Washington’s best restaurants, but some of Baltimore’s, too! This year’s event will feature Baltimore Row, including some of the city’s best chefs. Here’s an initial list: The Food Market’s Chad Gauss, Waterfront Kitchen’s Chris Amendola, Bagby Restaurant Group’s Chris Becker, Robbin Haas of Birroteca, Dyan Ng of Wit & Wisdom, Mike Ransom from B&O Brasserie and Jessie Sandlin from Mama’s on the Half Shell and Nacho Mama’s. Plus, there will be ice cream from The Charmery! The food is sure to be great and proceeds benefit No Kid Hungry.

On April 6, the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce will host the 5th annual Taste of Pikesville at the DoubleTree, featuring local favorites like Gourmet Again, Linwoods and Bagby Pizza.

Food festival favorites The Emporiyum announced this week that their April 16-17 event will take place at 600 East Pratt Street downtown. The space formerly housed Best Buy, but for that mid-April weekend, it will become home to a variety of amazing food vendors, including local favorites like The Local Oyster, Corner Pantry, Clavel and Dooby’s. It is a can’t-miss event for anyone who loves food and the small Baltimore companies that make it so well.

Summertime Openings

Last week, we reported that Tark’s Grill had a new executive chef; this week, we found out where Jeff Keeney, the restaurant’s former chef, is headed. Later this year, Keeney will open At Light’s End in the new 2 East Wells apartment building in South Baltimore.

DC-based pizza chain &pizza is also coming to Baltimore this summer, opening at 1201 South Charles Street. The restaurant has 14 locations in the DC area and is known for interesting flavor combinations and great vegetarian pizza.

Planning Ahead

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

Wednesday, March 23: Sanford Wine Dinner at Hersh’s

Wednesday, March 23: Farm to Table Wild Feast at Corner Restaurant and Charcuterie Bar

Thursday, April 7: Pane e Vino first anniversary party



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