Topside celebrates Preakness Friday and Saturday with a “raising the steaks” special.
Topside celebrates Preakness Friday and Saturday with a “raising the steaks” special.

This week is full of great restaurant news, including multiple openings and new offerings, Preakness-related specials and an opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest women in the Baltimore restaurant scene.

Here’s a look at what’s been happening and what’s on tap:

Openings and announcements
Broadway Market is hopping right now. Last week, a trio of spots, Fat Tiger, El Tigre Tiki Bar and Old Boy, opened to much fanfare. Fat Tiger is the bar in the center of the market, El Tigre is an open-air pan-Latin bar and Old Boy features authentic Korean food and Korean-inspired cocktails.

Ramen Utsuke is now officially open in 414 Light Street Apartments.

Water for Chocolate is closing on Friday, May 24–but only temporarily. The southern cooking spot is expanding. Chef and owner Sean Guy (one of the nicest chefs in town) plans to reopen in July.

John Brown General and Butchery in Cockeysville starts offering brunch service this weekend. The offerings are sure to be good, too.

Boordy Vineyards’ Good Life farmers’ market kicked off its season last week. The market takes place on Thursdays and features great food vendors alongside the wine and live music.

It’s late spring, which means it’s time for Petit Louis’ special asparagus menu. The three-course menu starts with asparagus velouté, which on its own is worth the trip to the Roland Park restaurant.

Maryland Craft Beer Fest
Maryland Craft Beer Festival at Max’s Taphouse starts on Friday and keeps going on Saturday. The festival features over 90 draft beers from more than 40 Maryland breweries.

Off to the races
The 144th running of the Preakness Stakes happens this Saturday and there are events all over town to celebrate, including a couple fun race-themed specials.

Preakness is always a huge deal at the Mt. Washington Tavern, which has a special Triple Crown menu including dishes like bourbon and rye-flamed steak frites and drinks like a Sagamore Spirit Rye take on the black-eyed Susan.

At Topside in the Hotel Revival, the Friday and Saturday special is a three-course steak meal called “Raising the Steaks.”

Union Collective stream cleanup
On Saturday, the crew from Union Collective will band together with the Friends of Jones Falls Valley to clean up the neighborhood. They are gathering at the BEER UNITES mural at 10 a.m. to clean up the Jones Falls.

After the cleanup, participants will get a free beer from Union. Plus, $1 of every beer sold all day will be donated to Union Collective’s greening efforts.

GUT HIGH at Fadensonnen
On Saturday, Fadensonnen will host a celebration of all things fermented. GUT HIGH is a ticketed event offering access to tons of local makers of wild fermented wines, beers, vinegars, krauts and breads. Plus, there will be food from Ekiben and coffee from Sophomore Coffee.

Plus, Fadensonnen’s neighbor, Larder, opened last week, so there are fun new food options in the area as well.

Mac and Cheese Festival
On Saturday and Sunday, lovers of all things mac and cheese should head to Power Plant Live!, where a variety of food trucks, chefs and food vendors will come together for the Baltimore Mac and Cheese Festival.

Saturday’s event is sold out, but there are still tickets left for Sunday, so grab them while you can.

Baltimore on TV
Charm City’s own John Shields, owner of Gertrude’s, will be on Tyler Florence’s “Bite Club” on the Food Network on Tuesday night at 11 p.m. Don’t miss it!

Wine tasting at The Milton Inn
The Milton Inn’s monthly wine tasting event takes place on Wednesday, May 22. The event is organized for the restaurant’s wine club members but is open to the public for a fee, and will feature two California wines, a Tuscan blend, a Bordeaux and a Cab from Washington state.

The restaurant will also serve light hors d’oeuvres to complement the wines.

Chef Egg at Blue Moon Café
Also on Wednesday, Chef Egg will turn up at Blue Moon Café in the evening for a demonstration of Italian cooking. The hands-on class will teach attendees how to make gnocchi and chicken piccata, among other dishes.

Female Foodies
Also on Wednesday, a trio of some of the smartest women in the local culinary scene will give a LinkedInLocal talk about the restaurant business. The talk, moderated by Sloane Brown, will feature Karin Tiffany from Peter’s Inn, Stephanie Hershkovitz of Hersh’s and Lane Harlan of W.C. Harlan, Clavel and Fadensonnen, and will take place on the USS Constellation.

Learn to make goat cheese
On Thursday, May 23, the co-owner of Charlottetown Farm will head to Union Collective, where she’ll team up with Union Craft Brewing and Well Crafted Kitchen for a goat cheese demonstration and sampling event.

The ticketed event includes dinner from Well Crafted and a Union beer.

Stone’s Throw at Full Tilt
Have you heard about Stone’s Throw Hash? It’s a brand new company, based in Govans, making hash bowls that can be topped with eggs. The company sources its ingredients locally and has plans for a food truck and farmers’ market appearances.

The eatery is debuting at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 24, at Full Tilt Brewing. Stop in then or on Sunday morning to check out the hash.

Big Softy at Union
Crabby pop-up Big Softy stops by Union Collective on May 24 for the third annual installment of CREAM (Crab Rules Everything Around Me). The event will feature classic crab dishes and collaborations with Well Crafted Pizza.

Plus, The Charmery will be serving Wu-Tang-inspired ice cream (should be interesting!) and there will be a DJ starting at 6 p.m.

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

June 8: Hampden Craft Brew Walk and Feastival
August 10: Flower Farm Dinner at Two Boots Farm

Kit Waskom Pollard is a Baltimore Fishbowl contributing writer. She writes Hot Plate every Friday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.