Hot Plate: Festivals, restaurant openings, Mother’s Day, a Parts & Labor yard sale and more

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The Maryland Craft Beer Festival takes place in Frederick on Saturday, May 12. It’s one of several festivals happening on Saturday.

Last week, the news out of Baltimore’s restaurant scene wasn’t great, with several beloved restaurants announcing their closing. This week, the view from Charm City is much sunnier, with multiple openings on the horizon! And, of course, a day dedicated to moms (and brunch).

Here’s a look at what’s happening around town this week:

Openings and Announcements

Earlier this year, Wine Market Bistro disappointed fans with the news of its closing. But it’s back–in a way. The Wine Market team is opening a new concept, Ludlow Market, Bar & Bottle Shop, in the old Wine Market space. The kitchen will be helmed by Chef Christopher Audia, who has worked recently in Washington, D.C. and Boston, and will offer an “upscale neighborhood menu.”

Papi’s Tacos, the popular Fells Point Mexican spot, is opening a second outpost–this one, in the former Dimitri’s Tavern space in Hampden.

A new neighborhood spot, Patterson Public House, will open in the old Bistro Rx space on East Baltimore Street.

Diablo Doughnuts’ Federal Hill location will open its doors for the first time at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 12.

Heavy Seas announced this week that its tap room expansion will make the existing tap room seven times larger and will include both a private event room and the addition of a new small-batch brewhouse. The expansion is expected to be finished in June 2019.

Downtown Towson will add a new coffee shop later this month, when Den Da opens on Pennsylvania Ave. across form Nacho Mama’s. The shop will serve Vietnamese coffee, teas and smoothies, among other items.

Unfortunately, this week did bring news of two closings. Rachel New American Cuisine in Riverside announced it’s closing on Monday, May 7. Owner Barry Fleischmann opened Rachel in late 2016 in a corner spot that had previously housed Breadbangers and Soigne. And Grano Emporio, the Troia family’s Chestnut St. restaurant in Hampden, will close after service on June 30. Grano Pasta Bar will remain open.

Festival Season

If festivals are your thing, this Saturday, May 12, is your day.

The third annual Baltimore Wine & Food Festival takes over Rash Field on Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. The event is a big one, with over 150 wines, beers and spirits, plus food from vendors and food trucks.

In Remington, RemFest will take place on Remington Ave. from 27th Street to 29th Street. The party includes drinks from Union Craft Brewing, R. Bar and Baltimore Whiskey Company, plus food from a bunch of terrific vendors, including Sweet 27, The Dizz, Neopol, Charmington’s, Ekiben and The Local Oyster.

At Avenue Kitchen & Bar, get down with the Hampden Parking Lot Party BBQ, Beer, Oysters and Music Festival. The name is pretty self-explanatory: Starting at noon, Avenue’s parking lot (located behind the restaurant) will transform into an outdoor party with drinks, live music, pit beef, tacos and oysters. Proceeds go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Serious beer aficionados know that the Maryland Craft Beer Festival, held annually in Frederick, is the real deal. This year’s festival, which takes place on Saturday, will feature over 40 local breweries–including some that aren’t yet open to the public–and they’ll be pouring over 180 different craft beers.

Parts & Labor yard sale

Parts & Labor has recently done some refreshing and instead of tossing their old items, they’re offering them up to the community.

On Saturday, May 12, the Remington restaurant will host a yard sale, starting at 11 a.m. Items for sale include dishes, silverware and “other items” that Parts & Labor and other Foodshed restaurants are no longer using.

Happy anniversary to Lures!

Have you been to Lures Bar and Grille? It’s a little out of the way–on a quiet road in Crownsville–but it’s worth the drive.

The restaurant, known for both its food and its excellent beer selection, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, it is hosting a big Saturday party including specials, raffles and prizes and half-priced draft beers all day.

Action at Artifact

Wednesday, May 16 is the second installment of “Bowl and a Beer,” the collaborative dinner event at Artifact Coffee.

This go-round, the Woodberry Kitchen folks are teaming up with the crew from Ida B’s Table for a casual a la carte menu combining the approaches of the two restaurants.

On Thursday, Artifact’s regular drinks, dinner and conversation series, Origins, returns with a discussion about aquaculture. Chef Spike Gjerde will moderate a discussion with several aquaculture experts, and snacks, dinner and drinks will be served.

Prepping for Preakness

Preakness is next Saturday, May 19, and all week long, the city will be getting in the spirit.

On Wednesday, Sagamore Racing will head to the Mt. Washington Tavern for the annual Pre-Preakness Stakes Party, benefiting the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. The evening includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction.

Also on Wednesday evening, Howard County’s Grille 620 hosts a Sagamore Spirit pairing dinner, featuring three courses, each of which is paired with a particular offering from Sagamore Spirit. Courses include dishes like lamb and monkfish carpaccio and a New York steak garnished with rye-infused onion jam.

On Thursday, Ampersea will host Big Hats & Bowties, a patio party featuring food and drink specials ($10 grilled seafood platters and $5 rose or crushes!) along with live music and a “best dressed” contest, so break out your finest.

Also on Thursday, Lexington Market will host its annual Crab Derby on the market’s south parking lot. The family-friendly party includes food, live music, a family zone and the derby itself.

Cocktails at the Conservatory

Cocktails at the Conservatory, an annual event supporting the Rawlings Conservatory, is always one of the most hotly anticipated events of the year.

This year’s party takes place on Thursday, May 17. Some of the city’s best mixologists will be on hand to mix cocktails inspired by the conservatory’s botanic setting–specialty drinks created just for the event will incorporate plants and flowers found inside the conservatory.

Wedding Plans

Next weekend is a big one here in Baltimore–Preakness!–and also abroad, as Prince Harry is set to marry Meghan Markle on Saturday, May 19.

The royal wedding takes place at 7 a.m. our time. Emma’s Tea Spot in Hamilton–a haven for all things British–will open at 6 a.m. and will air the wedding, so you can toast the groom and his American bride.

The Brit crew at The Corner Pantry will be honoring the royal couple, too, with a thematic brunch the day of the wedding, including an elderflower and lemon doughnut modeled after the official wedding cake flavor and a Royal Wedding Tea Latte featuring Harney and Sons Royal Wedding Tea.

Get ready for Feastival

Mark your calendars for June 9: That’s when Feastival, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, returns to downtown Baltimore for its third year.

This year, the “afternoon of food and philanthropy” will take place at The Sandlot. The lineup is outstanding, featuring some of the best restaurants and food makers in town–everyone from The Charmery and Minnow to Blue Pit BBQ and Hersh’s. (And so many more.)

Now’s the time to buy your tickets and start planning your eating strategy. Trust me, you won’t want to miss a single bite.

Celebrating Mom

And finally, just in case you’ve forgotten, Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday, May 13. Even if you completely blanked, there’s still time to make a reservation and take mom out for a special brunch or dinner. Here are some of your options:

Cypriana is opening early for Mother’s Day.

At the Vineyards at Dodon, wine club members are invited, with their guests, to a Mother’s Day brunch by the executive chef of Grapes Wine Bar in Annapolis.

Salt Tavern is offering a three-course prix fixe “Mom’s Night Out” dinner on May 11 and 12.

Minnow’s three-course brunch will be Mediterranean-inspired.

The Elephant is offering an a la carte menu and a small gift for moms to take home.

Cinghiale will have its full a la carte menu plus specials, as will Petit Louis, Lupa, Bar Vasquez and Johnny’s.

Charleston, open for Mother’s Day, has a special three-course tasting menu and cheese and desserts.

Mt. Washington Tavern will have a buffet and a la carte options for Mother’s Day brunch.

Rusty Scupper is celebrating with both a jazz brunch and a special Mother’s Day dinner.

16 on the Park‘s special brunch menu will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

La Cuchara’s Basque-inspired three-course brunch and dinner menus are sure to be lovely.

At Wit & Wisdom, brunch will be a buffet, including a special kids’ bar and a station where the little ones can make Mother’s Day cards.

Hersh’s will be open for brunch, so catch them while you can. This will be the last time they’re open for brunch during 2018 (unless you book a private event).

The French Kitchen in the Lord Baltimore Hotel will have a southern soul-themed menu for brunch, accompanied by live jazz music.

At The Sandlot, a B. Willow florist crafting station will help attendees put together special bouquets for moms, plus Charm City Meadworks will be doing a mini-can takeover featuring a mead created just for the event.

Café Troia will have a special brunch menu and will also be open for Mother’s Day dinner.

Towson Tavern will also offer a special menu.

Atlas Restaurant Group’s restaurants in Harbor East–Ouzo Bay, Azumi, Tagliata and Loch Bar–are open for brunch, lunch and dinner, and will have Mother’s Day-oriented specials in addition to their regular menus.

At Cunningham’s in Towson, moms can enjoy a brunch buffet and a complimentary mimosa.

At Tark’s, the brunch buffet will be free for kids younger than 5.

The Brewer;s Art will offer a special brunch menu that looks terrific (strawberries and cream doughnuts!).

Ampersea’s Mother’s Day celebration includes a four-course dinner plus a cruise of the harbor.

Cosima is debuting some new spring cocktails just in time for Mother’s Day brunch.

Sotto Sopra’s a la carte menu will be available on Mother’s Day, plus some seasonal specials.

Mother’s Day brunch at The Manor Tavern will feature a brunch buffet menu; a special a la carte menu will be available for dinner.

At The Milton Inn, a three-course brunch can be accompanied by seasonal cocktails.

At Encantada, moms can choose from a special brunch menu and a “create your own” salad bar.

Birroteca will offer its complete brunch menu, along with a handful of specials that sound great. Plus, all moms will receive a special treat from the pastry chef.

Aldo’s is open for brunch, with a menu featuring classic dishes, bubbly cocktails and live jazz.

Planning Ahead

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

May 20: Brewscape at Birroteca 

June 3: Tacopalooza at La Food Marketa

June 15: Twilight on the Terrace at Gertrude’s

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