Hot Plate: Guinness and The Charmery celebrate birthdays, crab feast at Fort McHenry, National Oyster Day celebrations and more

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Oyster shooters at B&O American Brasserie are one of several specials available around town for National Oyster Day, which is Aug. 5.

This week in local restaurant and bar happenings brings several fun seafood-oriented dinners, a couple big birthdays and some happy news on the openings front. Plus, enjoy specials for restaurant weeks happening in both the city and Baltimore County.

Here’s a look at what’s going on around town:

Openings and announcements
After a renovation, Upper Fells Point restaurant Water for Chocolate will reopen on Wednesday. Chef Sean Guy’s “sexy comfort food” is terrific, and the newly refreshed space is sure to be lovely.

Papi Cuisine has opened in the former home of Bad Decisions.

Café and specialty grocery store Brazil Gourmet plans to open, possibly next month, on Eastern Avenue.

Roggenart is temporarily closing. The bakery’s lease has expired and its owners plan to move into Whitehall Mill; a reopening date should be announced soon.

Sadly, TigerStyle, the Asian carryout opened by the team from The Food Market and La Food Marketa, has closed.

Down the Shore dinner at Gertrude’s
On Friday, Gertrude’s celebrates all things Eastern Shore with a special dinner benefiting the 29th Street Community Center.

The menu will include all sorts of fun seafood specials–perfect this time of year–and 20 percent of all food and bar sales for the evening will go to the community center. Reservations are required; call 410-889-3399.

The Charmery turns six
It might seem like The Charmery has been part of the Baltimore food scene forever, but in reality, the instant-icon ice cream shop (which is quickly becoming an empire) is just now turning six.

Each year, the shops celebrate their founding with a theme party; this year’s is all about sitcoms. On Saturday, The Charmery’s three locations will feature seven sitcom-inspired flavors, like Cheesecake Fixes Everything, a cheesecake and Golden Grahams nod to “Golden Girls.” Plus, every ice cream purchase comes with a free baby scoop.

Fort McHenry crab feast
On Saturday, the Friends of Fort McHenry team up with the Living Classrooms Foundation to host a huge crab feast at the fort.

This annual rain-or-shine event includes barbecue, tons of Maryland crabs, Key Brewing beers and Atlantic Wines, and live music from the Eastport Oyster Boys.

Chuck’s goes whole hog
Fort McHenry’s not the only place in town for barbecue this weekend. On Sunday, Chuck’s Trading Post in Hapmden will welcome Small Batch BBQ for a meal featuring a hog from Liberty Delight Farms, slow-roasted for 24 hours, and “anything we can throw” on Chuck’s’ new grill from local maker Anything Wood & Metal.

First anniversary beer dinner at Guinness
Guinness Open Gate Brewery officially turns one on Saturday; the celebrations have already begun and will continue through the weekend.

Today will feature live music and a cornhole tournament with prizes.

On Saturday, which is actually the big day, the brewery will host a free party featuring country music star Frankie Ballard, beer-inspired cupcakes and a huge cake from Charm City Cakes. Guests can also be first in line for the tapping of Grand Cru, a bourbon barrel-aged stout blended with a rum barrel-aged golden ale, created just for this occasion.

Neighborhood appreciation at Dylan’s
North Baltimore’s oyster lovers are in luck for the next 10 days. From Aug. 2-11, Dylan’s Oyster Cellar is celebrating Neighborhood Appreciation Week by offering 10 percent off the bill to anyone with a valid 21211 drivers’ license/ID.

Dog Days of Summer
This Sunday, grab your favorite pup and head to Birroteca for its fourth annual Dog Days of Summer party. The outdoor event will feature tons of fun for dogs and humans, including a dog costume contest, dog pools, free canine frosty treats, live music and raffles, and, of course, lots of food and beer and other beverages.

The party will raise funds for The Buddy Foundation of Maryland and Baltimore Humane Society.

Restaurant weeks
Baltimore City’s Summer Restaurant Week gets underway today and lasts through the 11th. During that time, local restaurants will offer two-course brunch and lunch menus for $12-20 and three-course dinner menus for $20-35. A huge number of local restaurants are participating; it’s a great time to support city dining.

Baltimore County Restaurant Week also starts today. County restaurants are offering prix fixe menus for prices ranging from $15-35. The lineup includes some great options, like handmade beet-filled ravioli at Café Troia, a blackened ahi tuna wedge salad at Conrad’s and a classic shrimp and grits dish at The Milton Inn.

Oysters!
National Oyster Day is Monday, Aug. 5, and several local restaurants are planning to celebrate.

Thames Street Oyster House is closed for maintenance on Monday, but will honor the day all weekend long. For every raw bar oyster eaten Friday through Sunday, the restaurant will donate $0.10 to the Oyster Recovery Partnership to fund the planting of oysters on protected reefs in the Chesapeake Bay.

Mt. Washington Tavern will honor the bivalve all weekend long, with specials from Friday through Monday and, similarly, donations of $0.10 to the Oyster Recovery Partnership from every oyster sold.

B&O American Brasserie’s National Oyster Day specials include a burger topped with a fried oyster, fried egg, bacon jam and pimento cheese, and the “Tower of Power,” a shooter with an oyster, Baltimore Spirits Co.’s Shot Tower gin and the restaurant’s house Bloody Mary mix. For the bold, double shots are also available!

B&O’s specials will be available today through Aug. 9.

Fashion at Citron
Baltimore Fashion Week begins this weekend and culminates in a pair of runway shows on Aug. 10 and 11. One local restaurant is joining in on some of the fun during the week: On Tuesday, Citron in Quarry Lake hosts a lunch with Jenna Blaha of ELLE magazine.

Planning Ahead
A few events to keep on your radar:

Aug. 10: Flower Farm Dinner at Two Boots Farm 
Aug. 25: Farmers Market Dinner at La Cuchara 
Oct. 12: Ryleigh’s Oysterfest 13 

Kit Pollard

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


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