Hot Plate: Halloween events all over town, Oysterfest in St. Michaels, Champagne at Charleston

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Oyster fritters are one of the many oyster preparations on the menu at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Oysterfest, taking place Oct. 27 in St. Michael’s.

Double, double toil and trouble. Cauldrons will be bubbling all over Baltimore this week, as local restaurants celebrate Halloween and a whole lot more. Here’s a look at what’s happening:

Openings and announcements

Gypsy’s Truckstaurant, a brand new Clipper Mill restaurant from the owners of the popular Gypsy Queen food truck, celebrates its grand opening this Sunday. The restaurant, which draws both from the food truck and from the owners’ much-loved, now closed Canton restaurant Helen’s Garden, has a fun interior and a great patio.

Johnny’s has new hours! The café room at the Roland Park restaurant is now open at 8 a.m. daily. To celebrate, the they’re offering bottomless cappuccinos through Oct. 31.

Have you stopped by Prime Corner yet? The new Hampden shop is going strong, with shelves stocked with tons of interesting food brands (both local and otherwise). In addition to food items for your own kitchen, the shop has lots of carryout meal options, from local makers like The Lunchbox Lady, Presription Chicken and Neopol Smokery. You can’t miss the shop’s vibrant exterior–check it out next time you’re in Hampden.

Citron is gearing up for its second anniversary in early November by welcoming a new executive chef, Matthew Newland, the former senior executive sous chef at Wit & Wisdom. The Quarry Lake restaurant has also given its menu an overhaul for autumn, with the introduction of dishes like braised veal cheeks and gnocchi with Maine lobster.

The excellent Peruvian restaurant Puerto 511 turned five this past week. Congratulations to them!

Sadly, downtown restaurant Brio Tuscan Grill will close on Nov. 4.

The restaurant community had some sad news this week, with the announcement of the death of Nikolaos Tserkis, owner of Captain James Landing, the Canton seafood restaurant. Tserkis moved from Greece to Baltimore in 1966 and worked at H&S Bakery before eventually opening the restaurant, a Canton icon for its ship shape, in 1985.

Salt pops up!

If you have been missing Salt, the Butcher’s Hill restaurant that closed earlier this year, here’s some good news: Chef Jason Ambrose is popping up today for a fall-inspired dinner benefitting Make Studio. The meal will include old Salt favorites like duck fat French fries and foie gras burgers. (And costumes are encouraged!)

Maryland Food Truck Week

Maryland Food Truck Week is still going strong through this Sunday.

The event will close out with a party at the Baltimore Museum of Industry featuring about 20 food trucks, vendors, live music and a full bar. After the BMI event, the party will move to Gypsy’s Truckstaurant, where the finale of food truck week will coincide with the restaurant’s grand opening.

Hoodang! on the Bay cancelled

Hoodang! on the Bay, an event organized by Woodberry Kitchen and the Sandlot, has been cancelled in anticipation of bad weather. The event was originally scheduled to take place this weekend at the Sandlot.

Oysterfest on the shore

Saturday, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s hosts its annual Oysterfest. The event includes live music, craft beers and spirits, cooking demos, oystering and Chesapeake Bay retriever demonstrations, an oyster stew competition and, of course, oysters served in a variety of ways, from raw to frittered.

Proceeds from the event support the museum’s education, restoration and exhibition programs.

Cognac & Roses

On Sunday, help support local culinary student scholarships at A Night of Cognac and Roses at Westminster Hall Burying Ground and Catacombs. The event, celebrating the life of Edgar Allan Poe, includes a cognac toast in his honor along with signature cocktails, RavenBeer, food from guest chefs and a performance of “The Raven.

Pol Roger at Charleston

On Monday, Oct. 29, Charleston will host a multi-course meal paired with wines from Pol Roger. The winery’s Pierre-Samuel Reyne will be on hand to discuss the wines.

Courses include dishes like Maine lobster salad with chanterelle mushrooms and crispy shallots paired with Pol Roger Brut 2008.

Spooky stuff

Halloween is coming! And it’s not just for trick-or-treaters!

On Friday and Saturday, diners in full costume at The Elephant will receive 10 percent off their bill and be put in the running for a $100 gift card, awarded to the person with the best costume.

On Sunday, Kooper’s Tavern gets scary with its annual BOO-Runch, a kid-friendly party featuring lots of costumes, plus bottomless drinks for the parents.

Monday, Oct. 29, Foraged Eatery hosts a screening of the Halloween classic, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The Hampden restaurant will also put on a pumpkin carving contest with prizes.

On the evening of Halloween, Johnny’s is going Hogwarts. The restaurant will be decorated, and staff will be in costume as Harry Potter characters. The menu will include treats like Butterbeer cupcakes and Dragon’s Breath macarons.

Also on Halloween night, The Bluebird Cocktail Room will have a costume contest with gift card prizes and several “spooky cocktails” on the menu.

The Night Brunch will also pop up at South Point on Halloween evening, with food by Home Maid and specialty cocktails like the Mexican Reindeer, a concoction featuring mezcal, Jägermeister and grapefruit juice.

Magdalena‘s Halloween celebration will be appropriately sophisticated: the Mt. Vernon restaurant will host a whiskey and candy pairing event.

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrating loved ones who have died. In the United States, it takes place on and just after Halloween.

A couple local spots will recognize the holiday this year, including La Calle, which is getting a jump start on the party with an event on Saturday featuring traditional foods, a costume contest and face painting by a local artist.

Blue Pit BBQ will celebrate on Thursday, Nov. 1. The Hampden barbecue and whiskey spot will join forces with Ilegal Mezcal. During the party, Ilegal will have giveaways, including limited-edition t-shirts.

Julia Child dinner & discussion at Gunther & Co.

Not into Halloween? Costumes and treats aren’t your only fun option in Baltimore on Oct. 31.

That evening, Gunther & Co. partners with the D.C. chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier to host Stephanie Hersh, Julia Child’s personal assistant.

The restaurant will prepare a five-course, Julia Child-inspired dinner with optional wine pairings, and Hersh will be on hand for a discussion of the great American culinarian.

Planning Ahead

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

November 3: Baltimore Craft Beer Festival 

November 7: Cocktails & Calligraphy at Ludlow Market 

November 11: Moveable Feast Chili Cookoff at Union Craft Brewing 



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