Hot Plate: Hersh’s Josh Hershkovitz on Chopped, Wicked Sisters Opens in Hampden, Halloween Fun

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10-28-pig-roast
At Hersh’s on Sunday, The Corner Pantry crew is in the kitchen and pig is on the menu.

Happy Halloween weekend, Baltimore! Hope you’re ready for a candy hangover.

If you don’t have plans yet for this weekend, consider checking out one of the great parties happening around town. Several local markets – including Belvedere Square and Lexington Market – are holding kid-friendly events during the day tomorrow and Sunday and tomorrow night, in addition to the Fells Point craziness, there are adult-oriented parties all over the city, including one at The Elephant and another in the “dungeon” at The Brewer’s Art.

Even if Halloween isn’t your particular cup of tea, Baltimore’s restaurants have plenty to offer this week, from national TV debuts to collaborative dinners. Here’s a look at what’s coming up in and around town:

Openings & Closings

Last week, the big news was the grand opening of Bar Vasquez in Harbor East. This week, the spotlight is on Hampden, where Wicked Sisters is opening its doors in the old McCabe’s space – tonight!

Wicked Sisters is operated by the powerhouse restaurant trio Charlie and Lori Gjerde and Carrie Podles, the team behind Papi’s Tacos, Alexander’s Tavern and Huck’s American Craft. Initial reports are fantastic – both the space and the menu look great.

Next Friday, Baltimore gains another city brewery space when Diamondback Brewing Company opens a 7,000 facility, including a taproom open to the public, in South Baltimore, on Fort Avenue.

Fans of Clementine have something to cheer about. The Hamilton comfort food spot that, sadly, closed its doors last year, has announced efforts to reopen later this year. The restaurant’s owners, Winston Blick and Cristin Dadant, kept their catering business going even after the restaurant closed. They are currently running a Go Fund Me campaign to raise the capital they need to reopen in their space on Harford Road.

Owings Mills has been on a roll lately, with openings all over the place. The most recent of those openings happens today, when Zoes Kitchen, a Mediterranean spot, opens its 200th location. To celebrate the milestone, Zoes Kitchen is running a Facebook contest with multiple prizes, including complimentary entrees and free Zoes for a year.

Unfortunately, the restaurant world had some sad news this week, too, with the closing of the Water Street location of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. That location was open for 24 years, though the region is still home to several other Ruth’s Chris locations, including on Pier V, not far from Water Street, and one that opened in Odenton just a few weeks ago.

Food Network Love

One of Baltimore’s own – Chef Josh Hershkovitz of the popular south Baltimore pizza and cocktail spot Hersh’swill appear on the Food Network’s “Chopped” this week! Hershkovitz can’t share anything about what happens on the show, which airs on Tuesday, November 1, but no matter what the outcome, seeing a friendly Baltimore face on the small screen is always exciting.

As if that wasn’t enough, tonight, the network’s “Burgers, Brew & ‘Que” is all about Baltimore. Le Garage in Hampden is throwing a viewing party; the show airs at 10 p.m., but the restaurant’s burger and beer combo – a special for the viewing – is available starting at 9 p.m.

 Collaboration City

One of the best things about Baltimore’s restaurant community is the way chefs, bartenders and restaurateurs band together for fun, seasonal events.

When they’re not busy honing their television stardom, the crew at Hersh’s is also squeezing in some time to partner with The Corner Pantry and Victory Brewing on a nose-to-tail British Pig Roast.

Earlier this fall, the two restaurants put on a dinner together at The Corner Pantry’s Lake Falls Shopping Center location. This Sunday, October 30, they’ll be at Hersh’s, where they will serve a buffet dinner featuring a whole roasted hog from Whistle Pig Hollow alongside dishes like roasted cabbage, pork fat roasted sweet potatoes and mini Yorkshire puddings.

And on November 2 and 3, the Foodshed team gets into collaboration gear with a two-night event featuring nomadic chef Danny Newberg of Joint Venture NYC. Newberg will pop up at Artifact Coffee on November 2 and will be at Parts & Labor on November 3.

The menu will focus on the foods of the mid-Atlantic and cooking over an open flame. At Artifact, it will feature fish and vegetables, including ember-charred squash. The P&L menu will include shareable boards of sausage, beef and vegetables, all passed around the restaurant’s fireplace, as Chef Newberg and the crew use the restaurant’s outdoor space to cook over an oak-fueled flame.

Dessert Showdown

The Food Market is running an online poll between now and October 31. Vote for your favorite of two of the restaurant’s iconic desserts – either the Half Baked Blondie or the Heath Bar Bread Pudding – on Facebook or Instagram. Whichever dessert wins the poll will be given away free during brunch every Saturday in November. Pretty sweet all around.

Chicken or the Egg

On November 3, R. House’s soon-to-open fried chicken stall BRD will pop up at Sugarvale in Mount Vernon. BRD chef Alex Janian will be serving up fried chicken sandwiches, wings and sides, all of which can be paired with specially-concocted off-menu cocktails. 

If eggs are more your bag, head to Myth & Moonshine on November 2, to celebrate National Deviled Eggs Day with a deviled egg eating contest, a deviled egg tasting menu and prizes galore.

Tasting Italy

Head to Trinacria Italian Café (on West Centre Street) on Tuesday, November 1 for a tasting featuring six Italian wines and finger foods.

On Thursday, November 3, Pane e Vino will host Formaggi, Salume and Vino, featuring the wines, cheese and meats of Italy. The event includes five sample-size courses as well as discussion and instruction on cheesemaking and wine and cheese pairing. 

Whiskey Season

Sunday, October 30, One Eleven Main in Bel Air will host a four-course Sunday Scotch Dinner. Courses include duck confit cassoulet, butternut squash soup and local apple salad – each paired with a different scotch.

Taste away at the Baltimore Whiskey Festival, which takes place November 3 at the Engineers Club. The event will feature more than 60 whiskeys from all over the world, as well as seminars and conversations with whiskey distillers, master blenders and other experts.

Final Secret Supper

The Baltimore Sun’s Secret Supper series, which began last March, will have its final 2016 installment on November 1. The location is still being kept firmly under wraps, but previous dinners have been at Aggio, Cunningham’s and Wine Market Bistro.

Celebrate Hampden

The rise of Hampden as a go-to restaurant neighborhood has been undeniable over the past few years and the chefs and restaurant owners who work in the area love where they cook. This Thursday, they’re giving back to the community with A Taste of Hampden at the Ideal Arts Space. Local chefs will be serving some of their favorites to the community, while raising funds to benefit the Hampden Family Center.

Planning Ahead

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

November 5: Vino in Vogue at Harbor East 

November 9: March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction 

November 14: No Kid Hungry dinner at Food Market



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