Hot Plate: Hersh’s Pizza for President, Brooklyn on The Avenue & Openings All Over

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Hersh's wants you to vote for their next new signature pizza © Lindsay Hite /
Hersh’s wants you to vote for their next new signature pizza © Lindsay Hite /

Local restaurants are showing off their creative spirits this week, with a slew of new events and campaigns that are fun and offer something a little different than the usual dinner out. Here’s a look at what’s in store for Baltimore food lovers this week:

Pizza for President

This election season might seem longer than any other in the history of elections, but Hersh’s has found a way to make the last few weeks a little more pleasant. Their new “Pizza for President” campaign invites the public to submit ideas for a new Hersh’s signature pizza. Ideas can be sent to [email protected] or shared via social media, through October 25.

The Hersh’s team will narrow down the list and let friends and fans vote for their favorite. The winning pie will be announced on Tuesday, November 8 – and the mind behind the pie will win one free Hersh’s pizza a week through Inauguration Day on January 20.

That is democracy in action! 

Busy at Wit

The Wit & Wisdom crew is always busy – the restaurant hosts fun events on a regular basis – but right now, they are up to even more than usual.

Tonight, October 14, Wit will celebrate National Dessert Day with an off-menu Dessert Tasting served at the chef’s table (aka The Kitchen Table).

On Saturday, October 15, Julie Dalton’s Cellar Sessions series is back with “A Toast to Fall.” During the class, Dalton walks guests through an intense, interactive tasting experience. It’s fun and a good way to learn a lot in a short time.

And on Wednesday, October 19, the restaurant will kick off a new dinner series called “Curated.” Each Wednesday through January 18, the restaurant will host a special dinner at The Kitchen Table. Each week has a unique theme; next Wednesday is “Wit Gone Wild,” a four-course meal featuring local wild game. The following week is a Pabu Satori Dinner, featuring eight favorite dishes from Pabu (though the restaurant is no longer in Baltimore, it remains active in several other cities and a new Boston location has just opened).

There are only a few seats available for each of these special dinners, so reservations – and planning ahead – are recommended!

 Pizzas & Pies

By now, Baltimoreans, especially those who live in the vicinity of The Avenue, are used to hearing “Hampden is the new Brooklyn.” That might be debatable, but on Saturday, the neighborhood will be embracing all things Brooklyn when the Robicellis pop up at Paulie Gee’s.

The Robicellis are mostly known for their desserts; during the pop-up, they’ll be selling three fantastic pies by the slice. But they’ll also be selling a handful of creatively-topped pizzas by the whole pie, including one topped with Welsh rarebit, back bacon, and roasted tomatoes and another loaded with garlic cream cheese, pastrami and everything bagel spices. 

Parts & Pearls

Parts & Labor is diving into the oyster season on Sunday, with Parts & Pearls, a charity event benefiting the Oyster Recovery Partnership. The party features all you can eat oysters on the half shell, grilled sausages and farm beers from Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm, Brookville Farm Brewery, and Waredaca Brewing Company.

Reservations aren’t necessary, but you can buy tickets ahead of time if you’d like.

Celebrating Thailand

Yesterday brought sad news out of Thailand, with the announcement that King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a popular leader who presided over the country for 70 years, died at age 88.

Ten Ten’s Sunday evening Bangkok Beer Dinner, organized in collaboration with Union Craft Brewing, was planned well before the news of the King’s death. It’s likely to be a special remembrance, though, and a celebration of the culture he represented. 

Opera Night at 15

Sotto Sopra celebrates 15 years of Opera Nights this Sunday, with a five-course dinner including dishes like lobster and prosciutto crostini and roasted scallop over tomato and basil risotto. During dinner, the entertainment will come from five performers: three sopranos, a tenor and an accompanying pianist.

Peek Inside the Kitchen

Are gorgeous kitchens your thing? This Wednesday, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Decorators’ Show House will host Kitchens of Note, a tour of six fabulous Greenspring Valley kitchens. In each kitchen, a well-known local chef or caterer – a list including John Shields of Gertrude’s and Jerry Pellegrino of Schola – will be busy cooking, preparing treats for those on the tour. 

Action at Artifact

Wit & Wisdom isn’t the only local restaurant with a busy schedule this week.

At Artifact Coffee, Wednesday night will be all about “The Story of Us,” an evening of chocolate, food and drink pairings and story sharing from several local makers, including chocolate master Jinji Fraser, Plantbar’s Daniela Troia, Chris Jennings of Grand Cru and David Speegle of Artifact.

The next night, Thursday, October 20, the Origins series returns with a look at Women Who Farm. Three female farmers will participate in the event. With snacks, drinks, and supper from Artifact and conversation from the panel and guests, it’s sure to be an enlightening evening.

Openings & Announcements

These days, it seems like every week brings news of at least one restaurant opening.

This week, Five and Dime Ale House, from the people behind Pratt Street Ale House and Oliver Brewing, opens in Hampden on October 17. Plus, Bar Louie’s Foundry Row location in Owings Mills will open on October 21, offering a $10 credit to anyone named Louie who stops by on opening day.

This week also brought news that Lee’s Pint & Shell opened this week in the Canton space that formerly housed Saute. The restaurant’s ownership and chef remain the same, but the concept and space have both been overhauled. Lee’s menu is seafood-centric, though a few dishes, like the duck nachos, have been carried over from Saute’s menu.

The Elephant, Mount Vernon’s new jewel, has just announced a couple of fun new programs, including a three-course, pre-theater, prix-fixe and more elaborate a “Chef’s Counter” meal – a five-course tasting menu – at a prime seat with a view of all the activity in the kitchen.

Grano Emporio, in Hampden, has made a couple of adjustments to its hours. Starting October 23, the restaurant will offer brunch on Sundays. Grano will also start closing on Mondays and Tuesdays, except for special events.

In September, Points South Latin Kitchen kicked off a twice-monthly Drag Brunch. On the first and third Sunday of every month, the Fells Point restaurant hosts a fun brunch including drink specials and fabulous entertainment from local drag performers.

Planning Ahead

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

October 22: Calcotada Festival at La Cuchara

November 5: Vino in Vogue at Harbor East 

November 14: No Kid Hungry dinner at Food Market

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