Hot Plate: Holiday by the Falls, cocktail dinner at Ouzo Bay, citrus talk at Artifact and more

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This month’s Origins conversation and meal at Artifact Coffee focuses on growing citrus right here in the mid-Atlantic.

Now that the stuffing and turkey have been gobbled up, it’s time for Baltimore food lovers to turn their thoughts toward the holidays. This week, there’s at least one fun food-related event in Baltimore every day. And it’s a good one.

Here’s a look at what the Baltimore restaurant scene has to offer this week:

Andina opens
There’s good news for empanada lovers in Baltimore: Andina, a casual new spot on Lexington St., opened last Monday. The restaurant is a new venture from the owners of Puerto 511, the excellent Peruvian place nearby.

Holiday Spirit
Get a head start on shopping starting on Saturday when Whitehall Market, the not-quite-open-yet Hampden market, hosts Holiday by the Falls, its first pop-up shop for the season. From Saturday through Dec. 22, the market will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., showcasing the goods of its future tenants, companies like Ceremony Coffee, Gundalow Gourmet, Homebody General Store, Crust by Mack, Wight Tea Co., Heritage (the food of Chef Rey Eugenio) and Firefly Farms.

Each weekend, the market will also host a ticketed workshop. On Saturday, the workshop will focus on citrus garland making.

Speaking of the holidays, Liberatore’s annual gift card sale starts on Sunday. For every $50 card you buy, you’ll get an extra $5 card, for $100, you’ll get a $10 card and for $200, you’ll get a $20 card.

Spirits Sunday
On Sunday evening, Ouzo Bay partners with Two James Spirits for a wildly creative, six-course cocktail dinner.

The menu includes pairings like lamb ribs with black garlic, harissa BBQ, pistachios and an herb salad paired with a Teumessian Fox, a concoction of peaty bourbon, smoked apple butter shrub, salted honey and dried mint. Also: a seared scallop entrée served with pumpkin puree, chimichurri and veal marmalade paired with a Harvest Mourning, which includes bourbon, allspice dram, pumpkin, pistacheio orgeat, almond milk and tangerine.

S’mores Night at Fadensonnen
On Sunday evening, The Charmery, Fadensonnen and Pure Chocolate by Jinji team up for a fun night of s’mores making over the fire in the open hearth in the courtyard at Fadensonnen.

Movie Monday
On Monday evening, “A Fine Line,” Joanna James’ documentary about female chefs, will be screened at the Horseshoe Casino. The movie features numerous Baltimore chefs, including Samantha Love, Cat Smith, Tonya Thomas, Jasmine Norton, Amanda Mack, Krystal Mack, Carleen Goodridge, Lashauna Jones and Daejonne Bennett.

The event, which is organized in partnership with the networking organization Just Call Me Chef, will start with a 6 p.m. reception; the screening of the film will follow at 7:15 p.m.

Taco Tuesday…eating contest
On Tuesday, Papi’s Tacos in Fells Point will host a taco eating contest, starting at 6 p.m. All entrants must be 21 or older because the contest involves being the quickest to down six gringo tacos, one Dos Equis draft and one shot of Olmeca Altos Tequila.

Cunningham’s cooking class
On Wednesday, sidle up next to Cunningham’s chef–and Food Network star–Jay Rohlfing for a fun and educational cooking class experience.

Local citrus at Origins
This month’s Origins conversation and dinner at Artifact Coffee focuses on locally grown (sort of) citrus. The guests are the owners of Bhumi Growers, a New Jersey-based company that grows exotic citrus fruits for chefs and bartenders. It should be an interesting discussion and meal, especially since most people don’t think of the Mid-Atlantic as a prime area for year-round citrus.

Gertrude’s holiday teas begin
Gertrude’s holiday afternoon teas are a lovely and genteel way to celebrate the holiday season. They take place on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of December; the first one is on Friday, Dec. 6.

Reservations for the teas must be made a full day in advance. The menu includes a variety of savory and sweet treats, including crab beignets, chocolate-peppermint profiteroles and a Gertrude’s Candy Bar of dark chocolate mousse, salted caramel and hazelnut crunch.

Holiday cooking demo with Nick Malgieri
Get a jump start on your holiday cooking plans during a fun cooking demonstration and class by Chef Nick Malgieri.

Malgieri, a chef with an illustrious resume, including a stint as Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World, will pop up at the Jarrettsville culinary school Basic Kneads on Friday, Dec. 6. The class will include a demonstration, the ability to sample recipes and a glass of wine.

Heritage Smokehouse Feast at Union
Also on Friday, the crew from Heritage Smokehouse, the future BBQ place in Govans, will pop up at Union Craft Brewing. It’s billed as “a feast of epic proportions.”

Planning Ahead
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:
Dec. 10: Champagne Dinner at Cypriana 
Dec. 11: Cookies & Cocktails in Harbor East 
Dec. 15: Star Wars Brunch at Outpost American Tavern 

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