Perennial is one of many local restaurants with special brunch and dinner options on Easter Sunday. Photo courtesy of Atlas Restaurant Group.

This week, the Baltimore restaurant scene is all about new beginnings, spring flavors, and seasonal holidays. Here’s a look at what’s happening:

Openings and announcements

R. House has a brand new tenant: Koshary Corner. Koshary, which opened earlier this week, specializes in Egyptian street food; the name references the rice and lentil dish that has been an Egyptian staple since the 19th century. 

Kneads Bakeshop & Café opened this week in Harbor East. The bakery and market are owned by the legendary H&S Bakery, and includes dine-in, carryout and catering options.

Octobar, a new restaurant at 1400 Light St., will open this weekend. The restaurant is built on the culinary expertise of Bernard Dehaene, former owner of Corner BYOB/Corner Charcuterie in Hampden. 

The Fells Point shop The Seasoned Olive is poised to open a second location in Belvedere Square sometime this month.

Daily lunch hours are back at The Choptank in Fells Point.

Unfortunately, this week also brings some sad news. After five years in business, Civil has closed. The Mt. Vernon restaurant occupied the storied space that housed, among other things, the beloved late 1980s and ‘90s spot Louie’s Bookstore Café.

Al fresco opportunities

As the weather (slowly) warms, Baltimore restaurants are dusting off the outdoor furniture and getting ready to head outside – it’s patio season.

Several local patios and outdoor spaces are already open, including Bondhouse and Prima Dopa in Fells Point, Tark’s in Greenspring Station, and Tapas Teatro in Station North.

La Cuchara’s patio opens for the season on Friday and Clavel’s outdoor space will follow next week; it opens on April 10. The outdoor space at Petit Louis will also be open soon. 

Springtime at True Chesapeake

The True Chesapeake Oyster Co. patio also opens this week, ushering in a fun season at the Whitehall Mill restaurant. In addition to their monthly Grateful Dead brunch, which is Sunday, April 2, throughout the month of April, the restaurant will host a food drive, in partnership with the University of Maryland Alumni Association.

True Chesapeake’s sister restaurant, The Local Oyster, is also participating in the food drive. You can drop canned goods for donation to the Maryland Food Bank at either restaurant throughout the month.

New menus

Several local restaurants have taken the change in seasons as an opportunity to update menus – and not just to introduce new seasonal dishes.

The Milton Inn has reorganized and fine-tuned its menu to accommodate different types of diners, including those looking for a celebratory meal and those in search of something a little more casual.

Ryleigh’s Oyster has also revamped its menu, adding some new dishes and bringing back some favorites.

The Tilted Row’s menu is now full of dishes featuring spring produce and bright flavors.

Limoncello is celebrating spring with dishes like stuffed squash blossoms, fried and served with saffron aioli for dipping.

Blossom season

Downtown’s pop-up, the Cherry Blossom Bar, opens March 31 at East Baltimore St. The pop-up, which will serve cherry blossom-themed cocktails, among other things, is open for the next three weekends.

Gearing up for ramps

Ramp season in Maryland is an incredible time for dining – but it’s also so quick that if you blink, you might miss it. Foraged Eatery, which is always tuned into the changing seasons, predicts that they’ll be on the menu sometime around the second week of April.

As always, they’ll feature the harvested vegetable for as long as it lasts. They recommend making reservations now, so you don’t miss them.

Learning Italian over lunch

Café Campli’s Italian language lunch meet-up returns this week, with a lunch event on Thursday. All levels of Italian speakers are welcome for great food and conversation.

Easter & Passover

Easter and Passover are both sneaking up on us, which means it’s time to make plans for brunches and dinners – whether you’re planning to go out or host at home.

Patisserie Poupon orders are now open for desserts and pastries, including adorable individual chocolate nests that are perfect for the spring holiday.

The Corner Pantry has a variety of items for both holidays that can be easily carried out to serve at home, including flourless chocolate cake for Passover and everything from deviled eggs to pastries for Easter.

In honor of Passover, The Charmery is now scooping Matzoh Brittle – sweet cream ice cream mixed with matzoh bits covered in chocolate and caramel.

Eddie’s “Spring Holiday Menu” features prepared dishes to take home for Passover or Easter, including options like chive corn souffle and cinnamon bun matzoh kugel.

Hersh’s is open for brunch on Easter Sunday.

Gunther & Co. is celebrating Easter with a two-course brunch menu.

Charleston is open for dinner service on Easter Sunday, serving its regular menu.

Heritage Smokehouse is open for brunch on Easter Sunday, serving dishes like an asparagus salad with mint, parmesan and lemon, scrapple scotch egg, and a smoked leg of lamb.

True Chesapeake Oyster Co. will offer a brunch buffet and a la carte raw oysters for Easter.  

Darker than Blue has two seatings for Easter brunch this year: one at 11 a.m. and one at 1 p.m.

Citron will serve a special menu for Easter brunch.

Woodberry Kitchen’s Southern Maryland-inspired Easter brunch buffet includes carving stations with local specialties like stuffed ham and smoked oyster pot pie, alongside classic breakfast dishes like eggs benedict.

Johnny’s brunch buffet includes an omelet station and springtime dishes like strawberry salad, along with Johnny’s classics, like fried rice.

The Easter Bunny will be on hand and available for photos during Easter brunch at Perennial.

City Cruises has some fun Easter plans in the works, including Easter brunch and dinner cruises around the Inner Harbor and down the Patapsco River.

Petit Louis is open for both brunch and dinner service on Easter Sunday.

Duck Duck Goose will also be open for both meals on Easter.

Manor Tavern’s Easter dinner buffet includes classic carving station options like prime rib, lamb and ham, plus many more dishes.

Planning for the future

Mark your calendars for:

April 17: Hog Butchery at JBGB’s

April 22: Lock House Craft Beer & Wine Fest

May 11: Bourbon & Bowties

Kit Pollard

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