Happy New Year! How are those resolutions holding up? Whether you’ve committed to a meatless January or you’re still nibbling leftover Christmas cookies, Baltimore’s restaurants are offering plenty to drool about this week. Here’s a look at what’s happening in and around town:
This Sunday, January 8, Little Italy will hold the 1st Annual Little Italy Meatball Fest at the Little Italy Lodge on Pratt Street. The festival, which is organized by Joe Benny’s, includes a meatball eating contest and a “Best Balls on the Block” competition and a portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Pandola Learning Center.
First Fridays in Hamilton
Tonight is First Friday in Hamilton, which means special art exhibits and fun restaurant activities.
At the recently reopened Clementine, families can check out the Kidzibit. Stop in and grab a drink and a bite while your kids make art for the restaurant’s wall (and sip on Shirley Temples).
Hersh’s Anti-Temperance Society
Every Monday night from January through May, Hersh’s will shed some light on what happens behind the bar, with a class focused on cocktails, beer or wine.
The classes will be lead by Ali Dryer and will include a $5 drink special available to all attendees. The first class, this Monday, January 9, will focus on tropical cocktails – and just in time, too. Who wouldn’t want to think about beach drinks when the temp is below freezing?
New Year’s Around the World
Chef’s Expressions is kicking off its 2017 wine supper series on Friday, January 13 at the Gramercy Mansion. The theme is New Years Around the World and the meal, which benefits The Hope for Morrope, includes dishes like braised lamb shank and Atlantic cod poached in cumin broth.
Maggie’s Farm for Sale
Maggie’s Farm, the five year old Harford Road farm-to-table restaurant, is for sale. The restaurant’s owners, Andy and Matthew Weaver, are opening a new spot in Waltherson. In an effort not to spread themselves too thin, they are hoping to sell Maggie’s Farm.
They say the restaurant would be ideal for a chef-owner. It comes with a lease, liquor license and all assets and inventory, plus a staff that is available to stay in place.
The restaurant has earned many accolades over its five years in business; both the food and cocktails are great and the space is charming and full of personality.
Restaurant Week Starts!
Next Friday, January 13, Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week kicks off with a bang.
More than 100 restaurants are participating in the event, which will feature a flexible approach to pricing, with two-course lunches and brunches from $12 to $20 and three-course dinners between $20 and $35. Many restaurants will also offer optional beer and wine pairings, as well as other fun benefits, like live music (and free valet services).
Check out the Restaurant Week website for more information about which restaurants are participating and what they’re offering. Many spots will post their menus online ahead of the event, so you can pick and choose where to go based on what you like to eat.
So far, the menus posted look terrific. From dishes like braised beef cheek at Petit Louis to Tio Pepe’s famous garlic shrimp, there’s something for every palate.
The restaurant scene lost two players with personality this week.
Station North Irish pub Liam Flynn’s Ale House announced midweek that it was closing its doors. The news isn’t entirely unexpected – last year, the pub launched a crowdfunding campaign to deal with lease issues – but fans of Irish music and hospitality will miss the place.
Last fall, Harbor East restaurant lovers were saddened to hear that Fleet Street Kitchen was shuttering. The official closing came earlier this week.
However, the Fleet Street closing comes with a silver lining: Atlas Restaurant Group, the company behind Ouzo Bay, Azumi and Loch Bar, will open a new concept in the Fleet Street space. The new restaurant will be full of Harbor East veterans: new General Manager David Goodman and Executive Chef Julian Marucci both previously worked at Cinghiale.
The new concept has not yet been announced, but the restaurant is slated to open in the early spring.
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:
January 17: Ina Garten at the Hippodrome
January 26: Whiskey Rocks at La Cuchara
February 4: Heavy Seas Oyster Festival