Hot Plate: Magdalena and others reopen for dine-in, Passover and Easter brunch and dinner options, make your own mixers with CaNe Collective and more

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Magdalena is reopening for indoor and outdoor dining – and introducing a new spring menu at the same time.

This week is a great one for food-lovers in Baltimore. In addition to many choices for Passover and Easter dining, local restaurants and businesses are hosting several fun food and beverage-related events. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings & announcements
DC-based HalfSmoke is opening a second location in the Can Company in Canton. The casual eatery, which opens on Friday, April 2, offers sausages, snacks, sandwiches and more.

Atlas Restaurant Group announced this week it will open a Choptank outpost in downtown Annapolis, right on Ego Alley, in the space formerly occupied by Fawcett’s marine supply.

The Moon Garden, a collaboration between the minds behind Blue Moon Café and The Sound Garden, will open this spring in Fells Point.

Aldo’s has a new pop-up option, with meals available to take home and reheat on Thursdays and Fridays. Options include rigatoni, chicken parm and – of course – their famous limoncello.

Magdalena reopens for dining this week. The Ivy Hotel restaurant opens Thursday and, at the same time, will launch a new spring dinner and cocktail menu that combines the bistro fare introduced in the fall with the more sophisticated choices the restaurant offered prior to COVID.

Food Market’s private kitchen reopens on March 26. The downstairs event space can accommodate groups of 10 – and dining in it is a blast.

Ouzo Beach has reopened for outdoor cocktails and dining.

Gertrude’s is once again open for indoor and outdoor dining – with a beautiful view of the BMA Sculpture Garden. The restaurant also has a new springtime dessert lineup with options like a pretty lemon meringue tart.

Bubbles, Big Softy & more
Mr. Nice Guy Cocktails is celebrating one year in business – congratulations! – with a bubble party and plant sale on Saturday. There are multiple seatings and Big Softy will also be on site, serving sandwiches and a seafood boil; the bubble party drinks will also be available for carryout.

Big Softy is having a huge weekend. The chef will also pop up at Dutch Courage on Sunday, with his new Detroit-style square pizzas.

Make your own mixers at Sagamore
On Saturday, head to Sagamore Spirit for a make-your-own mixers class hosted by the crew from Baltimore’s own CaNe Collective. The class will include a talk, demo and hands-on mixer-making experience and everyone will go home with a CaNe Collective mixer, a bottle of Sagamore Spirit Rye, and 375 mL bottle of a mixer made during class.

Lost Ark launch
Last week, on Maryland Day, Lost Ark Distilling launched a pre-release of a new spirit: Route One Dark Rum. The rum, which will be in stores on April 9, is named after the state road that was a favorite thoroughfare for bootleggers.

Coffee talk at Hotel Revival
On March 28, drop into the Hotel Revival lobby to get to know Black Acres Coffee. The company founder Travis Bell will be on hand to talk all things coffee with visitors.

SPCA at Barley’s
On Monday, to celebrate National Mom & Pop Business Owner Day, Barley’s Backyard’s two locations – in Fells Point and Towson – will donate a portion of proceeds to the Maryland SPCA.

Closing out Women’s History Month
On Wednesday, the last day of Women’s History month a handful of local culinary and craft experts will gather for a conversation about the achievements of women business owners, with a focus on the question, “How do you choose to challenge?”

The discussion will be live-streamed and with registration, attendees can also pick up a corresponding box of food and craft items, including dishes and drinks from Crust by Mack, Urban Oyster, H3irloom Food Group, and Le Monade.

Virtual wine tasting with Wells
On Thursday, Wells Discount Liquors partners with Charm City Wine School’s Tim O’Hare, a Certified Sommelier, for a virtual wine tasting event. The registration fee includes wine samples, tasting cups and a tasting sheet and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Jimmy’s Famous Seafood Restaurant Relief Fund.

Passover plans
This year, Passover begins March 27 – so there is still a little time left for seder plans.

In honor of the holiday, The Charmery’s Matzoh Brittle flavor is back, available by the scoop or pint.

Eddie’s Passover In-a-Box is available through April 3; it includes brisket with gravy, matzoh ball and chicken soup, macaroons and more.

Gunther & Co. has traditional brisket and roast chicken dinners, among other Passover items, available to order and pick up through its Marketplace.

Gundalow Gourmet has takeaway menu items like matzoh ball soup and flourless baklava cake available all weekend.

Easter meals
Easter is Sunday, April 4, so now is the time to make reservation and place orders for take-home meals. As always, Baltimore restaurants are offering tons of options for both dining in and at home.

The Easter Bunny will be on hand for photos at Barley’s Backyard Uptown in Towson on Saturday, starting at noon.

Urban Oyster will have a fish fry available on Good Friday: rainbow trout or blue catfish plus a choice of sides.

Thames Street Oyster House’s take-home Easter menu includes options like whole leg of lamb, crab salad-topped deviled eggs and family-style lobster pot pies.

Café Gia’s Easter menu will include favorite dishes from the regular menu plus Italian Easter specialties.

Corner Pantry to-go options include grilled lamb chops and a whole roasted side of salmon. Table arrangements from Flowers & Fancies will also be available for pickup at the restaurant.

Café Troia’s brunch menu includes springtime Italian dishes like shrimp and asparagus risotto and goat cheese ravioli.

Walker’s Tap & Table has family meals to order and take home, including honey-glazed salmon or crab cakes.

Eddie’s Easter options include brunch and dinner boxes with meals for up to six people or an Easter plate with hand-carved ham, plus a variety of sides and desserts.

Though Charleston is not usually open on Easter Sunday, it will be this year, offering its regular tasting menu.

Cosima’s Easter menu includes options like mustard and almond-encrusted rockfish or leg of lamb with artichokes.

Petit Louis’ classic Frnch three-course Easter brunch and dinner menus will be available for dine-in or to-go.

The Four Seasons has a takeaway brunch available for pickup on Easter, including choices like spring vegetable quiche and a citrus pound cake with honey crème fraiche.

Johnny’s will be open for brunch, lunch and dinner on Easter Sunday, offering the regular a la carte menu plus specials including a three-course dinner and a brunch box.

In addition to great waterfront views for brunch or dinner, Cindy Lou’s Fish House will offer its a la carte menu plus new spring cocktails for Easter.

Bar Vasquez will offer its regular menu plus two special four-course menus for Easter dinner – one lamb, one fish.

Gunther & Co.’s Easter menu includes choices like she-crab soup, crab, asparagus and fontina quiche, and Gulf shrimp and grits.

Easter Sunday specials at Cinghiale will include grilled leg of lamb with roasted carrot puree and salsa verde.

Liberatore’s has three family-style takeaway options for Easter dinner, featuring dishes like grilled pork tenderloin or broiled salmon in lemon butter caper sauce.

Gundalow Gourmet’s Easter options include herb-crusted rack of lamb and a mascarpone carrot pound cake.

Manor Tavern will host lunch, brunch and dinner on Easter Sunday, with options like rack of lamb and homemade chicken pot pie.

At Nick’s Fish House, the regular menu will be available on Easter Sunday, along with some traditional Easter fare.

The Capital Grille is open on Easter and also has a three-course takeaway option, featuring a whole rack of bone-in filet and sides like asparagus and mashed potatoes.

Ampersea – including its large outdoor space on the water – is open for Easter brunch.

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for:
April 16: Baltimore County Restaurant Week
April 24: OMGFood Benefiting The League for People with Disabilities 
April 28: Wine and Bourbon Tasting at Peerce’s



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