Big Softy's soft shell crab sandwiches and Detroit-style pizza are available at Union Craft Brewing on July 7.
Big Softy's soft shell crab sandwiches and Detroit-style pizza are available at Union Craft Brewing on July 7.

From soft shells to peach pastries, there’s a lot to love about Baltimore’s restaurant offerings this week. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings & announcements

From now through the rest of the summer, Gunther & Co. will offer “Happier Hour” deals during lunchtime on Thursdays and Fridays. Just another reason to start the weekend early during the summertime.

Home meal kit company Home Chef is opening a new distribution facility in Baltimore – which means its many customers in the area are now patronizing a local business. The facility, which is Home Chef’s first East Coast outpost, opens on July 10 and the company estimates it will add over 500 jobs to the local economy over the next year.

Thames Street Oyster House closed for July 4 week for a much-deserved summer vacation. Never fear, though – it’s not permanent. The Fells Point restaurant will be back next week.

Big Softy at Union

On Friday, July 7, the one and only Big Softy will pop up at Union Craft Brewing, serving soft shell crab sammies and Detroit-style pizza. The pop-up starts at 4 p.m. and runs until 8.

Mushroom dinner at Foraged

On Sunday, the team at Foraged is doing something it does so well: collaborating with other local chefs on a meal celebrating specific ingredients. That evening, Chef Kevin Brothers will pop up in the Foraged kitchen to help create a four-course, family-style meal featuring mushrooms from Chesapeake Fungi – and some that have been personally foraged.

Tickets for the dinner, which is a fundraiser for Mushroom City Art Fest, are available now.

Opera Night

Sunday is also Sotto Sopra’s monthly Opera Night, where the meal comes with fabulous entertainment.

The menu this month is bright and seasonal, with dishes like heirloom tomato risotto with shrimp and lemon brown butter, and pan-seared salmon with fregola pasta, crawfish, orange butter and an arugula and tangerine salad.

Crab Feast & Bull Roast for Baltimore Station

On Friday, July 14, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood hosts a big Crab Feast & Bull Roast benefiting Baltimore Station. The ticketed event will include all the classic trimmings of a Baltimore bull roast and crab feast, from steamed crabs to pit beef, plus raffles, games and more – all for a great cause.

Bastille Day fêtes

Chef’s Expressions is hosting its annual Bastille Day wine dinner a little early this year – on Thursday, July 13. The ticketed dinner, which is always a hit, will be held at the Gramercy Mansion.

Petit Louis is also always a fun destination for Bastille Day dinner. The Roland Park restaurant usually has a few tricks up its sleeve; last year, giveaways included berets and mustaches, along with t-shirts celebrating PL’s anniversary.

Sweet stuff

It’s a beautiful time of year for fruit-heavy desserts – and Baltimore chefs know it. Seasonal sweets are making brief appearances on menus around town.

Cosima had a special, summery dessert this week: limoncello zabaglione with olive oil cake, berry sauce and whipped cream.

At The Corner Pantry, peaches get center stage on gorgeous, petit pastries.

The menu at Silver Queen Café is always hyper-seasonal – and desserts are no exception. Most recently, the Hamilton spot has served a blueberry galette with housemade lemon ice cream – sweet and a little bit tart.

Planning for the future

Mark your calendars for:

July 15: Etiquette Brunch at Miss Shirley’s

July 21: Baltimore Restaurant Week

July 23: Tacopalooza

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