Hot Plate: National Oyster Day, The Elephant Turns One, Tagliata & The Elk Room Open

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Local restaurants are gearing up to celebrate National Oyster Day, Saturday August 5. (Photo courtesy of The Boathouse Canton.)

With Restaurant Week still hopping, National Oyster Day on the horizon and tons of new restaurant openings announced, this week is an especially exciting one in Baltimore. Here’s a look at what’s happening:

Openings & Announcements

This week is full of terrific news from local restaurants.

Tagliata, the newest restaurant from The Atlas Group, which owns and operates Ouzo Bay, Azumi and Loch Bar, opened this past week to significant fanfare. The restaurant, an Italian chophouse, is located in the former home of Fleet Street Kitchen in Harbor East. In the secluded space next to Tagliata, Atlas has opened a speakeasy, The Elk Room. The two spots share a gorgeous courtyard that is sure to be a hotspot whenever the weather permits.

The Elephant turns one year old this week! They will be celebrating the milestone, starting Tuesday, August 8, with complimentary birthday cupcakes for all dining guests.

Donut fans have something new to cheer about this week, with the news that Krispy Kreme will reopen in its former Owings Mills spot.  Plus, Rise Biscuits Donuts, a casual southern food restaurant, will open later this year in Lutherville-Timonium.

In more reopening news, Holy Frijoles, which experienced significant damage due to an electrical fire last August, is slated to reopen this month. The restaurant has undergone significant renovations and updates and the menu will have some new additions as well.

Hampden is also the scene of another exciting new opening: The Local Fry. The popular Federal Hill wings-and-fries joint has plans to open a second location in the Rotunda later this year or early in 2018.

If you’re a fan of following restaurants on social media, check out the brand new Instagram profile from Rye Street Tavern. Rye Street is the restaurant slated to open this fall at the Sagamore Spirit Distillery in Port Covington. Like Rec Pier Chophouse in the Sagamore Pendry Hotel, the kitchen at the new restaurant will be overseen by Chef Andres Carmellini.

Oysters Everywhere

National Oyster Day celebrations started earlier this week in Baltimore and they come to a head on the big day itself, Saturday, August 5.

Restaurants that recycle shells through the Oyster Recovery Partnership will donate 10 cents of every oyster sold on Saturday to ORP, which means that each oyster dale will fund the planting of 10 baby oysters onto Chesapeake Bay sanctuary reefs.

The list is long and includes restaurants all over Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. In Baltimore, participating restaurants include: Dylan’s Oyster Cellar, Gertrude’s, Grand Cru, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, Kooper’s Tavern, Lee’s Pint & Shell, The Local Oyster, Mama’s on the Half Shell, Nickel Taphouse, Ryleigh’s Oyster, Slainte, Thames Street Oyster House and The Boathouse Canton. To see a complete list of participating restaurants, including those outside the city, click here.

At Gunther & Co., the day will be celebrated with a patio happy hour benefiting No Kid Hungry. The event will include drink specials, plus 20 cents from every War Shore Oyster Company’s “War on Hunger” oyster sold will go to No Kid Hungry.

Ryleigh’s Oyster will be playing “Shuck the Clock” all day long. Local oysters will start at 50 cents at 11 a.m and increase in price by 25 cents every hour (until they reach $2 each).

Mt. Washington Tavern started their celebration yesterday and it will last all weekend long, featuring oysters from all over the world, with a variety of sauces and Flying Dog beers to pair.

Tiki Time

Gnocco is going Polynesian this Sunday, with a good old fashioned Tiki Party featuring Old Line Rum & Whiskey drinks, fancy-casual food (think pretzel dogs and ceviche) and appearance from guest bartender Steve Lamb of Rye.

Red, White & Rose on Tuesday

Tuesday, August 8 promises to be a great day for local wine lovers.

That evening, Waterfront Kitchen is hosting one of its monthly wine cruises; this one focuses on the whites and reds of California.

The same evening, brand new Hampden spot Avenue Kitchen & Bar will host its first wine school class, dubbed 50 Shades of Rose.

Whimsy & Wine at Encantada

Have you been to Encantada lately? Or to the American Visionary Arts Museum? If not (or even if you have), Wednesday evening offers a good reason to go back. The restaurant will host A Night of Whimsy & Wine – a “whimsical dinner” that promises creative and unexpected dishes.

The night starts with cocktails and small bites, followed by a “through the looking glass” meal, complete with wine pairings.

Restaurant Week Is Still Rolling

Baltimore City’s Restaurant Week, with two-course brunch and lunch offerings ranging from $12 to $20 and three-course dinners $20 and $35, lasts through this Sunday – and Baltimore County Restaurant Week starts today, which means diners all over the area have tons of great options.

Planning Ahead

Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:

August 14: Ouzo Bay Cocktail Dinner 

August 26: Vegan Soulfest

September 15: Picnic in the Park 

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