Hot Plate: Negroni Week, Great Grapes, Rose Wine Dinner at Aggio

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St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival in the evening
St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival in the evening

Happy Donut Day! (Or is that “doughnut” day?)

Even if you’ve spent the day gorging yourself on sugary pastries, you may want to switch back to regular food at some point. Fortunately, Baltimore’s restaurants have you covered, with events from festivals to wine dinners.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in and around town next week:

 Openings & Announcements

It’s been an exciting week for new restaurant announcements and openings around town.

The QG, the downtown department store, has had a restaurant/bar project in the works for a little while now. The space, dubbed C.L.O.C.K. Restoration, opened as a private bar earlier this month. Clients – anyone who does business at the QG at least once a quarter – are invited to use the space, along with any family and friends they have with them. Though right now, it’s operating strictly as a bar, eventually, C.L.O.C.K. will serve lunch and sharable appetizers.

Fans of Bonchon collectively cheered earlier this week when the popular Korean fried chicken franchise announced the opening of a Canton location later this year (likely around September). Bonchon has five other Maryland locations; the closest to Baltimore is in Ellicott City. 

Hampden has a new gluten-free Italian spot, Polenta Café, which just opened on West 36th Street. The polenta sticks with Old Bay look especially tempting. 

All American

MADE: In America and the Carroll Mansion are hosting a tasting event and awards presentation this Sunday, June 5, at the Four Seasons Hotel. The awards, which will go to local dignitaries, both in and out of the food world, will be paired with cocktails by Wit & Wisdom and hors d’oeuvres from a collection of celebrated local chefs.


Have you had your first crabs of the year yet? If not, Sunday might be the day to kick off everyone’s favorite crustacean-eating season, when Rocket to Venus hosts Obrycki’s Crabs Off the Avenue. Crabs, corn, pit beef and hush puppies will be accompanied by the O’s game on TV – a combination of so many of the things that make Baltimore the best. 

Wine Time

Wine lovers will find plenty to choose from this weekend and all week long.

This weekend, head up to Oregon Ridge for the Great Grapes Wine Festival, the annual celebration of all things Maryland wine. The festival is a fun one, with tons of options, and the gorgeous country setting can’t be beat. 

Summertime is rose season – and Aggio is ready to celebrate it. On Sunday, June 5, the Italian restaurant will host a four-course wine dinner, featuring two roses per course. Cheers!

South American wines have risen in popularity over the past few years. Get to know the continent at Points South Latin Kitchen’s Primera Cena de Vino wine dinner on June 8. The meal will feature five courses  paired with five different wines, all from South America.

Negroni Week

If negronis are your drink, don’t miss Negroni Week, starting Monday, June 6. The event, which is sponsored by Imbibe magazine and Campari, is a global initiative raising money for a variety of charitable causes.

During the week, participating restaurants and bars make charitable donations for each negroni sold. Locally, participating spots include Blue Pitt BBQ and Whiskey Bar, Cosima, The Brewer’s Art, B&O American Brasserie, Bad Decisions, Modern Cook Shop, The Rowhouse Grille, Seasons 52 and Harvest Wood Grill + Tap.

 Get to Know Your Oil

We all use it and eat it all the time – but what do you really know about how olive oil is made?

Slow Food Baltimore is partnering with E.N. Olivier for an olive oil tasting and lesson, including small plates that incorporate extra virgin olive oils, and some great background that will help you gain a better understanding of the staple ingredient. 

Meet the Brewers at Birroteca

On June 8, brewers from six fantastic local breweries – Evolution, Waverly, Duclaw, Diamondback, Union and Heavy Seas – will converge on Birroteca to chat with diners during an event featuring beer and beer cocktails, plus paired bites.

Get to the Greek

Hit GreekTown Square between Thursday, June 9 and Sunday, June 12 for the St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival. The event, Maryland’s largest celebration of Greek life, features musical and dance performances, vendors and, of course, tons of authentic Greek food.


Have you heard about FEASTIVAL? Taking place next Saturday, June 11, on the Waterfront Promenade in Harbor East, it’s a serious food event featuring some of the city’s best restaurants and chefs – and all of the proceeds from the event’s ticket sales go to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The location is spectacular, the food will be fantastic and the cause is an excellent one. All in all, it promises to be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Seasonally Appropriate

‘Tis the season for seasonal dishes and cocktails. In addition to the soft shells that continue to flood local kitchens, both Petit Louis and Azumi have new menu announcements this week.

Azumi is about to roll out a handful of new drinks, including the “Serenity,” a combination of gin, basil, rose water, pineapple and lime that sounds perfectly summery and fabulous. 

And if you’re a fan of vichyssoise, now is the time to head to Petit Louis. It’s back!

 Planning Ahead

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

June 11: Remington Chop Workshops & Biergarten 

June 23: Smooth Ambler Dinner and Pairing + Private Tasting at Dry 85 

June 28: Vegetarian Wine Dinner at La Cuchara 

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