Hot Plate: New menus at Bluebird and Noona’s, harvest festivals, Diaspora Dinner at Ida B’s and more

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The Hansel & Gretel is one of the cocktails on Bluebird’s new fall drinks menu, which was inspired by classic fairy tales. Photo credit: Justin Tsucalas.

The weekend is filled with fun events for food lovers, with celebrations of fall flavors, wine and whiskey. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings and announcements
Treehouse Café, a gluten-free café and juice bar, has opened in the former home of Prime Corner in Hampden.

A few new restaurants have been announced as future tenants within the Merriweather District in Columbia. D.C.-based pizza chain Matchbox, Dok Khao Thai Eatery and Clove and Cardamom, an Indian restaurant from the owners of Rangoli in Hanover, are all set to open in the area.

New Harbor East spot Bambao is nearing its opening date. Keep an eye out for its doors to open within the next week or two.

BIN 604 has started a wine club; members can order specially selected and sometimes exclusive wines through the club. There’s free delivery for Baltimore City residents, and members who live outside the city limits can pick up their wines at the Harbor East shop.

More autumn flavors
Local restaurant menus have been on the move over the last few weeks, shifting from late summer flavors to fall-centric dishes. The evolution continues this week.

At Bluebird Cocktail Room, a new fall/winter drinks menu is based on the fairy tales of The Brothers Grimm. Each drink has an interesting backstory tied to a classic tale.

Noona’s is releasing a new menu on Wednesday. Though some favorites will remain, the menu will grow to include some additional seasonal dishes crafted with ingredients from local farms, like dayboat scallops with turnips from Karma Farms, and pork belly with fermented honey and heirloom beans.

Maryland Food Truck Week
Maryland Food Truck Week starts today with a free food truck rally at South Point in Port Covington and continues until Sunday, Oct. 27, when it concludes with a “Boo Bash” at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

The party today will include tons of food trucks, plus drinks and a DJ. On Saturday, 10 food trucks will take over Aberdeen for Food Trucks in the Park, an afternoon event with food, crafts, music and kids activities. During the rest of the week, trucks will pop up around the area, and volunteer fire stations and local community groups will host weeknight food truck events.

Trucks will raise money for Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland throughout the week, an added perk of supporting your local food trucker.

Festival season continues
October is prime outdoor festival season, and this week is no exception.

On Saturday, head to Manor Hill Farm for Manor Hill Brewing’s annual Harvest at the Hill Festival. The day includes live music, yard games, farm-brewed beers, farm and brewery tours and a food truck rally.

On Saturday and Sunday, Inverness Brewing’s Fall Farm Fest in Monkton will include three bluegrass bands and lots of fun activities for kids like face painting and pumpkins. Adult tickets include a free Inverness glass and a beer to go in it.

Saturday is also WTMD’s third annual Towson Rock Block festival. Though the main focus of the festival is local music, there’s also plenty to eat and drink, with food trucks, local breweries and an after party at Cunningham’s.

If you’re up for a bit of a drive, this weekend the 51st Annual St. Mary’s Oyster Festival takes place at the St. Mary’s County fairgrounds near Leonardtown.

The weekend’s events feature tons of oyster-related fun, including the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Championship and the National Oyster Cook-Off (Gertrude’s own John Shields is one of the judges). If you do head down, be sure to cheer on Charm City’s representatives at the contest, including Dylan Salmon of Dylan’s Oyster Cellar.

On Sunday, the Made Marketplace Fall Festival, held on the grounds of Elkridge Furnace Inn’s Garden House, includes food, music and artisans, plus drinks from five local distilleries, four wineries and one brewery.

The women behind Mera Kitchen Collective will join together at Fadensonnen on Sunday for a World Food Festival. The Mera women come from various backgrounds, cooking food from El Salvador, Sudan, Egypt, Burkina Faso and Syria. The breadth of their stories will be represented during the evening festival.

Also on Sunday, OFF Market Fest will take over the 1100 block of Wicomico Street in Pigtown. The party includes food and drinks, plus art, music and lots of fun.

Oktoberfesting
Local Oktoberfests have been going strong since late September; this week brings a couple more to celebrate all things German beer.

Power Plant Live! hosts a huge Oktoberfest party on Saturday afternoon and evening, featuring tons of craft beers, pretzels and brauts, a Stein-holding competition and many opportunities to chicken dance to live music.

And for something that’s not quite an Oktoberfest, but is in the spirit of celebrating Baltimore’s history, the Zion Church of the City of Baltimore will host back to back sour beef dinners on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. The menus will include sour beef, homemade potato dumplings, red cabbage and green beans, plus German beer and wine, soft pretzels, beer hall music and cakes.

Week of wine
This week includes several excellent options for wine lovers.

On Wednesday, Points South Latin Kitchen welcomes certified beverage professional Sharon Woschitz for a fun tasting class on the wines and food of South America and how they work together.

Thursday night, Chez Hugo brings back its popular Chicken & Champagne event for the third time. Who can say no to delicious fried chicken and a glass of champagne?

Also on Thursday night, Café Troia in Towson will hold a wine dinner featuring the wines and food of Abruzzi–particularly the Pecorino grape and Montepulciano d’Abruzzi.

Thursday also offers an opportunity to get to know the wines (and winemaker) of Argentina’s Domaine Bousquet, when Schola hosts a tapas cooking class showcasing the company’s products, with winemaker Rodrigo Serrano in attendance. Seating is limited, so grab your tickets now.

Whiskey Wednesday…and Thursday
On Oct. 23, Hotel Revival welcomes the crew from McClintock Distilling Co. for an educational workshop on how to make whiskey. Attendees will learn about different types of whiskey and how it is made, with a focus on the barrel-aging process and on what’s unique about Maryland whiskeys.

After the class, each guest will take home a bottle of Maryland Heritage White Whiskey and a mason jar with charred wood chips, so they can make their own rapid-aged whiskey at home.

Thursday night, The Bourbon Club will host its annual Women & Whiskey tasting event at Towson Tavern. The evening will feature a lineup of spirits from Heaven Hill and the event will benefit the breast cancer cause The Red Devils.

Diaspora Dinner Series at Ida B’s Table
On Wednesday, Ida B’s Table hosts the next in its Diaspora Dinner Series, events designed to foster conversation and raise funds for worthy organizations.

Wednesday’s dinner includes five courses (with wine pairings) prepared by Ida B’s chef David Thomas and chef Heather Smith of Blacksmiths. The conversation will include guests Julius Tillery of Black Cotton Farms and Jillian Hishaw, founder of F.A.R.M.S. (Family Agriculture Resource Management Services), which will also receive a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales, silent auction proceeds and collected donations.

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

October 27: Harvest Festival at Petit Louis
November 1: Smoke and Barrel Fundraiser
November 2: Baltimore Craft Beer Festival

Kit Pollard

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


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