Hot Plate: New Options in Fells Point, Woodberry Kitchen Gets More Local

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New York Sour at Pane e Vino
New York Sour at Pane e Vino

It’s an exciting week in Baltimore, as spring has finally taken hold. Light City draws to a close this weekend, but Monday is Opening Day for the Orioles and across the city, menus are starting to include that surest sign of good weather: soft shell crabs. (We spied some on the menus at The Food Market and Cinghiale already last week!)

Here’s what else is happening in the Baltimore restaurant world this week:

Taste around Town

This week’s events include two separate “Taste of” events.

On Monday, head down to D.C. for the D.C. Taste of the Nation, benefiting Share Our Strength. The event is at the National Building Museum in Washington, but it also includes a nod to Charm City, with

Baltimore Row, including some of the city’s best chef’s, like The Food Market’s Chad Gauss, Waterfront Kitchen’s Chris Amendola, Bagby Restaurant Group’s Chris Becker, Robbin Haas of Birroteca, Dyan Ng of Wit & Wisdom, Mike Ransom from B&O Brasserie and Jessie Sandlin from Mama’s on the Half Shell and Nacho Mama’s. And ice cream from The Charmery!

A few days later, on April 6, check out the flavors closer to home at the Taste of Pikesville, held at the DoubleTree in Pikesville. The event will feature local favorites like Gourmet Again, Linwoods and Stone Mill Bakery.

 Tacos with a View

Woody’s Cantina, a taqueria and tequilaria from the group behind Kooper’s and Slainte, will open in Fells Point on Monday, April 4. The space has a great view of the harbor and the menu is filled with fun, summery Mexican dishes alongside tons of mezcal and tequila choices.

Lunch on the Water

Starting this Tuesday, April 5, Waterfront Kitchen will resume lunch service. Lunch at the restaurant will include dishes like a sandwich of braised pork and house-cured ham and a roasted mushroom cheese “steak.” All served, of course, with a gorgeous view of the harbor.

 Vino Down Under

Get to know the wines of Australia at a five-course tasting dinner at Christopher Daniel on April 5. The menu will include dishes like butter-poached lobster and tri-tip steak with braised oxtail, and each course will be paired with a wine from a different Australian winery.

Patio Party with Michael Mina

On Wednesday, April 6, hobnob with Wit & Wisdom owner Michael Mina at Wit on the Water. Mingle with Mina, the season’s first patio party, will feature barbecue dishes (there’s a smoker on site!) and local shellfish, as well as an updated take on the root beer float developed by W&W Executive Pastry Chef Dyan Ng.

Beer at Wine Market

On Wednesday, April 6, Wine Market Bistro goes sudsy with a progressive beer tasting featuring the craft beers of Cambridge’s RAR Brewing and paired appetizers from Chef Brian Mahon. Food pairings will include poached shrimp with Old Bay pickled onions, house-made ricotta and fig bacon jam crostini and short rib sauerbraten.

Pano e Vino Turns 1

On Thursday, April 7, celebrate the first anniversary of wine bar Pane e Vino. The doors to the sweet Little Italy spot will be open to the street, wine and cocktails will be abundant – and there will be birthday cake! If you’re having trouble deciding what to drink, you can’t go wrong with any of the restaurant’s Italian wines- especially the Montepulciano.

Cider & Conversation

Have you tried Millstone ciders yet? They’re great. The small company, which has a gorgeous Monkton workspace, is co-hosting a dinner and discussion at Artifact Coffee on Thursday, April 7. The evening will include dinner and a cider tasting, along with a conversation about cider making and local products.

 Spring Menus

With the new season upon us, it’s time for some menu refreshing.

Harbor East salad and bowl favorite sweetgreen is celebrating the season with the introduction of a new early spring menu, available from now through May 23. The updated menu includes dishes like the Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe, which includes goat cheese, raw pecans, kale and beets, and Not So Nicoise, a take on the traditional nicoise salad with sustainable steelhead trout and new potato.

At Towson Tavern, a new spring menu debuts on Monday, including dishes like seared spiced scallops with manchego creamed corn and fried green tomatoes with horseradish Dijon aioli and tomato marmalade.

Woodberry Goes Even More Local

Chef Spike Gjerde announced this week that his restaurants – Woodberry Kitchen, Parts & Labor, Artifact Coffee and Grand Cru Wine Bar – will, by early this month, make all of their bread with a minimum of 60% locally grown grain. Their goal, as a company, is to remove Midwestern-grown grain from their products, instead sourcing the ingredient from local Maryland and Pennsylvania growers.

This initiative is an expensive one – local flours cost more than those sourced from the Midwest – but Gjerde, lead baker Russell Trimmer and the rest of the Woodberry Kitchen group team agree that the transition to local flour is important to the group’s overall mission.

Going Greek in Fells

There are changes afoot at the Inn at the Black Olive. The Inn’s two restaurants are combining into one, Agora Bar and Grill, located on the first floor of the space. The space, which formerly housed Agora Market, has been renovated to house more tables, and the restaurant’s focus will be on casual, approachable food served all day on weekdays and for brunch on weekends.

Planning Ahead

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

Sunday, April 10: Baltimore Cocktail Week starts

Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17: The Emporiyum in downtown Baltimore

April 22: The Gathering’s season kicks off

Sunday, April 17: Oyster Festival at The Manor Tavern



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