Hot Plate: Nori opens in Hampden, Damascus meets Caracas at Alma Cocina Latina, Gertrude’s patio parties begin

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Cosima, which has one of the prettier outdoor spaces in the city, will not be open for brunch during July and August.

The lazy days of mid-summer have arrived in Baltimore, but local restaurants still have plenty of announcements and fun events to keep you busy. Here’s a look at what’s happening this week:

Openings and announcements

Hampden’s new sushi bar, Nori, has opened quietly, and with little fanfare. For now, the menu is strictly sushi, but new dishes will be added in the future.

The Döner Brös food truck announced this week that it will open a brick-and-mortar location in Charles Village this fall.

Blue Moon Café announced expanded hours this week: It is now open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and for 24 hours on the weekends.

This week brought some sad news: New America, the charming downtown café, has closed its doors. We’ll miss the restaurant’s excellent food and enthusiasm for community-oriented events.

Summer hours

A couple local restaurants are making some adjustments to hours for the summer months.

The Elephant has adopted “summer hours” for July and August; the restaurant will be closed every Tuesday. Burger & Beer Night, which was previously on Tuesdays, will move to Wednesdays.

Cosima announced this week that it is putting brunch on hold for the rest of the summer. However, the owners have assured their fans that it will be back in the fall.

Harbor Point Bridge is finally open

The Harbor Point Bridge, which connects Harbor East to Harbor Point via Central Avenue, has opened. This is great news not just for people trying to get around the city, but also for those who enjoy the many restaurants in the area.

During the construction process, access to some restaurants was challenging and at least one, Mussel Bar & Grille, closed (possibly temporarily) during the multi-year project.

Damascus meets Caracas

On Wednesday, July 11, Alma Cocina Latina partners with Mera Kitchen Collective for a very special Venezuelan/Syrian meal, served family-style.

The meal is sure to be a spectacular one and this event will likely sell out, so grab tickets now while you can. All proceeds go directly to Mera Kitchen Collective, which is a food-based cooperative that helps support and pay living wages to refugee and immigrant women in Baltimore.

Patio parties at Gertrude’s

Gertrude’s kicks off a weekly patio party this week. Every Wednesday, the patio will be the place to be, with $3 specialty cocktails and (some) beers, $5 rail drinks, wine from Old Westminster Winery and food specials.

Drunk Punch Love! At Ludlow Market, Bar & Bottle Shop

Also on Wednesday, Ludlow Market will explore everything that there is to love about punch, with an event featuring punch tastings and bar snacks. No reservations are necessary, and drinks and small plates will both be $7.

Bastille Day fêtes

Next Saturday, July 14, is Bastille Day, and several local restaurants are celebrating the holiday in the most French way possible: great meals.

Chef’s Expressions is starting the celebration early with a Bastille Day wine dinner benefiting Meals on Wheels, to be held Friday, July 13. The dinner, which takes place at the Gramercy Manson, includes several courses of French food–think dishes like escargots with mushrooms and tenderloin with green peppercorn bordelaise–and thoughtfully chosen French wine pairings.

At Chez Hugo Bistro, the menu will include dishes like whole monkfish tail brushed with tomato and eggplant paste, and the evening will also feature mimes, costumes and toasts inspired by chef/owner Steve Monnier’s home country.

Petit Louis Bistro will host an outdoor festival to honor the day, with live music, food and wine. It’s happening rain or shine.

Planning Ahead

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

July 23: RAR Sour Beer Dinner at Outpost American Tavern 

July 26: Crabs &Beer Dinner at Gertrude’s 

August 23: Summer Soiree at The Pendry

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