Perennial will open in May in the Towson space that formerly housed Cunningham’s.
Perennial will open in May in the Towson space that formerly housed Cunningham’s.

Spring won’t be here for another couple weeks but Baltimore’s restaurant scene is getting a head start on the season of rebirth. This week brings news of several high-profile openings, plus a flurry of events featuring everything from whiskey to sauerkraut. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings & announcements
This week is a terrific one for local restaurant news.

In some very exciting news for meat-lovers – and anyone who likes high quality food – John Brown General & Butchery is opening a restaurant in the former Parts & Labor space. The original Cockeysville shop / restaurant is one of the best spots in the region, so this is very welcome news indeed.

Perennial, the new restaurant opening in the old Cunningham’s space in Towson, is already getting a lot of buzz. The restaurant, which will open in May, will be helmed by Cunningham’s excellent chef Jay Rohlfing and designed by Patrick Sutton, who is the creative mind behind some of the city’s best-looking restaurants.

THB’s new Owings Mills location – its biggest to date – is slated to open in May.

The team from Foraged Eatery has purchased land for a farm, where they’ll be growing vegetables and mushrooms – which is great news for anyone who loves their hyper-local approach to sourcing.

The restaurant space on the first floor of Hotel Revival – where Square Meal used to be – will reopen later this year as ‘Dashery, a breakfast and coffee to-go spot. The hotel’s Topside Outside outdoor area will also reopen in the coming months.

On Wednesday, Tender Shack, a new delivery-only chicken tender spot, will open in Baltimore. The menu will be available on DoorDash from Wednesday through March 20, Tender Shack will celebrate its opening with daily cash prizes ($100 a day) and a $5,000 grand prize.

New offerings
Have you been watching Stanley Tucci’s “Searching for Italy”? The team from Café Gia has and they are inspired. Every Monday, they Little Italy restaurant will feature specials focused on the region highlighted in Sunday night’s episode. Keep an eye on their social media for more details each week.

NiHao is now offering a selection of its signature flavorings, like he Meiwei Garlic Chili Oil and New Bay seasoning, by the jar.

Kids cook, too
As parents know, March is summer camp planning season. Last year, many camp plans were scrapped, due to COVID, but this year, as the pandemic (hopefully) wanes, camps are back.

Pierpoint Restaurant has just announced a tentative list of summer camp dates. Each session runs Monday through Thursday and kids will learn how to make a variety of foods (and take home some for their parents, too).

Cheers to cleaning up the streets
In an effort to help clean up the city streets, the Aldo’s team has a new contest in the works. Between now and March 15, pick a part of the city to clean up and you’ll have an opportunity to win an Aldo’s gift box and a bottle of their excellent limoncello.

To enter the contest, post before and after photos of the area you’ve cleaned (along with the address) in the comments on this Facebook post. The photos showing the biggest improvement will win – winners will be selected after the contest closes on March 15.

First Friday
On March 5, check out First Friday Art Walk in Highlandtown – and grab a bite while you’re at it. The crew at Sally O’s will be ready for the walk with food and drinks and a favorite artist of their own – Sarah Tundermann – popping up out front.

Krautfest is on
Gertrude’s annual Krautfest is on now through March 7. The much-loved menu includes options like bratwurst and kielbasa from longtime Baltimore favorites Binkert’s and Ostrowski’s, and sides like HEX Ferments sauerkraut and pumpernickel rolls. The menu also includes a vegan option with stuffed veggie cabbage rolls.

Whiskey, Wine & Fire
On Saturday, head to The Manor Tavern for Whiskey, Wine & Fire, an outdoor event featuring music, BBQ and other foods, wine, cocktails and – of course – bonfires.

International Women’s Day dinner
On Sunday, get a kickstart on International Women’s Day with a special dinner at Elkridge Furnace Inn. Each course of the menu will honor a specific woman who has made a significant impact on the world, from a first course of greens and veggies celebrating Alice Waters to Maryland seafood stew in honor of Harriet Tubman.

Baltimore + Jacques
On Tuesday, the Jacques Pepin Foundation will launch the second volume of its virtual recipe book, Cook with Jacques & Friends: Volume 2. The book, which is available to members of the foundation (membership starts at $40 per year), includes recipes from chefs and bartenders from all over the country – including a pair of Baltimore’s own.

Local Chef Cat Smith shares a Maryland crab cake recipe and Chef David Thomas contributes a recipe for Creole Hon Fleurs with blue corn grits.

The Foundation is has a strong mission, too – supporting culinary and life skills training via community organizations. Here in Baltimore, the Foundation has partnered with several organizations, including FoodWorks at the Maryland Food Bank and UMBC’s The Choice Program.

Supporting Sacred Heart Parish
On Thursday, Miss Shirley’s Roland Park location is giving back to Sacred Heart in Glyndon with a special delivery and donation. Order (by phone) from the Sacred Heart menu by 2 p.m. on Wednesday and pick up your meal on Thursday afternoon. Each order will include a donation to the parish.

Coffee talk
On March 12, tune into the Hotel Revival Facebook page at 10 a.m. to listen in on a conversation between the hotel’s Jason Bass and Travis Bell of Black Acres Roastery, a Black-owned artisan coffee roastery.

Weekend Backpacks lineup
Weekend Backpacks, a local non-profit that helps food-insecure children in Baltimore by providing weekend meals, is taking a fun and food-centric approach to fundraising this year. The organization has scheduled a year-long series of virtual events designed to raise money for its initiatives.

The first event, to be held March 21, is a “Mixology 101” Zoom hosted by Linwood’s beverage director Justin Austin and Cured and 18th & 21st beverage director Steve Wecker. Participants will receive the ingredients necessary to make four specialty cocktails, plus instruction from Austin and Wecker on how to do just that.

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for:
March 18: Spanish Wine Supper at The Manor Tavern 
March 21: Weekend Backpacks Dueling Bartenders 
March 27: Make Your Own Mixers with CaNe Collective at Sagamore Spirit 

Kit Pollard

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