Hot Plate: Peerce’s and Taharka Bros. open, Chanukah, Christmas Eve and Christmas dining and more

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Several local restaurants will offer Feast of the Seven Fishes menus this Christmas Eve.

Merry merry merry! The big dining news this week is all about the holidays, but that doesn’t mean celebratory dinners are the only good dining opportunity on the horizon. There are several fun events happening this week, plus a bunch of good news about Baltimore restaurants.

Here’s a look at what’s happening around town:

Openings and announcements
Have you heard that Peerce’s, formerly known as Peerce’s Plantation, has been overhauled and reopened by the Singh brothers, formerly of Ambassador fame? The idyllic Baltimore County spot quietly reopened for lunch a few months ago and, just this week, is going full throttle with dinner hours.

Taharka Brothers ice cream shop opened this past Thursday in the old Little Baby’s Ice Cream space in R. House.

Angels Ate Lemons, the new wine shop in Fadensonnen, opens this weekend.

Happy birthday to 1157 bar + kitchen. The small but mighty South Baltimore spot celebrated five years in business last week.

From now through Christmas morning, The Curious Oyster is hosting daily giveaways via social media. Check them out on Facebook to get in on the action.

Sadly, Greektown staple Acropolis announced last week that it will close after dinner on Christmas Eve. However, the organization’s catering arm will remain open and a new location may be in the works.

Celebrate the Solstice
Saturday is the longest night of the year, the winter solstice. A couple local spots are hosting fun events celebrating the change of seasons.

In the afternoon, head to Emma’s Tea Spot in Hamilton for a fairy makeover and tea party. Guests aged 5 to 11 are invited to dress as fairies and join the Tea Spot for a high tea, fairy craft and makeover.

In Elkridge, Rathskeller is celebrating the day with an afternoon of music from a local choir, seasonal drinks and tasty bites. The event has a philanthropic angle, too: Everyone who brings a new toy for the restaurant’s Toys for Tots bins will receive a complimentary beverage. Plus, 20 percent of proceeds will be donated to Toys for Tots.

Bad Santa Party at The Choptank
The Choptank is getting into the solstice spirit in a slightly different way on Saturday night, with a Bad Santa party featuring a costume contest and live music from Nelly’s Echo.

Throughout the night, guests wearing Christmas gear will receive 20 percent off their food and beverage bills between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Holiday beer dinner at Guinness
On Sunday night, Guinness Open Gate Brewery hosts a holiday beer dinner featuring four courses of seasonally inspired dishes paired with Guinness beers. The evening also celebrates the launch of two special releases: Winter Warmer and Gingerbread Spiced Ale.

Holiday Pawty at The Bluebird
On Sunday night, The Bluebird Cocktail Room hosts a fun holiday party benefiting the Maryland SPCA. The cocktail bar will be decked out with photos of adorable pets; with every purchase of a drink from the Brothers Grimm-inspired cocktail menu, you’ll have the opportunity to vote for one of the pets as cutest. One dollar from each cocktail sale will go directly to the charity.

Holiday Wars!
On Sunday night, don’t miss the finale of Food Network’s “Holiday Wars.” Baltimore’s own Jason Hisley–of Cake by Jason fame–is competing and has made it to the finals. The winner of the episode, which airs at 9 p.m., takes away a $25,000 prize.

Ugly Sweater Fondue Party at Coelum
‘Tis the season for ugly sweaters…and fondue? Coelum in Canton is throwing it back to the ’70s on Monday with an Ugly Sweater Fondue Party featuring a sweater contest, drinks, appetizers and lots of melty cheese.

Holiday dining
There’s still (a little) time to get those holiday reservations made. If you’re still hemming and hawing about where to go to celebrate Christmas Eve, Christmas or Chanukah, check out the links below for inspiration. Some places on this list may be booked by the time you call–and if you don’t spot your favorite restaurant on the list, that doesn’t mean they’re closed.

Cosima is covering several bases this week: on Christmas Eve it will have a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner and on the 26th through the 28th, there will be Chanukah-related specials.

Gunther & Co. is also doing dual holiday duty: The restaurant will host a 2nd Night of Chanukah dinner on Monday and Christmas Eve dinner on Tuesday.

Start Christmas Eve off right with brunch (including a bottomless mimosa special) at Cardinal Tavern, beginning at 11 a.m.

At Limoncello, additions to the menu for Christmas Eve include a luxe linguine with seven fishes dish, featuring everything from lobster tail to mussels.

Cinghiale will also offer a Feast of the Seven Fishes option on Christmas Eve; the restaurant’s full dinner menu will also be available.

At The Milton Inn, the Christmas Eve menu includes dishes like a beef tenderloin tartare appetizer and a venison loin entrée.

Charleston will offer its regular tasting menu plus specials on Christmas Eve.

Café Troia will offer its regular menu on Christmas Eve, plus some holiday specials.

Bar Vasquez will offer a four-course prix-fixe option for Christmas Eve, plus its regular dinner menu.

The Alexander Brown Restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve but closed on Christmas Day.

Similarly, The Brewer’s Art is open for both drinks and dinner on Christmas Eve but closed Christmas Day.

Executive Chef Scott Hines is back at B&O American Brasserie and he has a lot up his sleeve for this big holiday week, including house-made Chanukah doughnuts, a traditional Christmas Eve dinner and brunch specials on Christmas Day.

Wicked Sisters is open for dinner until 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

At Johnny’s, a three-course prix-fixe menu will be available on Christmas Eve, in addition to the regular dinner menu.

On Christmas Day, the Four Seasons Hotel will offer a buffet brunch with live entertainment and access to the rooftop skating rink. Spots are available between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Sotto Sopra opens at 11 a.m. on Christmas and will offer the regular menu plus specials.

Boxing Day at Johnny’s
Johnny’s continues its annual tradition of hosting a festive Boxing Day brunch. The Roland Park restaurant is open for brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thursday, with specials like a bacon, forest mushroom and dug egg flatbread.

Planning Ahead
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:
Dec. 31: Kiddie Ball-Drop at The Charmery 
Jan. 10: Krautfest at Gertrude’s
Feb. 28: Partying through Time Workshop at London Town 

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