Hot Plate: Preakness parties, royal wedding treats, Biggie Smalls brunch and more
Sagamore Spirit Rye drinks are on Preakness celebration menus at Mt. Washington Tavern and Ryleigh’s Oyster this weekend.
Sagamore Spirit Rye drinks are on Preakness celebration menus at Mt. Washington Tavern and Ryleigh’s Oyster this weekend.

With Preakness, a royal wedding and a bunch of other fun food events on the horizon, this week is shaping up to be a good one in Baltimore. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings and announcements

Stay tuned for more on Larder Baltimore, a new venture that focuses on canning and preserving and will be opening a storefront in Old Goucher later this summer. For updates, follow the company on Instagram.

Italian Disco, the newest venture from Atlas Restaurant Group (the team behind Harbor East restaurants like Ouzo Bay and Tagliata), opens to the public today. The restaurant, located at 1006 Fleet Street, serves pizza, pastas, sandwiches and other entrees.

GDL, the new Horseshoe Casino restaurant from Food Network chef Giada DeLaurentiis, opens this week. The restaurant held a preview event earlier in the week and so far, reports about the food are very good.

Preakness festivities

Rain or shine, this Saturday is a big day in Baltimore: the running of the 143rd Preakness Stakes.

For a look behind the curtain, stop by the Giant at York Road Plaza today to watch the floral team put the final touches on the blanket that will adorn Saturday’s winning horse. No, it’s not made with real black-eyed Susans (they’re not in season) but it is still a sight to behold–and you might even be able to add a flower yourself.

If you’re not headed to Pimlico, you can still watch the race at dozens (maybe hundreds) of spots in Baltimore. Our favorite horsey spots include the Mt. Washington Tavern, where you can celebrate any win with a Black-Eyed Rye cocktail made with Sagamore Spirit rye, and Ryleigh’s on Padonia Road, which is hosting its 5th annual Preakness party, including live post-race music, drinks, small plates and a contest for the most Maryland-proud outfit and hat.

Wedding bells

Saturday is also a very big day across the pond, when American Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry. Here in Baltimore, we know a thing or two about royal brides (Wallis Simpson was, after all, one of our own) and several local shops are ready to help locals celebrate the nuptials.

The royal wedding takes place at 7 a.m. our time. Emma’s Tea Spot in Hamilton–a haven for all things British–will open at 6 a.m. and will air the wedding, so you can toast the groom and his American bride. The Tea Spot will serve its new toasties menu and the event is BYOB (with a $5 corkage fee per party).

The Corner Pantry will also be open bright and early to air the wedding live. The restaurant, which has British roots, will have a couple wedding-themed specials for the day, including a royal wedding tea and a special doughnut.

Cakes by Jason has created a handful of wedding-inspired cupcakes just for the occasion.

Pie Fest!

This Saturday, pie enthusiasts (and who isn’t a pie enthusiast?) can taste-–or compete–at B’Eat More Pie Fest, held at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Pie bites are available for a small fee and entry into the pie contest is free (though to enter, you must submit two pies, so one can be part of a fundraising pie raffle).

Biggie Biggie Biggie…brunch

On Saturday and Sunday, The Outpost American Tavern honors the one and only Big Poppa, with two days of Notorious B.I.G.-inspired brunches.

The late rapper’s birthday is on Monday, so from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant will celebrate with a Biggie-centric drink and food menu, Biggie trivia and, of course, Biggie music throughout.

Birroteca’s BrewScape

On Sunday, May 20, Birroteca is the place to be to celebrate local art, music and craft beer. The restaurant is hosting BrewScape, starting at noon.

The party features work from local artists and musicians, brews from a variety of local beer makers and food from Birroteca, The Nickel Taphouse and Encantada. Admission is free (food and beer tickets are $15 each) and the event is pet and family-friendly.

Haenyo Saturday

The guys from haenyo, the traveling Korean food pop-up, will be at Diamondback Brewery this Saturday afternoon and evening. A bonus: During that time, if you’re in the neighborhood, you can order haenyo from Uber Eats.

The menu includes dishes like a bulgogi rice bowl and a kimchi and scallion pancake; it sounds terrific.

Caribbean breeze at The Elephant

The Elephant’s monthly deep dive into a global cuisine is back this Sunday evening with a look at island rums and the cuisine of the Caribbean.

The evening’s meal includes five dishes paired with five different rum drinks. The team behind the menu includes Rodolfo Domacasse, a Puerto Rico native who is the executive chef at Sascha’s Catering, and local “rum guru” Aaron Joseph.

Night of a Million Meals

On Monday, May 21, eat well while raising funds for Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland at Night of a Million Meals (that million represents the number of meals the organization delivers each year).

The event takes place at the The Grand Lodge of Maryland in Cockeysville and features drinks, dishes and desserts from local restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries.

Brunello di Montalcino Wine Dinner at Cinghiale

Also on Monday evening, Cinghiale will host a dinner featuring the wines of Il Poggione in Tuscany, paired with four courses of traditional Tuscan fare.

The winemaker, Alessandro Bindocci, will be on hand for discussion throughout the evening, which includes courses like hand-rolled pasta with guinea fowl ragu paired with Il Poggione’s 2016 Rosso di Montalcino.

Bourbon & Bluegrass

On Wednesday, May 23, The Manor Tavern will host Bourbon & Bluegrass, a tasting event benefiting the Cool Kids Campaign. The party includes live music from The Mayo Family Bluegrass Band, plus tastings of a wide variety of bourbons and bourbon cocktails.

Chef Johnny Spero at Chez Hugo

On Thursday, May 24, chef Johnny Spero will join chef Steve Monnier in the kitchen at Chez Hugo Bistro. Chef Spero is the former head chef at Jose Andres’ acclaimed D.C. restaurant Minibar and is about to open a place of his own, Reverie, in Georgetown.

The meal will include six courses in all, with each chef preparing two savory courses and one sweet course.

Summer kickoff at Cunningham’s

On Friday, May 25, Cunningham’s will celebrate the unofficial start of summer with a chicken fry and buffet. The event includes chicken and other buffet foods, plus unlimited beer and wine and live music.

Planning Ahead

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

June 3: Tacopalooza at La Food Marketa 

June 9: Feastival benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at The Sandlot 

June 15: Twilight on the Terrace at Gertrude’s

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