Hot Plate: Refugee and Immigrant Arts Feast, champagne menu at Petit Louis, Filipino Festivus, pop-up night market at Ekiben and more

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Petit Louis is celebrating all month long with a prix fixe champagne dinner and heavily discounted bottles.

The monument is lit, the city is sparkling and it’s a wonderful time of year to be in Baltimore. This week offers some terrific opportunities to head out to dinner to celebrate the holidays. Here’s a look at what local restaurants have planned:

Openings and announcements

The big news last week was that The Smoking Swine, Green Bowl and Dizzy Cow Pizzeria are one step closer to opening their brick-and-mortar spot in Brooklyn. The new restaurant, which combines the forces of the three popular food trucks, will be located in the space that formerly housed O’Flynn’s Crab and Cask.

Santa’s in town

The guy in red is popping up all over town this weekend.

On Saturday, Santa will be at The Manor Tavern starting at 10 a.m. for a lively brunch including a buffet, photos and a kids’ crafts table.

On Sunday, he’ll be at Wit & Wisdom for a fun brunch. This could be a good way to bid farewell to the Four Seasons restaurant, which will close on New Year’s Day.

Filipino Festivus at The Brewer’s Art

What’s more fun than regular Festivus? Festivus with Filipino food.

On Saturday afternoon, The Brewer’s Art hosts Filipino Festivus, featuring a menu of food items inspired by the street food of the Philippines. Think lumpia, BBQ pork skewers and brisket Kare Kare… all washed down with Brewer’s beers.

Refugee & Immigrant Arts Feast

On Sunday, Mera Kitchen Collective takes over Space 2640 on St. Paul Street for its second Refugee and Immigrants Arts Feast.

The free, family-friendly event will include food for purchase and arts and crafts from vendors who are refugees from around the world. There will also be music and performances.

Popping bottles at Petit Louis

It’s a celebratory season at Petit Louis. Now through the end of the year, the Roland Park restaurant is offering its champagne menu, featuring heavily discounted bottles of champagne with the purchase of a $49 prix fixe meal designed specifically for the bubbles.
The meal includes a crispy calamari first course, followed by seared scallops with truffled potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Wine lovers and Petit Louis fans should also mark their calendars for Jan. 2-3, 2019–the restaurant’s entire wine cellar will be half off both those days.

Celebrate with wine

In addition to Petit Louis’ sparkling celebration, this week includes a pair of excellent wine dinners.

On Monday, Dec. 17, Cinghiale has something fun and unusual planned: a blind wine tasting dinner with restaurant co-owner Tony Foreman (a man who knows a few things about wine). The menu includes dishes like venison carpaccio with pomegranate, hazelnuts, horseradish, juniper and radicchio–and you’ll have to attend to find out each one’s wine pairing.

On Thursday, Dec. 20, Café Troia hosts a dinner featuring the food and wine of Sicily. The multicourse meal features dishes like arancini (traditional Sicilian rice balls) paired with Nero d’Avola.

Night Market at Ekiben

If you missed the Charm City Night Market earlier this fall, you’ll have a chance this week to catch a glimpse of the magic, when a Night Market pops up at Ekiben on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

The event will include food from Ekiben chef Steve Chu and Paolo Dungca, the chef at Washington D.C.’s Kaliwa. The menu is “Asian with a twist,” with dishes like Korean fried sugar toads and pork belly with black pepper soy reduction and egg.

Baltimore at James Beard

On Thursday night, chef Ashish Alfred, owner of Duck Duck Goose in Fells Point, will make an appearance at the James Beard House in New York City.

Chef Alfred will cook a five-course meal in his modern French style for attendees. The event is open to the public, but limited to 80 guests; reservations are available via the James Beard website.

Christmas plans

If you’re considering having your Christmas Eve or Day dinner catered, now’s the time to make those plans.

The Classic Catering People have menus already planned out, including a “feast of three fishes” option–a take on the Italian feast of seven fishes–and a traditional turkey dinner for Christmas. (À la carte catering orders are also available.)

Planning Ahead

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

Jan. 1: Vintage Cava Social at La Cuchara 

Jan. 11-12: Krautfest at Gertrude’s 

Jan. 12: Oyster, Wine & Beer Festival



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