Hot Plate: Restaurants Celebrate New Year’s Eve, Lib’s Grill & Food Plenty Open, Suburban House Closes

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Local restaurants have plenty of champagne on ice in anticipation of Sunday night’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Photo copyright.

With 2017 nearly over and 2018 on the horizon, local restaurants are ready to break out the bubbly. Here’s a look at what Baltimore’s food scene has in store for New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the rest of the week to come:

New Year’s Eve Festivities

What are you doing New Year’s Eve? Even if you don’t have plans yet, you’ve got plenty of local options:

At the Marriott in Harbor East, Apropoe’s is offering a four-course menu with classic choices like crab cakes and Osso Bucco.

At B&O American Brasserie, a three-course prix fixe includes an amuse bouche of Iberico secreto with figs and dishes like foie gras custard and lobster thermidor.

The New Year’s Eve menu at Bar Vasquez includes three courses plus a terrific snack plate; choices include braised veal shoulder, duck a la plancha and wood-grilled bigeye tuna.

Butchers Hill Society will offer a special prix fixe menu plus a Perrier Jouet toast at midnight.

The Bygone, the brand new spot atop the Four Seasons Hotel, is already getting big praise for its gorgeous space and breathtaking views. On New Year’s Eve, the restaurant will host a black tie event with an elaborate buffet featuring a raw bar, meat carving station and lobster and caviar.

Charleston, the iconic Baltimore restaurant that turned 20 years old earlier this month, will have two seatings this New Year’s Eve: one early (5:30-6:30) and one later (8:30-10). Both seatings will offer a choice of two different four-course menus (plus desserts), with choices like pan-roasted pheasant breast and pheasant leg confit and fresh artichoke soup with aged Reggiano and truffle oil.

At Quarry Lake, Citron is offering a four-course prix fixe menu (with a glass of champagne included), featuring dishes like roasted quail and fried lobster tail.

A four-course “modern Italian” menu at Cinghiale includes dishes like grilled Spanish octopus and potato gnocchi with braised lamb neck.

Cosima’s five-course meal (with optional wine pairings) includes dishes like a savory flan with parmesan and asiago cheese and crispy prosciutto, a poached duck egg with roasted baby carrots and fennel, and braised rabbit with vegetables, polenta and black garlic brodo.

At Cunningham’s in Towson, a four-course prix fixe menu includes dishes like a warm lobster roll and beef tenderloin.

A three-course prix fixe menu at Dylan’s Oyster Cellar includes choices like coddie toast with caviar and trout filet with brown butter sauce. The Hampden restaurant will also offer a small a la carte menu, plus oysters (of course).

Gertrude’s will have two seatings on New Year’s Eve – 6/6:30 p.m. and 9/9:30 p.m. The earlier seating features a three-course prix fixe dinner and the later seating includes a four-course dinner with party favors, live music and a midnight champagne toast.

Ida B’s Table is celebrating with a four-course dinner “steeped in history and African American New Year’s traditions.” The menu includes dishes like black bass with black-eyed peas and rack of lamb with spoon bread masala.

Reservations are required for La Cuchara’s New Year’s Eve celebration, which includes a four-course Basque-inspired menu with choices like pork and pistachio pate and duck confit with butternut squash, swiss chard and huckleberry jus. Wine pairings are also available and the restaurant is offering 50% off all bottles over $100.

Magdalena, the restaurant located in The Ivy Hotel – where the food both looks gorgeous and tastes wonderful – is offering a four-course prix fixe menu with bottomless bubbles.

Maggie’s Farm will ring in the new year with a three-course meal, with optional wine pairings.

Minnow will host a (heated) rooftop celebration, with multiple food stations and bars, plus music and dancing.

The New Year’s Eve menu at Modern Cook Shop will be a fun mix of bubbles and burgers.

At Points South Latin Kitchen, a buffet and midnight toast will be accompanied by a drag show and open bar including specialty cocktails designed just for the evening.

Ouzo Bay is offering a special four-course menu including both traditional Greek (think lamb loin) and luxe choices like white truffle risotto, plus a handful of exciting “extras,” including caviar service and live lobsters.

Rye Street Tavern’s party will include passed canapes, a carving station and raw bar and an entire room devoted to desserts.

Salt Tavern isn’t usually open for dinner on Sundays, but it’s making an exception this weekend when the restaurant will offer a menu of fun specials.

The Elephant’s New Year’s Eve offerings include a four-course menu with optional wine pairings, including dishes like blue crab toast and miso-glazed sea bass, in the main dining rooms and, in the Marble Bar, Chandelier Lounge and Billiard Room, a selection of street foods and cocktails (with no cover charge).

Waterfront Kitchen has one of the best views of the fireworks around. This year, the restaurant is pairing that view with a four-course meal including dishes like surf and turf tempura and seafood carbonara.

At Wine Market Bistro, a four-course dinner with optional wine pairings incudes dishes like lobster bisque and pan-seared diver scallops over lobster beurre blanc.

Wit & Wisdom will host a party in the lounge as well as offering a three-course dinner in the dining room. Both come with live entertainment and a front-seat view of the harbor and the city’s fireworks display.

New Year’s Day Brunch & More

New Year’s Day is a Monday, which means that many places won’t be open or might not be open early in the day. However, at least a couple local restaurants will keep the party going for the morning after. Here are a few brunch options to help you kick off 2018 in style:

B&O American Brasserie is hosting a “hangover brunch” with dishes like sloppy tots and hot chicken hash.

Fork & Wrench’s New Year’s Day brunch menu will include special dishes specifically designed to cure your hangover.

Brunch will be served all day long at Gunther & Co., where the menu also includes $6 Bloody Marys and Aperol cocktails.

Johnny’s is open on New Year’s Day, starting at 9 a.m., and will be offering its regular a la carte menu.

In Other News This Week

New Year’s festivities draw most of the focus this week, but there are a couple of additional things to talk about in the food world.

The year is ending with a bit of sad news: the iconic deli Suburban House closed its Reisterstown Road location last week. According to the publication JMore, the closing, which came as a surprise to many of the restaurant’s longtime fans, occurred under circumstances that owner Mark Horowitz cannot currently discuss.

On a happier note, Lib’s Grill’s new Maple Lawn outpost opens this week. The restaurant is hosting an open house on Thursday night and will be open with its full menu starting Friday, Dec. 29.

Howard County gains another new restaurant this week, too, with the opening of Food Plenty, the newest spot from the team behind Victoria Gastro Pub and Manor Hill Tavern. They’re just in “first look” soft opening mode right now – not taking reservations and asking for patience as they work out kinks. But given the team’s history, the Clarksville “modern comfort food” restaurant will likely be a big success.

Also on Friday night, something completely different: Showroom Café + Bar Lounge will host Beer, Bolsitas, Bullsh*t starting at 4:30 p.m. the Station North café’s Chef Daniel Horowitz will “break free of his stiff French training” to serve up four bolsitas – a sort of taco in a bag. The options include a coconut braised pork shoulder bolsita, dressed with pickled carrot, mango salsa, avocado and homemade plantain chips.

Planning Ahead

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

January 12: Krautfest at Gertrude’s 

January 12: Falafelicious pop-up at The Avenue 

January 28: Comparative wine tasting at The Vineyards at Dodon 

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