Think you know wine? Test your blind tasting capabilities during BIN 604’s Amateur Sommelier Competition on Saturday.
Think you know wine? Test your blind tasting capabilities during BIN 604’s Amateur Sommelier Competition on Saturday.

This week brings plenty of news about springtime restaurant openings, several food-oriented fundraisers and a few excellent wine and cocktail events. Plus, local restaurants are offering a healthy dose of all things green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings and announcements
The Abbey Burger Bistro team is taking over the former Nickel Taphouse space in Mount Washington. The new restaurant’s concept isn’t set in stone yet, though. It could end up another Abbey Burger location or something else.

Liberatore’s in Timonium is starting construction on a new outdoor patio–just in time for spring!

Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls will open a new Harborplace location next week. The small, but rapidly growing chain already has a Belvedere Square stall.

Sometime next month (hopefully), Hamilton will get a new restaurant. Char’d City, which will open in the old Clementine space, will serve wood-fired pizzas and Southern Italian and North African fare–an intriguing combination!

This spring, a new restaurant from the owners of Brewer’s Art will open in Highland in Howard County. The Brewer’s Art Tavern, as it will be called, will feature some recipes from the Mount Vernon location’s menu and, of course, the famous Brewer’s Art beers.

Papi’s Tacos in Fells Point turned five last Thursday. Happy anniversary to Papi’s!

Ouzo Bay has introduced a new lunch express menu, including a soup or salad plus an entrée and drink for $14.

On Friday, White Envelope, the Venezuelan arepas stall in R. House, will change concepts and become an American street food stall, On Top Hot Dogs + Burgers. The menu will change, but the team behind the food remains the same.

Unfortunately, Lupa, the Columbia lakefront restaurant run by the Foreman Wolf restaurant group, closed last Friday after dinner service.

St. Patrick’s festivities
Baltimore is green this week, with the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday and fun festivities all week long.

All over town, bars and restaurants will offer Irish specials, with deals on beer and whiskey and menus stacked with corned beef and shepherd’s pie, as well as an atmosphere of general good cheer. (They’ll be busy, too, and it’s a wild weekend to be in the service industry–so be nice to bartenders!)

A few specials: $3-4 beers, $5 mixed drinks and $5 Jameson at Lee’s Pint & Shell on Saturday, a 10 a.m. opening and live Irish music at Mick O’Shea’s on Sunday, a Jameson bottle engraving Saturday night and a Jameson tasting on Thursday, March 14, at Slainte, and Irish food and drink deals all week long at An Poitin Stil in Timonium (and on Friday, March 15, the first 60 guests receive a free t-shirt).

And down in Relay, plan for a St. Patrick’s Festival starting Thursday and lasting through March 17 at Guinness Open Gate Brewery.

Divine brunch at Pen & Quill
On Saturday, Union Craft Brewing teams up with Pen & Quill for a fun drag brunch honoring the launch of Union’s Divine IPA. The free show features seven local drag stars and six different Union brews, including the Divine IPA.

Calling all (amateur) somms
On Saturday, BIN 604 Wine Sellers hosts its third annual Amateur Sommelier Competition. There are 32 spots open; entrants compete against one another in multiple rounds of blind tastings. During each round, participants have 10 minutes to identify a wine; those who choose the grape varietal correctly (from a list of five choices) will move on to the next round.

The entry fee is $30 and the prize is a shopping spree at the store.

Taste of Maryland at AVAM
On Saturday, local restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries will descend upon the American Visionary Arts Museum for Taste of Maryland, a fun food event benefiting Our Daily Bread Employment Center. The occasion, organized by Catholic Charities, also features an auction with a wide range of great prizes to win.

Barbaresco dinner at Cinghiale
Cinghiale in Harbor East has been on a roll this year with dinners featuring some terrific wines and excellent pairings.

That streak continues this week, with a dinner on Monday featuring the wines of Moccagatta. Winemaker Martina Minuto will be on hand to discuss the wines, which will be paired with a four-course meal including dishes like roasted forest mushroom bruschetta with robiola fonduta and crispy shallot.

Meet some of Baltimore’s best chefs
Baltimore magazine recently released its “Best Restaurants” issue, and on Tuesday, March 12, some of the featured chefs, including Chad Gauss of The Food Market, Chris Amendola of Foraged Eatery and Mark Levy of Magdalena, will make appearances at Schola in Mount Vernon to host a cooking workshop.

Cocktail class at The Ready Room
On Tuesday, the crew from The Ready Room hosts a cocktail class including instruction on using seasonal ingredients in drinks and making classic cocktails.

During the class, the instructors will offer insight into “what makes cocktails work” as attendees learn to make both a seasonal cocktail and a Manhattan.

Dine & Drink Around the World
Wednesday, March 13, the Baltimore chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) hosts its annual fundraiser. Given the nature of the organization, it’s no surprise that it’s food-related.

The party, called Dine & Drink Around the World, will be at the Radisson on W. Fayette Street and feature local restaurants, caterers and beverage makers teaming up to represent a variety of countries, from Brazil to Thailand.

March Madness Monday at Johnny’s
All month long, Johnny’s will offer March Madness specials and show games on the restaurant’s big TVs in both the café and dining room.

Specials include hoops-themed snacks like The Alley-Oop (a ginger shandy) and “baskets o’balls” including mac and cheese balls, crab balls and cauliflower and potato balls.

Kids cook, too
On Friday, March 15, get to know pint-sized chef Naima Winston. Chef Winston, who is just 11 years old, will demonstrate the recipe that won the 2018 National Healthy Kids Cook-Off. She’ll be at Heart Baltimore Kitchen, a healthy restaurant on E. Fayette St. that is celebrating its grand opening this week.

Warm Up to Spring
Get to know Chef DJ on Saturday, March 16, at a pop-up dinner party in Canton. The meal, dubbed “Warm Up to Spring,” will include six courses and two glasses of wine, plus sparkling conversation. Tickets are limited, so grab one now.

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

March 21: Pizza Cooking Class at Cosima 
March 30: Wockenfuss Factory Tour 
March 30: Charm City Night Market Underground

Kit Pollard

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