Hot Plate: St. Patrick’s Day festivities, Epoch Rye release, new chefs at Michael’s Cafe and Hotel Revival and more

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Baltimore Spirits Company releases its hotly anticipated Epoch Rye on Saturday.

Whether or not you’re a fan of corned beef and beer, this week should be a fun one. From St. Patrick’s Day festivities to Italian wine to a magical meal, there’s a little something for everyone.

Openings and announcements
Sometime around late spring/early summer, Boiler Room will open in the Baltimore Highlands area near Highlandtown. The restaurant, which will be located in a historic old boiler room, will be located near Monument City Brewing Company.

Have you heard about Il Palio? It opened quietly last summer and has recently started to kick into high gear. The Owings Mills restaurant, which specializes in Italian fare, including pizzas, has a lot of fun events coming up, so now’s a good time to check it out.

Michael’s Café’s new White Marsh-Middle River location in Greenleigh at Crossroads has opened and the restaurant group, which also includes the original location in Timonium, has a new executive chef: Josh Vecchiolla. Chef Vecchiolla is terrific, and most recently helmed the kitchen at Towson Tavern; before that, he was a sous chef at Parts & Labor. It’ll be exciting to see what he brings to the Michael’s establishments.

Hotel Revival also has a few new announcements, including bringing Lindsay Chapon on as the new director of food and beverage and the highly talented chef Scott Hines, who has recently been appointed executive chef. Both oversee the hotel’s three dining and drinking establishments: Topside, Square Meal and B-Side Cocktails and Karaoke.

St. Patrick’s festivities
Though the festivities started weeks ago, St. Patrick’s official day of celebration is finally here on Sunday. The holiday means that local bars and restaurants have big, green plans all weekend long.

A few specials and events:

Guinness Open Gate Brewery, which seems like a natural St. Pat’s destination, hosts two ticketed events this weekend. Admission ($15) comes with one beer, a button and access to the brewery grounds. There will be live music and entertainment, and $5 from each ticket will go to the Maryland Food Bank, Oyster Recovery Partnership and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

This is a major weekend in Canton. Sunday is Claddagh Pub’s 24th annual Meet in the Street St. Patrick’s Day party. The festivities last all weekend long and include drink specials, live music and more.

In Federal Hill, the 21st annual Federal Hill Irish Stroll takes over the neighborhood on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m.

Mick O’Shea’s will open at 10 a.m. on Sunday, with Irish food and music all day long, plus live music from Donegal X-Press starting at 4 p.m.

Slainte has been prepping its corned beef for days. The bar will have tons of Irish festivities this weekend, including live music.

At An Poitin Stil, on Friday the first 60 guests receive a free t-shirt. There will be drink specials, tons of Irish food and live music, plus Irish dancing.

On Saturday, James Joyce will have live music starting at 3 p.m. and the main event–O’Malley’s March–comes on at 9 p.m. On Sunday, the doors open at 7 a.m., with specials including $3.17 pints of Guinness and shots of Jameson Caskmates until 9 a.m., plus music starting at 11 a.m.

Tark’s becomes O’Tark’s Grill for the weekend, with a special Irish menu and drinks, plus live music on Sunday.

It’s Broad Ave Bar Crawl Saturday in Timonium this weekend, when Mother’s North and Ryleigh’s Oyster team up for a big party.

Head to Ampersea on Sunday morning for a St. Patrick’s Recovery Brunch featuring Ireland-inspired menu items and drink deals.

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t only for bars, either! If you’re entertaining at home, there’s still (a little) time to call Classic Catering to order items from their special St. Patrick’s Day menu, which includes classics like corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and Irish cod croquettes.

Epoch Rye release
On Saturday, Baltimore Spirits Company will release its limited production Epoch Rye whiskey. Epoch Rye is only available at the distillery, which is located in Union Collective, and will likely sell out. Sales are limited to three bottles per customer, so if you’re heading to the distillery to pick up a few, you should anticipate a line! Doors open at noon.

Italian celebrations
Did you know that St. Patrick was (likely) Italian, not Irish? He was most likely born in Britain, which at the time of his birth was occupied by the Romans, and historians believe he has Roman heritage, not Celtic.

This is an excellent way to justify celebrating his holiday with wine instead of green beer, if you so choose.

On Thursday, March 21, Café Troia hosts its monthly wine dinner. This month’s event focuses on the wines of Puglia in southern Italy. Courses include dishes like homemade pasta with black olives, asparagus and pancetta paired with Salice Salentino from Castello Monaci.

Also on Thursday, Cosima opens its doors for a cooking class focused on Sicilian pizzas and winter salads. The class, taught by Donna Crivello, lasts about two and a half hours and each dish will be matched with wine.

Ekiben + blacksauce
Ekiben turns three this week–congratulations to that crew! The popular Fells Point restaurant is teaming up with blacksauce kitchen for a celebratory pop-up on Friday, March 22. Check their social media for details.

Magic at Atelier Culinaire
On Friday, March 22, Atelier Culinaire gets magical with “A Little Night Magic,” a four-course dinner accompanied by a performance by renowned magician Eric D. Redman.

The meal includes dishes like cream of cauliflower soup and rosemary and garlic-roasted prime rib, with optional wine flights.

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

March 30: Wockenfuss Factory Tour 
March 30: Charm City Night Market Underground 
April 14: Manor Tavern Oyster Festival 



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