Guinness Open Gate Brewery celebrates St. Patrick all month long, with live music, beer releases and food specials. Photo courtesy of Guinness Open Gate Brewery.

From corned beef and cabbage to French wine and spring flavors, a lot is happening in the Baltimore restaurant scene this week. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings and announcements

The owners of Looney’s Pub will take over the former River Watch space in Essex. The new restaurant, which will be called LoonAsea, will open after a “full rehab” of the space.

Grano Pasta Bar in Hampden – affectionately known as Little Grano – is not so little anymore. The cozy restaurant has expanded the dining room, making room for many more diners.

Crust by Mack has signed a deal to open a location in Harborplace, which is under new ownership. The popular bakery is the first tenant to sign with the new owners.

Speaking of bakeries, Roggenart’s Towson location is up and running. The storefront opened on March 10.

St. Patrick’s Day

When St. Patrick’s Day falls on Friday, Baltimore restaurants and bars take advantage of the opportunity to keep the celebration going – sometimes all weekend and sometimes even all month long.

At Mick O’Shea’s, doors open at 11 a.m. and there will be live music and Irish food specials all day.

The Irish love mussels – and they are obviously on the menu at Bertha’s Mussels this weekend. The iconic Fells Point establishment, which embraces all things green, will also have live music this weekend and other traditional Irish dishes, like bangers and mash.  

Johnny’s has traditional Irish specials on St. Patrick’s Day, including corned beef and package, as well as specialty cocktails like the Bucking Irish, a mix of Jameson, apple cider, ginger beer, lemon and rosemary syrup.

At Blue Moon Café and Blue Moon Too, you can get your corned beef with cabbage or in an omelet.

In addition to its weekly fish and chip Friday offering, The Corner Pantry will have corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, and a lamb stew.

Little Donna’s has a special green beer on tap this week Peabody Heights’ H8ERADE – plus corned beef and cabbage, fried pierogies and horseradish farmers cheese on the menu all weekend.

Throughout St. Pat’s weekend, the Miss Shirley’s menu includes Charm City Clover Cakes – buttermilk pancakes made with Lucky Charms and topped with cream cheese icing and green whipped cream.

Throughout the weekend, specials at The Manor Tavern include corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, Irish parsnip soup, and desserts like Bailey’s cheesecake and Irish whiskey raisin walnut bread pudding.

Heritage Smokehouse will open at 3 p.m. on Friday, with a special Irish menu including smoky takes on Irish classics, like smoked leg of lamb and smoked beef and bone marrow cottage pie.

Guinness Open Gate Brewery continues its monthlong celebration of St. Patrick this weekend with a faux Irish Village, live music, beer releases, Irish food specials and more.

Slainte Irish Pub opens at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and will be celebrating all weekend long.

On St. Patrick’s Day, James Joyce Irish Pub opens at 8 a.m. to serve a classic Irish breakfast buffet with lots of potatoes and sausage – plus Irish coffees and more.

St. Pat’s food specials at Das Bierhalle include bangers and mash, reubens and corned beef and cabbage, as well as a full Irish breakfast and Lucky Charms pancakes.

Also on St. Patrick’s Day and throughout the weekend after, Towson Hot Bagel is selling its popular green, orange and white bagels – grab one before they’re gone.

Through the end of the month, Mama’s on the Half Shell has a special menu of St. Paddy’s Day specials, including corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and Bailey’s cheesecake.

On Sunday, March 19, dinner at Elkridge Furnace Inn comes with a show from a troupe of Irish dancers.

French wine & crawfish at Chachi’s

This week isn’t only about Irish food! On Tuesday, Chachi’s and Fadensonnen team up to host a crawfish boil and French wine tasting. The event is ticketed but open to the public.

Great Opera Houses & wine

On Thursday, Chef’s Expressions hosts a wine supper benefiting Arts Education in Maryland Schools. The dinner, which takes place at the Gramercy Mansion, includes five courses with wine pairings, and there will be opera performances sprinkled throughout the evening.

Get lucky with Conrad’s

Conrad’s Crabs is running a shipping contest through March 25. One shipping customer will win a $150 gift card – you just have to be the lucky one who gets their number chosen.

Spring flavors

Now that the weather is getting warmer, Baltimore chefs are tweaking their menus to incorporate springtime flavors.

At La Cuchara, bright greens take center stage in a dish of sugar snap peas, English peas, snow peas, mint, idiazabal and cebolla dulce.

Soft shell crabs are starting to pop up on menus all over town – like in the shop at Conrad’s and at Tark’s, where a crispy fried soft shell is served with fries and cole slaw.

Sotto Sopra’s menu includes some lighter dishes for spring, like a salmon tartar made with red onions, jalapeno and arugula.

Sally O’s menu has undergone a springtime refresh, with new preparations of several staple dishes, like duck and burrata, plus the reintroduction of tempura asparagus.

Planning for the future

Mark your calendars for:

March 30: Women’s History Month Whiskey Dinner at Silver Queen Café

April 22: Lock House Craft Beer & Wine Fest

May 11: Bourbon & Bowties

Kit Pollard

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

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