Guinness will release two new beers as part of its first-ever Arts & Drafts Festival, which starts Friday, Aug. 20.

From vegan specialties to summer produce, Baltimore’s restaurants have a lot to offer this week. Here’s a look at what’s happening:

Openings & announcements
Before dining out, don’t forget to check on restaurant requirements. As long as COVID remains a moving target, guidelines and protocols will continue to shift. Currently, masks are required indoors in Baltimore City. In addition, a few local restaurants, including Silver Queen Café and True Chesapeake Oyster Co., are now requiring proof of vaccination for diners.

Happy anniversary to Blue Moon Café, which celebrated 25 years in business last Tuesday. A quarter of a century – that’s a lot of waffles, cups of coffee, and early mornings. Congratulations to the whole team!

A new spot for music and Nashville-inspired food, Palm, is slated to open in Federal Hill next month.

Rye Street Tavern is (finally) reopening for private events. The restaurant plans to reopen fully in 2022.

In case you missed it, Sports & Social, a “gaming and social lounge” with an American menu, opened earlier this year in Maryland Live! Casino.

Sadly, the Hampden coffee shop Spro, one of the friendliest spots in town, has closed.

Opera Night returns to Sotto Sopra
Pre-pandemic, Sotto Sopra’s Opera Night evenings were extremely popular. COVID forced the Mount Vernon restaurant to pause the series – but now it is back. Sunday will mark the first Opera Night at the restaurant since early 2020 and it is sure to be a good one.

The evening features live opera performances accompanied by a five-course meal, including dishes like wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil and pan-seared bronzino with eggplant and summer vegetables.

Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week
The summer installment of Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week is now underway and lasts throughout Aug. 29. Throughout this month, participating restaurants place an extra spotlight on vegan options.

The lineup of participating restaurants has grown since the initiative was first introduced. Now it includes everyone from newcomers like Liora and Friends & Family to old favorites like Golden West Café and Land of Kush.

Summer Harvest wine supper
On Wednesday, head to Gramercy Mansion for a wine dinner showcasing seasonal flavors. The dinner, which is created by the team from The Manor Tavern, features options like Atlantic bluefin tuna paired with minted watermelon and a Portuguese rosé, and duck leg with raspberry, spiced local corn, and tomatoes from the Manor Tavern garden.

Arts & Drafts at Guinness
On Friday, Aug. 20, Guinness Open Gate Brewery kick off its first Arts & Drafts Summer Music & Arts Festival. The event, which lasts Friday through Sunday, Aug. 22, features local artists and artisans, music performances including local faves Kelly Bell Band and Cris Jacobs, and the release of Harmonic Haze and ArtBeat, two new beers brewed in collaboration with the Baltimore County Arts Guild.

“Crushing” COVID is coming
At the end of the month, on Aug. 28, cocktail bar The Back Yard hosts an outdoor Crush Festival, with a “Crushing COVID” theme. The party will include food vendors, music and, of course, crushes, and will benefit Show Your Soft Side / BARCS and the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund.

Tickets for the party are available now. 

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for:
August 21: Wanderland at the Shrine of St. Anthony 
September 23: Dining Out for Life benefiting Moveable Feast 
September 25: Susquehanna Wine & Seafood Festival 

Kit Pollard

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

2 replies on “Hot Plate: summer flavors at Gramercy Mansion, Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week, Opera Night is back and more”

  1. I just subscribed to get theHutzlers strawberry pie recipe in some article recently sent, and by the time I logged in and did all the password baloney the article was no longer on Fishbowl. Can you please send a link to that list article in ghost restaurants? I never got past the first paragraph. Thanks!

    1. Hi – thanks for subscribing! I’m not sure that article was originally on this site – you’re looking for the Haussner’s recipe, right? Is it possible that you saw it on the Baltimore Sun website? I think they’ve printed a recipe for the pie, though not recently.

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