Hot Plate: Sunday dinners at Cosima, Chez Hugo opens and global cuisine galore

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Cosima has introduced a new three-course, prix fixe, family-style Sunday dinner offering called “Mangia!”

This week, Baltimore’s restaurant scene brings us events focused on beer, wine and food from all over the world, plus a handful of high profile openings.

Openings & Announcements

Chez Hugo Bistro, the hotly anticipated restaurant from former Aromes chef/owner Steve Monnier, will open this weekend. The bistro, located downtown on Redwood Street, will focus on traditional food from the French countryside.

Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis was in Baltimore this week to promote the upcoming opening of GDL Italian by Giada, her restaurant in the Horseshoe Casino. The restaurant, which is slated to open in mid-April, will offer casual, light Italian fare.

Jacksonville residents have something new to look forward to: next week, Brookside Market will open in the old Dogwood Tack Shop space.

Last week, Cosima debuted a new Sunday menu, Mangia!, which includes three courses served family-style for $35 per person.

Clavel’s new Mezcal tasting room is open for business. The room, which seats six, is open for personal guided tastings Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The tasting sessions last for one hour and are $35 per person, $5 of which goes to the Bat Friendly Project, an organization that promotes sustainability in the agave spirits industry.

Restaurant Weeks…Still Going

A few days remain in the month-long Black Restaurant Challenge, so there’s still time to get to a couple African American-owned restaurants as part of the event.

If you’re thinking of heading south for an evening, now’s the time. Annapolis Restaurant Week starts on Sunday and lasts through March 3.

Taste Baltimore 3

Head to Motor House in Station North on Saturday for Taste Baltimore 3, a mini food expo that will feature treats from a bunch of local up-and-coming chefs and food makers.

The event, which is family-friendly, will also include music, a cook-off and a food demo, so bring your stomach, your ears and your eyes.

Culinary Curated Events

This Sunday, Feb. 25, The Elephant will host its inaugural Culinary Curated Event, when the restaurant pairs up with beer experts at Union Craft Brewing to offer five global street foods paired with five beers.

Tour of Europe

Monday, Feb. 26, Craig Falk (aka Big Softy) will pop up in the kitchen at Wet City, where he’ll be cooking Hungarian comfort food from his own grandmother’s recipes–in fact, she’s coming into town from Hungary to help him prep for the dinner. Dishes will include beef and rice-stuffed cabbage in tomato sauce, chicken paprikash and weinerschnitzel. It’s going to be good.

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, Gnocco will go Swiss with a wine dinner featuring dishes and wines from Switzerland. The menu includes dishes like wild mushroom cannelloni with fontina fonduta and preserved black truffle and milk-braised pork shoulder with polenta, braised cabbage and sage.

Also on Feb. 28, Sotto Sopra will host a five-course Sicilian meal prepared by Christa Bruno, a local chef who is opening her own spot, Charmed, in Butcher’s Hill. The meal includes dishes like a warm seafood salad and sardine-topped spaghetti with cauliflower.

The evening is also a fundraiser for University of Baltimore’s Second Chance College Program, which operates in the Jessup Correctional Institution. One of the program’s graduates, Chris Wilson, recently joined Bruno and two other Sotto Sopra staff members on a trip to Sicily. Wilson, now an artist, will share his story that evening.

Preview at The Avenue

On Tuesday, Feb. 27, head to The Avenue Kitchen and Bar in Hampden to taste wines and Mediterranean bites that will be on the menu at the restaurant’s new project, Garden Party, is billed as an “outdoor wine bar” with live jazz. Though the location has not yet been announced, it sounds promising.

Hot & Spicy at Mt. Washington Tavern

Wednesday, Feb. 28, is National Chili Day, and the Mt. Washington Tavern is celebrating with a special menu featuring three different chilis. The dishes include a traditional three-beef version, a white chicken version and Jimmy’s Homemade Chili, which includes buffalo, pork, peppers, honey, beans and Zeke’s Coffee Porter.

Summer Love at The Elk Room

From March 1-3, The Elk Room is getting steamy with a three-night SoCal Summer party. From Thursday through Saturday, the Harbor East speakeasy will crank up the summer tunes and serve beachy cocktails, jello shots and ice cream. Beach attire is suggested, so break out the self-tanner.

Planning Ahead

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

March 3: Winter Whisk(e)y Dinner at Magdalena

March 8: Analemma Wine Dinner at Charleston

April 21: Winemaking workshop at Charm City Farms 

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