Hot Plate: Suspended Brewing & Lupa Open, Fun Collaborations, Wine & Whiskey Dinners All Week

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Suspended Brewing Company’s taproom opens this week. Photo by Sam Levin.

Spring hasn’t quite sprung yet in Baltimore, but local restaurants are providing plenty of reasons to get out of the house. This week is packed full of fun events and exciting openings. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings & Announcements

Suspended Brewing Company, located on Washington Boulevard, has exciting news this week: it will officially open its taproom doors on Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m. The brand new brewery will have eight beers on tap, including Trolley Problem, an English stout that sounds perfect for blustery days, and Sour Persian, an intriguing sour conditioned with Iranian barberries.

Lupa, the brand new concept from Foreman Wolf, the company behind restaurants like Petit Louis, Charleston, Cinghiale and Johnny’s, opened this week in Columbia.

Lupa’s menu, created by executive chef James Lewandowski (also of Cinghiale), is classically Roman–think dishes like focaccia pizza and handmade pasta. Next door to the main restaurant, a gelateria will serve a selection of 20 different gelatos and sorbettos, which are made in-house daily, plus baked goods and coffee.

Bluegrass Tavern has temporarily closed. The owners of the south Baltimore restaurant are revamping the spot and plan to reopen soon with a new brand, menu and cocktail list.

The owners of Play Café, the kid-centric café in Hampden, announced that Friday, March 23, will be their last day in business. They are hoping that a buyer might come forward to keep the café going, but as for now, March 23 will be their final farewell.

Happy Anniversary, Sam’s

Sam’s Canterbury Café is celebrating their first anniversary all month long. The Tuscany-Canterbury café is tying their celebrations in with National Autism Awareness month, an appropriate alignment since part of Sam’s mission is to provide meaningful employment for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

During the month, Sam’s will be lit up in shades of blue and serve a special “go blue” menu with blue foods (blue is the official color for autism awareness). The café will also donate a percentage of sales to Itineris, a local nonprofit helping adults with ASD.

New Happenings at Gunther & Co.

This month, Gunther & Co., is launching “Fried Chicken Mondays” and “Counter Culture” on Tuesdays. Fried Chicken Mondays is exactly what it sounds like: a special fried chicken menu available on Mondays, starting on March 12.

Counter Culture is a little more involved. Every Tuesday, the 16 seats at the restaurant’s counter, which faces the open kitchen, will be reserved for a special five-course tasting menu that will change on a weekly basis. The guests will be able to watch their meal be prepared by chef/owner Jerry Trice, interacting with him while he cooks.

Sugary Weekend

This weekend, sugar seekers can head to Lake Roland for a crash course in maple sugaring. Starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, experts will lead hikes to tap trees and demonstrate how to take sap from the tree and turn it into syrup.

Whiskey All Week

Whiskey lovers have some special evenings to look forward to this week.

On Friday, March 2, Magdalena will host a Winter Whisk(e)y Dinner featuring a five-course meal paired with Glenmorangie and Ardbeg Expressions whiskies.

On Wednesday, March 7, Ouzo Bay will host a Woodford Reserve meal, pairing four courses with cocktails using bourbons from the Woodford Reserve portfolio.

Happenings at The Elephant

The Elephant will be closed (for “House of Cards” filming? The owners have hinted, but won’t say) on Friday, March 2. But for the rest of the weekend, service will be in full swing, with the full menu plus a special Oscars-oriented menu honoring this year’s Best Picture nominees.

Dishes include wood stone quail paella for “Lady Bird” and an assortment of smoked canapes dubbed “Smoke & Mirrors” in honor of “The Post.”

Ryes Up

Sunday, March 4, the Baltimore Bartenders’ Guild hosts its seventh annual Ryes Up fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Maryland.

The party, which is always legendary, takes place at Hotel Monaco. Local bartenders will create 20 different rye cocktails, all available for sampling, and 15 restaurants will offer small bites (to soak up all that rye).

Clavel at Hersh’s

Two local favorites, Clavel and Hersh’s, are teaming up this week for a special collaborative dinner. The meal will take place at Hersh’s and include both drinks and food dreamed up together. Clavel’s Lane Harlan will join Ali Dryer behind the Hersh’s bar, and Carlos Raba will be in the kitchen with Josh Hershkovitz.

No word yet on the dishes or drinks, but a collaboration of powerhouses like this can only mean great things.

Analemma Wine Dinner at Charleston

On Thursday, March 8, serious wine lovers should head to Charleston. The Harbor East restaurant will welcome Steven Thompson, founder of Analemma Wines in Oregon, for a dinner featuring several of the winery’s creations, including the dry Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir, paired with the excellent food of chef Cindy Wolf.

Mexican at Monument

Monument City Brewing Company gets a visit from Cocina Luchadoras Restaurant on Friday, March 9. Cocina Luchadoras, which serves Mexican street food from its Fells Point storefront, has a reputation as one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants in town.

Games at Zeke’s

Love board games? Love coffee? Enjoy both at the same time on Friday, when Zeke’s Coffee hosts its monthly game night. This month’s event also happens to be National Meatball Day, which means a menu full of meatball subs.

Prohibition Ends!

On Friday, March 9, Chuck’s Trading Post is teaming up with Union Craft Brewery for a party celebrating the anniversary of the end of Prohibition. The party starts at 3 p.m. and will feature beer, of course, plus other booze, bacon and small bites.

Craft Beer in April

Speaking of beer, on April 14, Susquehanna Lock House Museum in Havre de Grace will host its first ever Craft Beer & Wine Festival. The party will feature live music, local food and beverages from a wide variety of local breweries, wineries and distilleries.

Early bird tickets are available through March 15, so if you’re interested in going, now’s the time to buy them.

Planning Ahead

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

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day at Tark’s Grill & Bar 

March 18: Ekiben Second Anniversary Dinner at La Cuchara 

April 21: Winemaking workshop at Charm City Farms 



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