James Joyce Pub will host an educational beer dinner on Monday, Nov. 28.

Note: This column includes events and news covering the next two weeks, as Hot Plate will be on Thanksgiving break next week and will not appear Friday, Nov. 25. The column will return Friday, Dec. 2.

While turkeys dominate the food news right now, the Baltimore restaurant scene has a few more tricks up its sleeve, from the opening of a new Italian spot to the launch of a new local honey. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings and announcements

Café Campli, a new restaurant that takes inspiration from the Abruzzo region of Italy, opened this week in Hamilton-Lauraville. Welcome to the newcomer!

Speaking of Hamilton-Lauraville: a neighborhood mainstay, Silver Queen Cafe, turns seven next week. The Harford Rd. restaurant will celebrate with specials on Nov. 26, which also happens to be Small Business Saturday – another reason to celebrate.

Remembering Lenny Kaplan

Lenny Kaplan, one of the pillars of the Baltimore restaurant community, passed away on Nov. 12. A New York native and graduate of the University of Alabama, Kaplan moved to Baltimore with his wife Gail (Shavitz) Kaplan after college.

He got involved in the restaurant business via his father-in-law, Leon Shavitz, who was one of the owners of the storied Pimlico Hotel restaurant. Kaplan started his long and impressive career in Baltimore restaurants at the Pimlico; later, he worked at and owned a number of other Baltimore restaurants and businesses, including The Polo Grill and The Classic Catering People.

Kaplan is remembered for his wealth of knowledge about the industry and his engaging personality, which made guests feel welcome and like part of the community at his restaurants – and kept them coming back.

So sweet

Star Bright Farm has wrapped up its first ever honey harvest. The farm’s honey has been bottled and is now for sale in the Barn Market, which is open every Saturday and Sunday through the holiday season. The market also includes lots of fun items for homes (or gifts) and there are special events planned throughout the season. Plus, on most days, the Bee Kind Bowls food truck will also be onsite, with food available for purchase.

Christmas Village returns

Baltimore’s German Christmas market is open Nov. 19 and 20, as a pre-Thanksgiving preview, then reopens for the season on Thanksgiving.

The market, which is modeled after a traditional German Christmas Village, takes over the Inner Harbor with rides, vendors selling artisan wares, entertainment, and tons of food and drink, including mulled wines, German beers, and traditional food items like pretzels and raclette.

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivée

Beaujolais Nouveau – the young French wine – has made its annual reappearance at local wine shops and restaurants. Petit Louis and The Milton Inn have procured some bottles and have put together some suggestions for dishes that will pair well with the youthful grape.

Thanksgiving plans

Thanksgiving is Thursday, so there’s just a little time left to firm up your holiday plans. Some local restaurants are still accepting reservations and even orders for takeaway meals, sides and desserts.  

Cunningham’s Café & Bakery is accepting orders for apple and pumpkin pie until Saturday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m.

Cosima will have breads and desserts available for purchase throughout the holiday season.

Dylan’s Oyster Cellar has bags of 25 oysters (unshucked) available to take home.

Mama’s on the Half Shell is open for dining-in on Thanksgiving and has carryout options ranging from desserts or sides to a full meal for four people.

For more Thanksgiving options, check out last week’s column.

Winter Wonderland at Ampersea

On Saturday, Nov. 26, Ampersea’s cozy outdoor Winter Wonderland opens for the season. The waterfront restaurant is celebrating the opening with a ticketed party featuring an open bar and appetizers like mini crab cakes, arancini and butternut squash canapes.

Beers at James Joyce

Kick off the week after Thanksgiving with a little bit of fun. On Monday, Nov. 28, James Joyce Pub in Harbor East is hosting a five-course beer dinner. The meal, which pairs courses with craft beers, also includes an educational element, with discussion about tasting notes and the theory behind the pairings.

Planning for the future

Mark your calendars for:

Dec. 7: Bubbles & Bites Champagne Dinner at The Tilted Row

Dec. 11: Feast of the Seven Fishes Cooking Class at Cosima

Dec. 14: Gingerbread Haus Decorating at Das Bierhalle

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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