Hot Plate: The Feast of St. Anthony, Forest Hill’s Strawberry Festival, al fresco dining in Fells Point and more

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The four-day St. Nicholas Greek Festival, always a foodie destination, kicks off on Thursday.

With summer (unofficially) underway, we’re looking at a great week filled with festivals, strawberries and soft shell crabs, among other things. Here’s what’s coming up:

Openings and announcements
Just in time for the summer months, a new dock bar has opened. Tiki Lee’s, located in Sparrows Point, is a sister restaurant to Lee’s Pint and Shell in Canton.

The Verandah opens in Broadway Market on Friday at 4 p.m.

Good news in Hampden: Bluebird Pub, the basement bar associated with Bluebird Cocktail Room, is back up and running after being flooded just after its grand opening.

Sadly, longtime Pikesville favorite Gourmet Again closed its doors on May 28. The food shop served the community for decades.

Soft shells and strawberries
It’s a great time for short-lived seasonal dishes.

Chez Hugo has a gorgeous soft shell sandwich on the dinner menu right now.

Silver Queen Café is serving soft shell crabs and strawberry shortcake, both of which are sure to be incredible.

At Gunther & Co., one of the dessert menu’s new additions is a frozen strawberry “tart” with rhubarb compote, toasted meringue and pink peppercorn meringue tuille. It looks amazing.

New Chesapeake Cooking class at Gertrude’s
On Saturday morning, head to Gertrude’s for a cooking class taught by the restaurant staff alongside Pam Miller from Charlottetown Farm.

This class, the first in this year’s series, will focus on Charlottetown’s terrific goat cheese, including how to make it at home.

What’s your superpower?
On Saturday morning, Bandito’s is going strong with a superhero-themed brunch. Guests are invited to dress up as their favorite superhero and the menu will include food and drink specials like “Infinity Stone” mimosas and “Captain America French Toast.”

Plus, best costume wins brunch and bottomless mimosas–so get creative!

Food trucks galore
On Saturday, the 8th Annual Taste of 3 Cities rolls (literally) into Patterson Park. The festival features food trucks from Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The party also includes a big kids’ zone, live music and hot air balloon rides.

Also on Saturday, Dundalk will welcome its first-ever food truck festival at the Historic Dundalk Town Center. The event will include vendors, music and other activities, plus trucks like B’more Greek Grill and BricknFire Pizza Company.

Festival fun
The first few weekends of unofficial summer are fun ones, packed with festivals and activities. This week’s lineup is especially impressive.

Saturday and Sunday, Little Italy comes alive with the Feast of St. Anthony, a weekend-long street festival featuring Italian food, wine and beer, plus tons of games and vendors. The weekend also includes a sit-down pasta dinner, a bocce tournament, a street processional after 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday and a Roma Sausage-eating contest.

On Saturday, Advent Lutheran Church in Forest Hill hosts its 22nd annual Strawberry Festival and Flea Market, featuring kids’ activities, pit beef and turkey, and lots of fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

All weekend long, Oregon Ridge will turn itself over to the grape, as Great Grapes! Wine & Food Festival takes over the Hunt Valley park. This year, the festival will include both local wines and ones from around the country and the world, plus beer and spirits.

The St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival–always a foodie favorite–starts Thursday, June 6. The four-day affair is packed with music, dancing and tons of Greek food. It takes place in Greektown Square and is always a hit.

Cabernets for Strays
On Saturday, The Manor Tavern hosts Cabernets for Strays, an evening raising funds for Animal Rescue, Inc. The ticketed event will include food, wine, music and art.

Summer party on the porch at Food Plenty
On Saturday afternoon, Food Plenty in Clarksville will team up with Manor Hill Brewing and Bulleit Bourbon for a “Porch Party with a Purpose.”

The day will include beer and bourbon tastings, craft cocktails and beer, passed hors d’oeuvres and live music. The event, which does not require tickets, benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Maryland.

Calasag’s 2nd anniversary
Filipino pop-up Calasag is celebrating its second anniversary with a potluck party on Tuesday at The Sidebar. Guests should bring a dish to share and there will be drink specials, karaoke and a special surprise.

Fells Point Al Fresco
On the first Wednesday of every month during the summer, starting June 5, an entire Fells Point block will take it outside. Dining tables will line the sidewalks, shops will have outdoor wares and artists will set up easels throughout the neighborhood.

The initiative, dubbed Fells Point Al Fresco, is designed to imitate the outdoor shopping and dining experience found in European towns. This month, it’s the 1700 block of Thames Street, where you’ll find spots like Thames Street Oyster House, Kooper’s Tavern and the Sagamore Pendry Hotel.

Plants and cocktails
B. Willow pops up at Hotel Revival on June 6 for its second botanical-themed workshop and cocktail series.

The event, which takes place in the Garden Room, will focus on extreme plants of the desert. Guests will learn about the plants and take home a cacti or succulent, and will also enjoy cocktails inspired by the vegetation of the desert.

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

June 8: Feastival
July 3: Tacopalooza at La Food Marketa
August 10: Flower Farm Dinner at Two Boots Farm



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