The Urban Oyster will begin operating out of Hotel Revival this Thursday.

Despite the strange and challenging circumstances Baltimore restaurants are facing this November, they’re offering a lot to celebrate and be thankful for, from takeaway Thanksgiving dinners to new cafes to whiskey dinners.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

Openings & Announcements
With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise, restaurant guidelines are a moving target right now. In Baltimore City, restaurants (and other indoor businesses) are restricted to 25% capacity as of Thursday, Nov. 12; restrictions to capacity in other parts of the state are likely to follow.

Changing government policies often means changes to restaurant approaches, so before you head out to your favorite spot, be sure to check their protocols. And if you’re planning to dine outside, don’t forget to bring a blanket.

Even with the not-so-great coronavirus reports, there is happy news on the horizon in Baltimore.

On Thursday, The Urban Oyster will begin operating out of Hotel Revival, offering a fun, seafood-heavy menu Thursdays through Sundays.

818 Market in Catonsville opens on Monday.

CookHouse, the new restaurant in the old b bistro space, had its debut cut short by COVID. The owners have regrouped, though, and reopened as a café serving sandwiches, salads and coffee (for dine in and takeaway) and market with a variety of items, including wine and beer.

THB Bagelry & Deli’s new Columbia location officially opens on Thursday, Nov. 19. The menu at the Columbia outpost will include a handful of new items, including honey walnut cream cheese and jalapeno cream cheese.

The Baltimore Business Journal reports that ghost kitchen Underground Pizza will open in a Power Plant Live! space sometime later this year.

Free chicken at Nando’s
Here’s something nice from a national restaurant chain: On Tuesday, every Nando’s PERi-PERi in the country will give away free quarter-chickens to customers arriving between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There’s no purchase necessary and the offer is only good while supplies last.

The folks at Nando’s say the initiative is designed to help bring Americans together, sharing meals, during tumultuous times. It’s a worthy sentiment and generous idea.

Newly available
In this constantly changing landscape, restaurateurs have had to be as nimble as ever; they continue to amaze with fresh options and approaches to feeding their guests.

Peter’s Inn is open for full-service outdoor dining but the restaurant is also still offering a terrific menu of takeaway entrees and appetizers, pantry items (everything from baguettes to coffee to steak) and cocktails. If you haven’t been to the Fells Point icon in a while, this weekend would be a good time to go.

Max’s Taphouse has a new carryout menu and walk-up window, offering burgers, pulled pork, pit beef and pit turkey, and snacks like soft pretzels and nachos.

Sunday roast dinners are back at Orto; each week, the restaurant will offer a family-style meal to serve four (for pickup). Orto’s pasta club is ongoing, as well – club members pick up fresh pasta and sauce on a weekly basis.

Magdalena’s fabulous food is now available for takeout and delivery.

Crush 2020: All in the Family
Crush, the annual wine tasting fundraiser that benefits the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion Endowment Fund, has moved to an online format this year. The wine tasting event will take place on Saturday, and will feature “less well known wines from famous names.”

Wild Game & Whiskey at Elkridge Furnace Inn
On Thursday and Friday, Elkridge Furnace Inn hosts a pair of back-to-back, safe and socially distant wild game and whiskey dinners. The meals will include five elegant courses featuring wild game and paired with whiskeys.

Thanksgiving things
Thanksgiving is sneaking up on us: now is the time to plan, especially if you’ll be dining out or ordering your turkey, sides or desserts. This year, local restaurants are offering fantastic takeaway and dine-in options covering both classic and updated takes on the holiday of gratefulness.

Peerce’s – which has a fantastic patio and indoor-outdoor space, will offer a traditional, three-course Thanksgiving meal from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Duck Duck Goose’s Thanksgiving dinner to-go menu includes traditional dishes like turkey and stuffing alongside options like cote de boeuf and radicchio salad.

Dutch Courage will be serving Thanksgiving dinner from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and has carry-out meals available to pre-order.

NiHao’s Thanksgiving takeaway menu puts a Chinese twist on traditional flavors with dishes like Cantonese roast duck with hoisin, ginger and cranberry, and BBQ beets.

H3irloom Food Group – the new initiative from David and Tonya Thomas (formerly of Ida B’s Table and Herb & Soul) – has a Thanksgiving catering menu including creative southern approaches to all the classics. Pro tip: don’t miss the cranberry hibiscus jam. It’s an ideal condiment for Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches.

The Four Seasons Hotel has a to-go option for a dinner for four to six people and an in-room dining plate, for guests who choose to spend Thanksgiving in a relaxing downtown room with views of the harbor. The hotel has also created a fun rooftop winter wonderland experience for post-turkey enjoyment (or pre-turkey, if you’re ready to get into the holiday spirit a little early).

Pierpoint Restaurant’s weekly boxes of takeaway food have become a hit; they sell out almost every week. The restaurant is offering a special Thanksgiving box for the holiday, including turkey or duck, classic sides (including a sauerkraut option) and desserts. (When you order, be sure to congratulate Pierpoint chef/owner Nancy Longo on her recent alumni award from her alma mater, IND.)

Walker’s Tap & Table is taking Thanksgiving to-go orders from now through Nov. 19. Turkeys and sides are available a la carte and include the classics, from mac and cheese to green beans.

Rye Street Tavern’s takeaway feast serves up to six people and includes dishes like curried pumpkin soup, a fresh turkey, and Sagamore Rye-spiked gravy.

The multi-course takeaway menu at Rec Pier Chop House starts with soup and salad, followed by turkey with all the fixings, and pumpkin and apple pies for dessert.

Manor Tavern’s menu includes appetizers by the tray, a family style dinner for 6-10 people or specific main dishes, side dishes and desserts available family style. Orders must be placed by Nov. 21.

La Food Marketa’s Thanksgiving dinner takeaway option includes a sous vide turkey breast and sides like acorn squash with honey and pumpkin seeds and sauerkraut with caraway.

Gunther & Co.’s Thanksgiving take-home options include everything from turkey to cocktails to the centerpiece.

Charleston will be open from noon until 8 p.m., serving a special three-course holiday menu.

Tersiguel’s has created a special to-go menu including four courses covering all of the Thanksgiving bases (plus more).

The Corner Pantry’s catering menu includes everything from caramelized onion dip to Scotch eggs to gluten-free gravy (and just about everything else).

Cindy Lou’s Fish House, the new Foreman Wolf spot, will be open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. with their full regular menu plus Thanksgiving specials in the lineup. Outdoor seating (with many heaters) is also available.

Gertrude’s Thanksgiving “Curbside Menu” includes a dinner for four and – maybe even better – a leftovers kit with just enough for sandwiches for four people.

Linwood’s is offering a variety of tempting sides to go.

The Tilted Row’s takeaway Thanksgiving dinner serves four and includes all the classics.

Cunningham’s Café will be open on Thanksgiving Day. The café and restaurant are also offering a catering menu including traditional holiday entrees, sides, sauces and desserts.

SoBo Café’s catering options run from whole turkey to individual sides and pies.

Heritage Smokehouse is taking pre-orders for Thanksgiving dishes like smoked Heritage ham and cherrywood smoked turkey, as well as non-smoked dishes including sauerkraut and tater-tot casserole.

Johnny’s in Roland Park is offering a three-course menu with options like traditional turkey or blackened rockfish with collards and a cheddar grit cake. The menu is also available for takeaway – as are Johnny’s Thanksgiving pies, which can be pre-ordered before Nov. 20.

The Charmery is taking pre-orders for Thanksgiving ice cream pies in flavors like spiced pumpkin caramel and brown sugar molasses pecan pie.

Rusty Scupper will offer a buffet with traditional Thanksgiving fare as well as Chesapeake-inspired dishes.

If you just need a side dish, you can order that from Classic Catering, but the venerable caterer also has full feast options available. Each feast is designed to serve five to ten guests and includes a variety of traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

Eddie’s also offers everything from hors d’oeuvres by the dozen to a “holiday in a box” with a complete meal for six. Plus, you can easily add wine pairings to the menu.

Planning for the future
Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
Dec. 6: Italian desserts cooking class at Cosima 
Dec. 9: Best of the Best Wine Dinner 
Dec. 23: Feast of the Seven Fishes at Elkridge Furnace Inn 

Kit Pollard

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