Hot Plate: Tooloulou Closes, Emma’s Tea Spot Opens, Miracle on Magothy Beach Spreads Holiday Cheer

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The Muletide is one of many holiday-themed drinks available at Miracle on Magothy Beach, a Christmassy pop-up at Mutiny Pirate Bar.

The holiday season kicks into gear this week in Baltimore, with restaurants hosting festive events throughout the week. Here’s a look at what’s happening in and around town:

Openings & Announcements

This week’s restaurant industry news is a mixed bag: some good, some bad.

First, the bad news: Tooloulou has closed. The Louisiana-centric food stall in Belvedere Square announced its closing in a Facebook post last Sunday morning.

Now, the good news: Baltimore has a new tea shop! Emma’s Tea Spot opened last week on Harford Road, in the space that formerly housed the Green Onion market. With a menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and classic tea preparations, Emma’s promises to deliver a “proper British experience.” The owners also hope to host classes and also offer a selection of British items for sale.

Baltimore also has a new steak restaurant – complete with celebrity chef! Gordon Ramsey was in town yesterday to celebrate the opening of his new spot in the Horseshoe Casino: Gordon Ramsey Steak.

Miracle on Magothy Beach

Looking for a festive break from reality? Mutiny Pirate Bar has transformed into something special just for the season: Miracle on Magothy Beach. The waterside pirate bar has been all decked out in holiday trimmings and, now through Christmas Eve, it will be all Christmas, all the time, with cocktails like the How the Gimlet Stole Christmas and the You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out.

The pop-up has been created in collaboration with the Kings of Cocktail; there are over 50 similar pop-ups, but this is the only one in Maryland.

Guinness & Heavy Seas Collaborate (Sort of)

This afternoon, two new kegs will be tapped in Halethorpe – one at Guinness’s new test tap room and the other just a short hop away at Heavy Seas, one of the region’s most venerable breweries.

The two beers were made with one another in mind. They are similar in makeup, each including water from the same source, kettle hops and yeast. But the brewers also put their own spin on the brews.

The Guinness beer, called “The Longest Way Round,” will be tapped at 3:30 p.m. and the Heavy Seas beer, “The Shortest Way Home,” will be available at 5 p.m.

Busy at Cross Keys

The Village of Cross Keys is a busy place to be this weekend.

On Saturday, Chef Chad Gauss will be at the Williams-Sonoma in the Village of Cross Keys for a cooking demo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chef Gauss just released a sure-to-be-a-hit cookbook, The Food Market at Home, and he’s popping up here and there throughout the city to share recipes from the book.

Plus, he’s bringing along La Food Marketa bartender Ryan Walter, who will be mixing seasonal cocktails using Williams-Sonoma’s great mixers and spirits from Sagamore Spirit, Lyon Distilling and Baltimore Whiskey Company.

On Sunday, the crew from haenyo, the Korean pop-up eatery, will take over Village Square Café, serving traditional Korean dishes using ingredients from the fall harvest, including japchae (sweet potato noodles and vegetables) and tteokgalbi (Korean-style meatballs made with Liberty Delight Farms beef).

Learning to Love Cooking Together

Cooking with kids can be challenging, but it can also be a blast. Culinary nutritionist and cooking coach Alica Diehl wants to help make it more of the latter than the former. On Sunday, Dec. 3, she’s hosting a family-friendly workshop on the topic at Juniper Culinary Apothecary.

Come with your kids (all ages are welcome, though the workshop is designed for kids ages 8-14), learn how to include kids in the kitchen, get hands-on experience while making healthy snacks, and take home a recipe book with dishes the family can make together.

Happy 10th to Victoria Gastro Pub

Monday, Dec. 4, Victoria Gastro Pub celebrates a big milestone: 10 years in business. The popular Columbia restaurant is celebrating with a party including free passed hors d’oeuvres and food stations from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., half off drafts for beer club members and door prizes. Congratulations to the VGP team!

Feast of Seven Fishes at The Local Oyster

It might only be early December, but The Local Oyster is already in holiday meal mode. The Mt. Vernon Marketplace stall will host Chef Egg on Dec. 4 for a Feast of the Seven Fishes celebration. The meal, a riff on the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner, includes a wide range of seafood dishes, from raw oysters with prosecco granita to coddies to jumbo lump crab cocktail.

Truffles at Gnocco

It’s truffle season, which means great things for people who love their heady, earthy scent and flavor.

For the second year in a row, Gnocco is celebrating the arrival of black and white truffles with a truffle-centric dinner. This year’s meal includes five savory courses, each featuring truffles, plus dessert and “all the delicious Italian wine you can drink.”

Courses include dishes like seared sea scallops with sea urchin crema, confit potatoes, and black truffle and cured and roast duck breast with chanterelle puree, cardoons and white truffle.

Wine at Aggio

Next Thursday, Dec. 7, Aggio chefs Bryan Voltaggio and Dan Metz will join forces for a five-course Italian wine dinner. If you haven’t been to Aggio, this will be a great opportunity to get to know the restaurant’s style; the chefs’ approach to Italian food is refined and truly excellent.

Holiday Gifting

Local restaurants and businesses have tons of great options to consider for holiday gifts.

Have a family member or friend who loves Liberatore’s? Right now is the time to buy them a gift card. From today through Dec. 8, the popular restaurant group has a great deal on gift certificates: if you buy a $50 card, you get an additional $5 card, if you buy a $100 card, you’ll get a $10 card and if you go for a $200 card, you’ll get a $20 card back.

Out-of-towners missing Maryland seafood might appreciate a gift from Colossal Blue, a brand new company that ships Maryland crab dishes nationwide. Colossal Blue sells crab cakes, crab balls, Maryland crab soup and cream of crab soup, using recipes that have been in the owner’s family for decades. The dishes, which include real Maryland lump crab, are all made to order prior to shipping.

Planning Ahead

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

December 6: Drinks with Baltimore Fishbowl at Dylan’s Oyster Cellar, 6 – 9 p.m.

December 9: On the Rocks at the Walters Art Gallery 

December 12: Bell’s Brewery Beer Dinner at Butchers Hill Society 

January 12: Krautfest at Gertrude’s 

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