Hot Plate: Two vegan bake shops, three farm events, four wine dinners and much more

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Chef Melanie Molinaro has opened a new vegan eatery, Little Fig Bake Shop, inside Stall 11 in R. House.

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, a vegan baked goods expert, a big beer drinker or a fan of farm parties, there’s an event you’ll love this week in Baltimore. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings and announcements

R. House has some fun news: Melanie Molinaro has opened her own little bakeshop in the Stall 11 space. Called Little Fig Bake Shop, it will be open Wednesday through Sunday, featuring vegan treats of all kinds.

Also in R. House, Molina Pizze & Polpette has launched a new menu, including nine brand new signature pies.

Speaking of vegan baked goods, MOM’s Organic Market has opened a new concept: MOM’s Bake Shop, adjacent to the store’s Timonium location. The shop sells vegetarian and vegan sandwiches, raw juices and muffins.

Fans of the now-shuttered Federal Hill spot Regi’s American Bistro will be happy to hear that the owner, Alan Morstein, has new plans in the works. Morstein will open A.J.’s Deli in Mt. Vernon Marketplace. The menu will include a mix of classics, plus some favorites from the Regi’s days.

Baltimore Beer Week

Baltimore Beer Week is going strong through this Sunday. There are dozens of events to choose from this weekend, including today’s beer release party of Guinness’ Crosslands Honey Ale at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House, Saturday’s Rough Draughts Party at Union Craft Brewing and Sunday’s “Baltimore Brewing History Symposium” at Brewer’s Art.

Saturday also includes numerous events geared towards Baltimore Running Festival participants, like $0.26 drafts at Brewer’s Art from noon through 7 p.m.

Maryland Food Truck Week

Just as Beer Week is winding down, Maryland Food Truck Week is ready to launch. The event, which includes food truck-friendly events all over the region, kicks off today with a rally at South Point in Port Covington.

The free event will include some local favorites, like Dizzy Cow Pizzeria and Mexican on the Run, plus a bake sale with treats from local dessert makers.

‘MasterChef’ at the Maryland Home & Garden Show

The Maryland Home and Garden Show takes over the Timonium Fairgrounds from today through Sunday. In addition to the usual suspects, the show includes a treat for fans of food TV: Shaun O’Neale, the winner of season seven of “MasterChef” will be on hand to demonstrate recipes, sign his cookbook and chat with attendees.

Fall Festival at Rye Street Tavern

This Saturday and next, Rye Street Tavern celebrates all things autumnal with a family-friendly fall festival. The event includes a paint-your-own-pumpkin activity for kids, grilled hot dogs and burgers, live music, lawn games and an outdoor bar.

Farm fun

This weekend, several local farms are opening their gates to welcome guests in.

Tomorrow, Manor Hill Farm puts on its annual Harvest on the Hill festival, with food from Manor Hill Tavern, Food Plenty and Victoria Gastro Pub (plus dessert from Scoop & Paddle Ice Cream Company), and beers from Manor Hill Brewing, located right on the property. The party also includes live music, and the farm and brewery will be open for tours.

On Sunday, Star Bright Farm in White Hall hosts a fall preservation workshop. Domenica Marchetti, the author of “Preserving Italy: Canning, Curing, Infusing and Bottling Italian Flavors and Traditions,” will be there sharing techniques for preservation of vegetables and herbs. The day-long event also includes a break for a homemade lunch. Attendees will take home preserves and seasoned salt.

Also on Sunday, La Cuchara will offer another installment of its Evenings at the Farm series of dinners. The dinner, which will take place at Zahradka Farms, features Basque-inspired seasonal dishes prepared by La Cuchara chef/owner Ben Lefenfeld alongside special guest Amy Langrehr (aka Charm City Cook).

Mezcal meal

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, Clavel teams up with Fidencio Spirits, an organization representing multiple mezcal makers, for a five-course dinner featuring multiple mezcals and thoughtfully paired dishes.

Wine all week

Fall is an excellent season for wine dinners, as each week seems to top the last in terms of quality and quantity. With four terrific dinners scheduled over the next seven days, this is a great time to be a wine lover in Charm City.

On Monday, Oct. 22, Cinghiale joins forces with Filippo Antonelli to showcase wines from his estate in Montefalco, located in Umbria, Italy. The wines, all of which will feature the Sagrantino grape, will be paired with a three-course meal including dishes like spit-roasted Duroc pork rack with braised Swiss chard and escarole.

Tuesday, Oct. 23, The Bygone hosts a five-course meal paired with wines from Argyle Winery in Oregon. Courses include fare like Snake River Farms Wagyu Ribeye paired with Argyle’s Nuthouse Pinot Noir.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, Tagliata will feature the wines of the Antinoris, a Florentine family that makes wine in both Italy and the States (including Stag’s Leap). The Harbor East restaurant will offer a five-course meal paired with six Antinori wines.

Also on Wednesday, Cosima celebrates Italian wine with a multi-course meal highlighting wines from Puglian winery Menhir Salento. The meal will double as a showcase for beverage director Kristen Starks, who just returned from an eight-week trip to Italy, where she immersed herself in learning about the culture and the company’s wines.

Hoodang! on the Bay

From Friday through Sunday next weekend, Sandlot will pair up with Woodberry Kitchen to go wild with the first ever Hoodang! on the Bay festival, featuring a series of great parties celebrating all things Chesapeake.

Friday night, Sandlot will welcome competitive barbecuers and oyster shuckers for a party called “Bayfire.” Saturday, “Market Graze and Makers Stage” will take over, with a farmer’s market featuring tons of great food and drink, plus interactive demonstrations and tastings on the Makers Stage in the pavilion. Saturday night, chefs from Baltimore, D.C. and Richmond will collaborate on a Chesapeake-themed dinner, and on Sunday, “Pancakes on the Beach” will be served alongside bellinis, Bloody Marys and local juices.

Halloween starts early

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, which means the weekends before and afterward are opportunities to get costumed up and party.

Local restaurants are getting in on the action. On Friday and Saturday, diners in full costume at The Elephant will receive 10 percent off their bill and be put in the running for a $100 gift card, awarded to the best costume.

In honor of the holiday, The Elk Room will welcome Edgar Allen Poe impersonator David Keltz, who will perform “The Raven” to guests at the swanky bar.

Planning Ahead

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

November 3: Baltimore Craft Beer Festival 

November 7: Cocktails & Calligraphy at Ludlow Market 

November 11: Moveable Feast Chili Cookoff at Union Craft Brewing

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