Hot Plate: Whole Pig at La Cuchara, New Chef at Cunningham’s

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Pork Loin at La Cuchara
Pork Loin at La Cuchara

Spring has sprung in Baltimore, as Facebook fills with photos of sunny vacations and kids (and parents) make their way back to muddy lacrosse fields. Restaurants are getting in on the action, too, with refreshed menus and food and cocktails designed around local events.

If you still haven’t made brunch or dinner plans for Easter Sunday, check out our list of what Baltimore restaurants are doing for the holiday.

In the days after Easter, a handful of interesting food-and-drink events are taking place in and around Baltimore. From lights to history, here’s what to expect next week:

Light It Up

Baltimore’s big news this week is the opening of Light City Baltimore, the international festival of light, art, music and innovation that starts, downtown, on March 28.

The festival includes performances, conference sessions and art installations and happenings – and food. Some fantastic restaurants, bars and food purveyors are coming together to feed Light City guests, including Ouzo Bay, Azumi and the not-quite-yet-open Loch Bar, Wit & Wisdom (which is the official bar of the event), Parts & Labor, Ekiben and The Nickel Taphouse.

Sensory Overload at Cunningham’s

On Wednesday, March 30, Cunningham’s in Towson hosts the Dinner of the Senses, a four-course meal pairing Oregon wines with intriguing food, like scallop crudo with smoked mussels and a coq au vin dumpling.

Cunningham’s has more big news this week, too, with the announcement that Baltimore native Jay Rohlfing has taken over the kitchen as executive chef. The chef has worked in Florida and Baltimore and cites his time as Linwoods as extremely influential.

 Taco Wednesday

We’ve all heard of Taco Tuesday, but this week, Sugarvale in Mount Vernon is extending the “holiday,” with a Tacos and Cocktails pop-up on Wednesday, March 30, featuring tacos from Taco Thing plus Sugarvale cocktails, which are always amazing.

Here, Piggy, Piggy

On Thursday, March 31, celebrate all things porcine at La Cuchara’s Pig Risk, Pig Reward Whole Hog Wine Dinner. During dinner that evening, La Cuchara’s menu will include 15 different dishes from a single hog sourced from Whistle Pig Hollow farm in Reisterstown.

The dishes will be paired with wines from French wine regions Minervois and Alsace. The evening will also feature discussion from winemakers Sarah Frissant (Chateau Coupe Roses) and Melanie Pfister (Domaine Pfister) and farmers from Whistle Pig Hollow.

Learn While You Drink

Also on Thursday, March 31, Birroteca will host Tipsy History, a four-course meal with Wigle Whiskey pairings, livened up by a “spirited storytelling” of the Whiskey Rebellion. The meal will include dishes like chevre-stuffed, proscuitto-wrapped dates paired with Wigle Landlocked Punch and a Wigle rye cocktail matched with wild mushroom pasta.

Stylish Bites

Fans of Brit country style should head to Fleet Street Kitchen on Thursday, March 31 for Wit, Grit & Glamour. Fleet Street is partnering with The QG for the event, which will showcase new clothing from Barbour alongside specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Spring Dishes

Pazo in Harbor East has refreshed its menu for springtime. The restaurant’s focus remains on fresh, seasonally-driven Italian food, with a variety of wood-grilled options, from octopus to homemade pork sausage.

Planning Ahead

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

Wednesday, April 6: Mingle with  Mina at Wit & Wisdom

Thursday, April 7: Pane e Vino first anniversary party

Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17: The Emporiyum in downtown Baltimore

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