I Dip, You Dip, We Dip (For The Brigance Brigade Foundation)

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Embracing the start of the football season, 98 Rock is on the hunt for the city’s best dip to accompany a Ravens game at its first ever 98 Rock Dip Bowl on Saturday, September 24th at Horseshoe Casino’s outdoor entertainment plaza.

98 Rock’s Justin, Scott & Spiegel will be hosting the dip-off which will benefit the Brigance Brigade Foundation, an organization that equips, encourages and empowers people battling ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and their families and was founded by former Baltimore Raven O.J. Brigance and his wife Chanda in 2008.

Fifteen local Ravens Roosts will prepare dips to compete for the chance to win awards and prizes. Guests at the event will have the opportunity to sample the dips and celebrity judges will be on hand to vote for the winner in categories like best warm dip, best cold dip, and best presentation/team spirit. There will also be a People’s Choice award.

“We are extremely grateful that 98 Rock chose the Brigance Brigade Foundation as its charity of choice for the station’s first Dip Bowl,” said Chanda Brigance, Co-Founder of the Brigance Brigade Foundation. “98 Rock has been a long-time, valued partner of the Foundation and we couldn’t be happier to continue the partnership through this fun event. I am looking forward to kicking off the Ravens’ season with some delicious snacks and dedicated fans!”  

In addition to a plethora of dips, the tailgate-style event will also have additional food, drinks, and music.

The 98 Rock Dip Bowl is a 21+ event. Attendees can purchase tickets ($5.00 to enter) at the casino on the day of the event with cash, check, or credit card. The first 500 guests in the door will receive a commemorative mug. The event will go on,  rain or shine.

 

Date: Saturday, September 24th

Time: 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Location: Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore

1525 Russell Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

 

 

Tomato Week at Wine Market

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Photo Credit: Wine Market Bistro

From September 5th – 10th, join the Wine Market in celebrating one of the state’s favorite seasonal vegetables, the tomato.

For $35, enjoy 3 courses of tomato-centric dishes courtesy of Chef Brian Mahon and Calvert’s Gift Farm in Sparks, MD.

First Course:

“PLT” Tartine

Heirloom tomatoes, crispy pork belly, bibb lettuce, “Market” mayo, brioche

Fried Green Tomatoes

charred tomato and Jimmy Nardello aioli, tomato marmalade

Second Course:

Tomato Gnocci

wilted pea shoots, castlevetrano olives, ricotta salata

Creekstone Farm Hanger Steak

tomato cornbread pudding, tomato conserva, chipotle demi-glace

Pan Seared Trout

tomato dashi, ricotta polenta cakes, smoked tomato, trout roe

Dessert Course:

Tomato Sorbet

mascarpone whipped cream and balsamic

Wine Market

921 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230

(410) 244-6166

El Garaje – A One Night Transformation

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On Wednesday September 14, Le Garage will transform the kitchen from its usual French food to a special menu featuring Mexican-inspired cuisine and drinks as they host their second annual El Garaje event. Savor the remaining long days of sun and summer over margaritas and a menu of creative small and large plates available in both the bar and bistro from 5 pm to close.

MENU

Chicharrones / apple cider vinegar sauce / 5

Shrimp Ceviche Tostada / Jicama and fennel salad, roasted tomato vinaigrette / 8

Roasted Carrot Salad / avocado, orange, fennel / 8

Beer Battered Shishito Peppers “Chile Relleno” / refried lentils, sea salt / 8

Tacos ( 3 per order )

Grilled Asparagus / roasted poblano goat cheese / 10

Chorizo & Pork Belly / avocado, pineapple, chipotle / 12

Duck Confit Barbacoa / tomatillo salsa verde, smoked corn crema / 12

Larger Plates

Mussels Michelada / smoked tomato, hot sauce, and charred lime / 17

Skirt Steak & Frites / bone marrow salsa / 27

Dessert

Ibarra Chocolate Brownies / cinnamon ice cream, diablo chocolate sauce/ 6

Call 410-243-6300 to reserve your table

 

Le Garage

911 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211

(410) 243-6300

“Sagamore in Santorini” Ouzo Bay – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.75 oz. of Sagamore Rye
  • .5 oz. of Tamarind Syrup
  • .5 oz. of Lemon Juice
  • .75 oz. of Cilantro Ginger Shrub
  • Top with Fever Tree club soda

Drink Preparation:

  • Add the ingredients listed above except for the club soda to a shaker
  • Shake and strain into a Collins Glass
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Garnish with with Lemon peel and fresh cilantro
  • Cheers!

Tamarind Syrup:

  • Shell a dozen Tamarindo bean pods. Simmer in 4 cups of water for 45 minutes or until Tamarindo dissolves completely into water
  • Strain liquid through a chinois and coffee filter
  • Add 4 cups of sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Allow to cool and enjoy.

Cilantro Ginger Shrub:

  • Peel fresh ginger (about 2 cups worth) and mince in a blender.
  • Take ginger and finely chopped stalk of cilantro and add it to 4 cups of apple cider vinegar in a sealed non-reactive container.
  • Allow to rest in cool place for 3 days.
  • Strain ginger and cilantro.
  • Add 4 cups of sugar and stir until it dissolves.
  • Enjoy!

Ouzo Bay is located in Harbor East, which is a great little area of shops, restaurants and hotels. Ouzo Bay specializes in Greek cuisine and an assortment of signature cocktails that should suit everyone’s taste. They go that extra mile by serving you an after dinner cocktail – Ouzo of course.

William Escalante is the head bartender at Ouzo Bay and obviously enjoys his trade by adding a little flair to his service. This is not the first time we have seen Will behind the bar. He has participated in a wonderful event for Cystic Fibrosis, Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis. This event has some of the finest bartenders in Baltimore so you are pretty much guaranteed a great cocktail from William. This year William won “Judge’s Choice at the 2015 Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis”.

This signature cocktail is a refreshing glorified whiskey highball perfect for your summer cookouts. If you live in horse country like I do, it;s perfect for the horse races.

Battle Fromage – This Week At Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament

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This week will mark the final week before the semi-finals kick off for this year’s annual Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament.

The exciting Iron Chef-style single-elimination tournament runs all summer long at the Inn at the Colonnade and showcases the creativity and talent of local chefs who compete for the final prize of being named this year’s Master Chef.

Each week is themed and this coming week will feature “Battle Fromage” with Grille 620 competing against Smokin’ Hot Bar and Grille on Monday and KitchenCray battling The White Oak Tavern on Tuesday.

Semi-Final matches will be held August 1 and 2, culminating in the Final Championship match on Sunday, August 14th. A full schedule as well as chef bios are available at http://www.masondixonmasterchef.com/schedule-results/bracket.php. All competitions will be held at the Inn at the Colonnade Baltimore.

 

Tournament Ticket Details

Tickets for all remaining dates are available for purchase at: http://www.masondixonmasterchef.com.

Tickets for most matches are $25 for general admission and $45 for judging experience (including all taxes).

In addition, the Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament donates 10% of the net proceeds of each ticket sold directly to their charity partner Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland.

 

Event Timeline:

5:30 p.m. – Happy Hour with Complementary Hors d’oeurves and Wine Tasting by Boordy Vineyards, plus Drink and Food Specials

6:30 p.m. – Cold Prep Begins for the Competition

7:00 p.m. – Chef Competition

8:00 p.m. – Judging Begins, Complementary Dessert and Coffee Served

 

Partners and Sponsors:

Partners: Boordy Vineyards, Restaurant Association of Maryland, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland

Platinum Sponsors: Inn at the Colonnade Baltimore, Emmi Roth Kase USA, The Umbrella Syndicate

 

Gold Sponsors: American Metal Craft, Logan’s Sausage, Maple Leaf Farms, Pepsico, Phillips Food, Roland Foods, Steelite International, Sysco Food Service/Metropolitan, Vulcan, Whole Fresh Foods

Silver Sponsors: Aqua Panna/S. Pellegrino (Nestle Waters), Bigelow Tea, Certified Angus Beef, Chef a la mode, ECOLAB, Coleman/Harvestland, Hatfield, Marcho Farms, National Pasteurized Eggs, Pastry Star

Bronze Sponsors: Atalanta, BelGioioso, Anchor, Daisy Brand, House-Autry, Kraft-Heinz, Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company,  Ventura Foods, Wholesome Harvest Baking

“Galia’s Legacy” Ouzo Bay – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1. 5 oz. of Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin
  • .5 oz. of fennel syrup
  • .5 oz. of fresh lime juice
  • 1. oz. of fresh watermelon juice
  • .5 oz. of yellow chartreuse
  • Garnish with lime peel and cantaloupe wedge

Drink Preparation:

  • Add ice to coupe glass and set aside to chill.
  • Add ingredients to shaker in order listed above except lime peel and cantaloupe.
  • Empty ice from coupe glass.
  • Shake ingredients and strain into coupe glass.
  • Run lime peel around glass rim, then add as garnish.
  • Garnish glass with cantaloupe wedge.
  • Cheers!

Fennel Syrup Preparation:

  • Toast 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds briefly in oven. Then, simmer in 4 cups of water for 20-25 minutes. Strain fennel seeds, add 4 cups of sugar. Stir the sugar until it dissolves.

Ouzo Bay is located in Harbor East which is a great little area of shops, restaurants, and hotels. Ouzo Bay specializes in Greek cuisine and an assortment of signature cocktails to suit everyone’s taste. They go that extra mile by serving you an after dinner cocktail – Ouzo, of course.

William Escalante is the head bartender at Ouzo Bay and obviously enjoys his trade by adding a little flair to his service. This is not the first time we have seen Will behind the bar. He has participated in an annual local charity event for Cystic Fibrosis called Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis. This event has some of the finest bartenders in Baltimore, so you are pretty much guaranteed a great cocktail from William. This year William won “Judge’s Choice at the 2015 Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis”.

This signature cocktail has honeyed notes and herbal flavor. These flavors come from the blending of Uncle Val’s Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, fennel, lime and watermelon. This makes for a light and refreshing summer cocktail.

Chefs Behind Bars – June 1, 2016

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Last year’s inaugural Chefs Behind Bars event was hugely successful, raising thousands of dollars for the charity No Kid Hungry, which works to end childhood hunger in America. Thanks to that success, the event will be repeated this year on June 1 on Wit & Wisdom’s outdoor patio, Wit on the Water.

 

This year’s event will feature six top-notch local chefs shaking and stirring behind their own stations in an effort to create the best cocktails. Judges will be on hand to taste the chef’s creations and to choose winners, but attendees will also have the chance to taste and vote for their favorites as well. Both “people’s choice” and “judges’ choice” awards will be given.

 

In addition to cocktail samples, Wit & Wisdom’s Executive Chef Zack Mills will provide passed appetizers while Shake Shack will be visiting to serve their Chick’n Shack sliders all to the backdrop of live music by Ruben Montoya.

 

Participating chefs, their affiliations, and the liquor that they’ll be using  are as follows:

 

Chef Restaurant Liquor
Zack Mills Wit & Wisdom Barr Hill Gin
Ben Lefenfeld La Cuchara Papa’s Pilar – Blonde
Bryan Voltaggio AGGIO WhistlePig Rye Whiskey
Josh Brown Fox Boys Hospitality Papa’s Pilar – Dark
Opie Crooks Woodberry Kitchen One Eight – Rock Creek Whiskey
Chad Gauss The Food Market Belle Isle Grapefruit

 

Advanced tickets are $45 and $50 at the door with 100 percent of all ticket sales benefitting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.

 

For more information, and to purchase tickets for the “Chefs Behind Bars” event, visit: http://ce.strength.org/events/baltimore-chefs-behind-bars

 

Wit & Wisdom

Four Seasons Hotel

200 International Drive

Baltimore, MD 21202

 

Wednesday June 1, 2016

6:00 – 8:00 pm

“Nuevo Rita” Birroteca – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 3 slices of jalapenos (take the seeds out)
  • .5 oz. of simple syrup
  • .5 oz. fresh lime juice
  • .75 oz. of Luxardo Triple Sec
  • 1.5 oz. of Tromba Blanco Tequila

Garnish:

  • Top : Passion Fruit Foam
  • Black lava sea salt

Drink Preparation:

  • Using a mixing glass add the jalapeno slices and simple syrup.
  • Muddle the two ingredients.
  • Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed.
  • Pour into shaker and shake.
  • Double stain into margarita glass.
  • Top with passion fruit foam.
  • Garnish with black lava sea salt.
  • Cheers!

Passion Fruit Foam:

  • 4 oz. of Passion Fruit Nectar
  • 6 oz. of water
  • 4 egg whites
  • Stir.
  • Pour into whip cream canister. If you don’t have one shake vigorously. But they can be purchased easily.

Birroteca is a cool restaurant with a unique location in an old industrial area of Baltimore called Clipper Mill. Birroteca is known for its artisan pizza and Italian cuisine. It is worth the visit.

Nick, who is in the video, uses the same creativity in his cocktails that he uses in ceramic arts. Nick has been in several videos already, so be sure to check those out as well. Nick Ramey is the creator of this delicious Signature Cocktail and many of the other cocktails you will find at Birroteca. Like many of the bartenders we work with, his knowledge of the different brands of alcohol and how they mix with other ingredients is extensive – so you are pretty much guaranteed to get a great cocktail, every time.

“Aegean Paradise” Ouzo Bay – Baltimore, MD

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Aegean Paradise

 

Drink Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. of Papa’s Pilar Blonde
  • .75 oz. of orgeat syrup
  • .5 oz. of lime juice
  • .75 oz. of passion fruit puree
  • .5 oz. of orange juice
  • .5 oz. of pineapple juice
  • Pineapple wedge and edible orchid garnish

Drink Preparation:

  • Place all ingredients in shaker.
  • Shake and strain into Collins glass.
  • Garnish with an edible orchid and pineapple wedge.
  • Cheers!

How to make Orgeat Syrup:

  • 250 grams of toasted almond slices
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 oz. of orange flower water
  • 2 oz. of cognac
  • 2 oz. of Disaronno

Orgeat Syrup Preparation:

  • Bring water to boil.
  • Add toasted almonds, then lower temperature to a simmer.
  • Allow to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Strain almonds and add sugar.
  • Stir sugar until it dissolves.
  • Add orange flower water, cognac and Disaronno.
  • Stir and allow to cool.
  • Cheers!

Ouzo Bay is located in Harbor East, a great little area filled with shops, restaurants, and hotels. Ouzo Bay specializes in Greek cuisine and an assortment of signature cocktails that are bound to suit everyone’s taste. They go that extra mile by serving an after-dinner drink – Ouzo, of course.

William Escalante is the head bartender at Ouzo Bay and obviously enjoys his trade by adding a little flair to his service. This is not the first time we have seen Will behind the bar – he has participated in a wonderful event for Cystic Fibrosis. Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis. This event has some of the finest bartenders in Baltimore, so you are pretty much guaranteed a great cocktail from William. This year William won Best Cocktail with this cocktail at Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis.

“Feel the Bern!” Bar Liquorice – Locust Point, MD

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Drink Ingredients

  • 3 splashes of Scrappy’s Fire Water Bitters
  • 1.5 oz. of Barr Hill Gin
  • .5 oz. of Patron Citronage
  • 1 oz. of lemon juice
  • 1 oz. of honey simple syrup

 Drink Preparation:

  • Set aside a martini glass with ice in it to chill.
  • Using a mixing glass filled with ice, add the ingredients as listed above.
  • Using a bar spoon, stir ingredients.
  • Empty ice from martini glass.
  • Using a strainer, pour ingredients into martini glass.
  • Cheers!

Bar Liquorice… This place is a comfortable spot in Federal Hill that does not feel like your typical corner bar. Everything about it is well done and the detail put into everything from the ambiance, cocktails, and food makes you know every dollar here is well spent. Shaun creates the cocktails as well as many of the ingredients. Jeff Cahill, the owner and chef, takes great pride in the service, ambiance, and food served. There is not one detail that is missed.

This signature cocktail “Feel the Bern!” is similar to a Bees Knees, but with some kick from the Patron Citronage and bitters.

“Sidecar” Bar Liquorice – Locust Point, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.25 oz. Old Grand Dad 80
  • .75 oz. Patrón Citrónge
  • 1.5 oz. of Lemon Juice

Drink Preparation:

  • Add ice to mixing glass or shaker.
  • Add the ingredients in the order listed above.
  • Using a bar spoon, stir.
  • Strain into an Old-Fashioned glass.
  • Cheers!

Bar Liquorice – what do I write that has already not been written? This place is a corner bar in Federal Hill, that does not feel like your typical corner bar. Everything about it is well done, and the detail put into everything from the ambiance, cocktails and food lets you know every dollar spent is well spent. Shaun, who serves the cocktails, also creates them, as well as many of the ingredients used for his cocktails. Jeff Cahill, the owner and chef, takes great pride in the service, ambiance and food served. There is not one detail that is missed.

The Sidecar is an old school classic cognac cocktail. This version has an American twist to it, with the bourbon, which makes the cocktail easier on the palate.

Brewhouse No 16 – Upcoming Events

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Late in 2015, Brewhouse No. 16 finally opened, and the surrounding Mt. Vernon community, and beyond, couldn’t have been more excited for its newest local brewery and gastropub.

The space itself retains the history of the building as a firehouse, while invoking an intimate atmosphere and serving up well-prepared dishes like crab cakes and a decadent pulled duck poutine that pair well with their house brews and craft cocktails.

Visit any evening, check out their new brunch, or pop in for any of these events:

March 1st: Sips for Scholarships Fundraiser: http://csfbaltimore.org/sips-for-scholarships-2016-at-brew-house-no-16/ 

Easter: Keep a lookout on the page for a special brunch menu for the holiday.

April 23rd: Co-hosted home-brewing competition with Lady Brew Baltimore for Saison style beer (Stay tuned for a link to the event to be posted on FB).
Brewhouse No. 16

831 N. Calvert Street

410-659-4084

“Success from Scandal” Ware House 518 – Mt. Vernon, MD

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Drink Ingredients

  • 2 oz. of Barr Hill Gin
  • .5 oz. of Suze
  • .5 oz. of arugula honey syrup
  • .5 oz. of lemon juice
  • 1 whole egg white
  • Angostura bitters

 

Drink Preparation

  • Combine all ingredients except bitters into a shaker and shake contents.
  • Add ice to shaker and shake again.
  • Strain into a Coup Glass.
  • Garnish with Angostura Bitters.
  • Cheers!

 

This cocktail is from one of the new hot spots in Baltimore for craft cocktails. Ware House 518 is a contemporary American restaurant in the heart of historic Mt. Vernon. The Louie Bar is craft cocktail destination within Ware House 518 that offers an elevated tippling experience Friday and Saturday from 9:00 pm until 2:00 am.

In this video we have Aden as our bartender – this is his first time working with us. He is new to the craft cocktail side of the industry. This cocktail is a gin forward beverage with herbal notes and a full texture created by the egg whites. It is a relatively simple cocktail to make, and a pleasing cocktail on the palate.

The Crimson Sand Trap

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Orangerie (Infused Scotch with Orange Peel, Cassih and Clove)
  • 1 oz. of Brovo “Jammy” Vermouth
  • .5 oz. brandied cherry juice
  • 3 drops of black walnut bitters
  • Orange wedge

Drink Preparation:

  • Add ice to coupe glass to chill and set aside.
  • Add ingredients to shaker in order listed above.
  • Squeeze a fresh orange into mix.
  • Add ice and stir for 12 seconds.
  • Empty ice from glass.
  • Garnish with orange wedge.
  • Cheers!

This signature cocktail is created by Ian Clark of Fork and Wrench in Baltimore, MD. Ian has had several cocktails on our site. So be sure to look those up as well. Ian is very creative behind the bar, very knowledgeable about alcohol and his love of photography is demonstrated in how visually appealing his cocktails are.

This signature cocktail from Fork & Wrench is well balanced. It combines the subtle flavors of the orange infused scotch, cloves, cherry and the woodsy flavor of the walnut bitters. This cocktail is complex in taste, yet smooth with no lingering aftertaste.

Oregon Grille Wine Pairing – February 2

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In the days since the blizzard hit, you’ve probably spent enough quality time with your stove and oven. The digging out is nearly finished – it’s time to get out for a meal.

On February 2, join Bruce Mooers, the president of Far Niente Winery in Napa Valley, California, for a five course dinner and wine pairing at The Oregon Grille.

 

First Course: Jumbo lump crab with citrus butter and blood orange segments; paired with Far Niente, Chardonnay, Napa, 2013

Second Course: Grilled halloumi cheese with pomegranate, cherry reduction and micro arugula; paired with EnRoute ‘Les Pommiers’, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2013

Third Course: Pan-seared blue nose with a smoked potato silk, truffles and root vegetables; paired with Nickel & Nickel ‘Darien Vinyard’, Syrah, Russian River Valley, 2012

 

Fourth Course: Cedar plank grilled venison with braised red cabbage and a blackberry Valrhona chocolate sauce; paired with Nickel & Nickel ‘Quicksilver Vineyard’, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, 2012 and Nickel & Nickel ‘Regusci Vineyard’, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag’s Leap District, 2006

Dessert: Poached pear in a white wine sauce filled with an apricot mascarpone with Candied Apricots and an Apricot Reduction; paired with Dolce Late Harvest, Napa Valley, 2009

 

$175 per person not including tax/gratuity

For reservations, please call the Oregon Grille at 410-771-0505.

Jackets required for men

Cook Your Way Through Winter at Wegmans

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Kicking off its 10th year, the Contemporary Cooking Series at Wegmans in Hunt Valley will showcase a variety of locals as well as the shop’s own executive chefs, to teach how to cook with panache.

Guests include Amy von Lange, chef and co-owner of the new Schola cooking school, Baltimore’s favorite hon, Denise Whiting, owner of Cafe Hon in Hampden, and Enrique Limardo, Venezuelan native and executive chef at Alma Cocina Latina in Canton.

At $20 per class (including the demonstration and tastings of four recipes as well as a gift bag), the sessions run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month, from January to May.

Reservations are required. Call 410-773-3900 or stop by the Hunt Valley customer service desk for tickets. Wegmans Hunt Valley is located at 122 Shawan Road in Hunt Valley, Maryland. This is the place to sharpen your culinary skills and meet some of Baltimore’s most talented chefs.

Schedule:

 Braising: How to Ward Off the Chill

Wednesday, January 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Nothing warms the heart and soul quite like braising, winter’s most appealing and versatile cooking technique. Wegmans Hunt Valley chef Colin Radka will show you how to cook low and slow, whether in the oven, on top of the stove or in a slow cooker, and turn inexpensive cuts of meat into luscious meals for family and friends.

 Valentine’s Day Lovefest

Wednesday, February 3, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Love is in the air! Whether you’re cooking a Valentine’s Day feast for your sweetheart or for everyone you know and love, chef Amy von Lange of the new Schola cooking school in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon shows how to make it easy and delicious. She’ll share her secret spin on classics like oysters Rockefeller, coffee-rubbed tenderloin, and chocolate lava cake.

Celebrate Spring at Your Table

Wednesday, March 2, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Looking for a reminder that spring really is around the corner? Or maybe a new twist on Easter dinner? How about mousse-stuffed poached salmon, dilly potato salad, berry crunch pie and more, with none other than Chef Denise Whiting, owner of the venerable Café Hon in Hampden, as your guide. It’ll be a class to put spring in your step, for sure.

 Sauces: Simple to Spectacular

Wednesday, April 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Ready to kick your kitchen confidence up to the next level? Wegmans Hunt Valley chef David Carpin will show you how to unlock the power of the traditional French “Mother” sauces from which all others are made. Hollandaise, béchamel, velouté — talk about keys to creativity in the kitchen! You’ll be saucing like a pro in no time.

A Taste of Venezuela

Wednesday, May 4, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Influenced by the Andes Mountains in the northwest and a long Caribbean coast, the cuisine of Venezuela is unique and delicious. Tonight Executive Chef Enrique Limardo from Irena Stein’s newest restaurant, Alma Cocina Latina in Canton, will present a crash course in the fascinating ingredients and dishes of his native land.

New Year’s Day Brunch

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After all of the New Year’s Eve revelry (debauchery, even?) welcoming in the new year with some hearty food and perhaps a drink (or two…) should be on the agenda. Here are a few spots around town to ring in the first day of the new year… or just take the sting off of the effects of the previous night’s fun. Happy New Year!

Knotty Pine

This corner Brewer’s Hill bar entering its 17th year is serving up a cooked to order brunch from 11 am – 3 pm. Additionally, get your mimosa, bloody mary, or Boh in bottomless form from 11 am – 2 pm for only $13 per person.

Alexander’s Tavern

Opening at 10 am, the tavern will feature a full brunch menu as well as $3.50 Bloody Marys, screwdrivers and mimosas.

Mother’s Federal Hill Grille

From 9 am – 2 pm, nurse your NYE hangover with plenty of eggs, bacon, bloodies and mimosas on the deck.

Tavern on the Square

Playing the bowl games all day, Tavern on the Square is inviting New Year’s Day brunchers to don their pajamas for a comfy brunch from 11 am – 2 pm, featuring bottomless mimosas, bloodies, and sangria. Go for brunch in pj’s and get 15% off your check, but if you choose to wear onesie pajamas, as a shout out to some social media hilarity on the now-infamous Canton Neighbors Facebook page, you can also get “free water and a shot.” (Rest assured, those not in onesies, your water will be free too!).

B&O American Brasserie

From 8 am until 2:30 pm, B&O will be offering a Hangover Brunch followed by their regular dinner service from 5 until 10 pm. Initially we were a little astounded by anyone who might make it to brunch by 8 am on New Year’s Day, but the likes of monkey bread (with banana, caramel, and sea salt) for only $6 and the pork belly sammy (maple glazed pork belly, fried egg, smoked cheddar, frisee salad, brioche) for $15 might even entice us to get up a little earlier after the NYE celebrations.

Portside Tavern

In the heart of Canton, Portside will be offering their brunch menu from 11 am – 2 pm.

Wit and Wisdom

If you want a swanky start to the new year, there may be no better spot than Wit and Wisdom. Their New Year’s Day Brunch Buffet, for $69 ($30 for children 12 and under) is offered from 8 am to 3 pm and features organic scrambled eggs or homemade frittatas, local smoked salmon, artisan cheeses, chilled shellfish and plenty of hot entrees, as well.

Blue Agave

Opening at 9 am on New Year’s Day, Blue Agave is offering bottomless mimosas, peach sangria, and blackberry sangria alongside their signature dishes like Tres Leches Pancakes and Huevos Rancheros.

Iron Rooster

This new spot in Canton Crossing has created a flurry of excitement since it has opened, and for good reason. With all-day everyday breakfast (in addition to lunch and dinner options) from their opening at 7 am until close at 10 pm, this Annapolis transplant has everyone raving about their crumbly, sweet homemade pop-tarts, decadently sauced chicken and waffles, and the savory shrimp and grits with their subtle heat. There may be a wait, but you can nurse that hangover in the foyer or outdoor seating area with a bloody from the bar garnished with a full thick slice of bacon, large spear of pickled asparagus, and a hearty rim of Old Bay.

Noble’s

From 10 am – 3 pm Nobel’s will feature and all-you-can-eat brunch buffet with bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas for only $24.99. Upstairs, play beer pong and flip cup. Pajamas are encouraged.

Regi’s Bistro

Starting at 9 am, Regi’s will serve their regular brunch menu as well as $5 crushes.

Saute

Just off the Square in Canton, Saute is serving bottomless Brunch for $19.95 from 10 am until 3 pm. You can make reservations by calling Sauté at 410.327.2883 or text your name and number of people to 410.948.4930.

Papi’s Tacos

Serving their full brunch menu starting at 11, Papi’s is also offering all you can drink tequila sunrises, screwdrivers, bellinis, mimosas, Bloody Marys and Marias, and Dos Equis Lager and Amber for $12.

Cardinal Tavern

From 9:30 am until 3 pm, Cardinal Tavern will be serving their regular brunch menu.

Looney’s Tavern

From 11 am until 3 pm, Looney’s is featuring a Hangover Brunch with omelets, benedicts, french toast, and breakfast sandwiches as well as $4 mimosas, build your own bloodies, and Irish coffees.

“Hera’s Pride” Ouzo Bay – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • .75 oz. of Cinnamon/Clove Syrup
  • .75 oz. Lemon Juice
  • .75 oz.  Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • .75 oz. Velvet Falernum
  • 1.5 oz. Buffalo Trace Bourbon
  • Splash of Fever Tree Club Soda

Drink Preparation:

  • Cinnamon/Clove Syrup – Bring 8 cups of water, 10 cinnamon sticks and a tablespoon of whole cloves (grinded) to almost a boil and allow to simmer for 25 minutes. Then, strain cinnamon sticks and cloves and add 8 cups of sugar to complete syrup.
  • Add the ingredients in the order listed above to a shaker with ice.
  • Strain into Collins glass with ice.
  • Garnish with Rosemary sprig.
  • Cheers!

This signature cocktail from Ouzo Bay is a seasonal blend of cinnamon, clove, pineapple, vanilla and lemon flavors.

Ouzo Bay is located in Harbor East which is a great little area of shops, restaurants, and hotels. Ouzo Bay specializes in Greek cuisine and an assortment of signature cocktails that suit everyone’s tastes. They go the extra mile by serving you an after dinner cocktail.

William Escalante is the head bartender at Ouzo Bay and obviously enjoys his trade, often adding a little flair to his service. This is not the first time we have seen Will behind the bar; he has participated in a wonderful event for Cystic Fibrosis, Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis. This event has some of the finest bartenders in Baltimore, so you are pretty much guaranteed a great cocktail from William. This year William won Best Cocktail with this cocktail at Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis.

“Sage Advice” – Birroteca, Baltimore MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Ballast Point Barrel Rested Gin
  • .75 oz. Jack Rudy Elderflower Tonic
  • .75 oz. Apple cider
  • .75 oz. Bella Bellina Lemonata Moscato
  • 2-3 Sage leaves

Drink Preparation:

  • Using a shaker with ice add the all of the ingredients except the Bella Bellini Lemonata Moscato.
  • Add 2 sage leaves to the shaker.
  • Shake the ingredients.
  • Pour into Collins glass.
  • Garnish with a sage leaf and lemon twist.
  • Cheers!

Birroteca is a cool restaurant in a unique location in an old industrial area of Baltimore called Clipper Mill. Birroteca is known for its artisan pizza and Italian cuisine – it is worth the visit.

This signature cocktail is not a seasonal cocktail from the standpoint that you can enjoy it anytime of the year. Nick has once again worked his magic of perfect blends of herbs and alcohol. This signature cocktail has a nice balance of herbaceous gin and sage, with floral notes from the tonic and refreshing citrus.

Nick Ramey, the creator of this cocktail is featured in the video. He uses the same creativity in his cocktails that he uses in ceramic arts. Nick has been in several videos already, so be sure try those cocktails as well. Like many of the bartenders we work with, his knowledge of the different brands of alcohol and how they mix with other ingredients is extensive so you are pretty much guaranteed to get a great cocktail every time.

“Hedge Fund” Kali’s Court – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Maker’s Mark
  • .5 of Maple syrup
  • 1 oz. of Lime juice
  • Rosemary sprig

Drink Preparation:

  • Fill highball glass with ice.
  • Add the ingredient listed above to highball glass, except the rosemary sprig.
  • Pour into shaker, and shake.
  • Pour shaken cocktail back into highball glass.
  • Garnish with rosemary sprig.
  • Cheers!

Kali’s Court is located in Fell’s Point of Baltimore, MD.  Kali’s Court, once one of Baltimore’s premier seafood restaurants, has more recently become one of Baltimore’s newest and hottest night clubs. It is perfectly set for a couple of friends going out on the town and or a larger gathering. The layout has private areas for more intimate gatherings. Kali’s Court also has bottle service and VIP seating upstairs. They have kept their well-known outdoor seating area as well, which makes for a nice romantic setting during warm weather.

This signature cocktail from Kali’s Court has an undertone of sweetness from the maple syrup that evens out the Maker’s Mark smokiness. The balanced cocktail is finished with a hint of lime.

Carmen Motto is our wonderful bartender in this video. You have probably seen her in other videos of ours. She has been in the industry for years. She has shared her expertise here in Baltimore and down in Key West. Carmen is very energetic and entertaining behind the bar. You will never have a complaint if you are lucky enough to have her serve you.

Rockin’ the Cool Weather Cocktails

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HRC Holiday Mason Jar Drinks

In the summer, cocktails are the answer to the hot weather – am I right? Fruity juices mixed with rum or vodka are the refreshing answer to the all-encompassing heat and humidity. But when it comes to winter, what is the best warmer from the inside out?

Still, a cocktail.

Along with other drink visionaries around town, Hard Rock Cafe has placed the cocktail outside of its warm-weather box. Sure, we all know classics like a Manhattan or a Negroni are year-round beverages. But many other creative cocktails tend toward the light style that lends itself to the warmer months.

Hard Rock has crafted five new beverages intended to ward off the winter chill, all with (naturally) rock-themed names and cold-weather-appropriate booze (read: whiskey and scotch). You can visit their Baltimore location alongside the Inner Harbor, but we’ve also been fortunate enough to garner a couple recipes that you can make at home to enjoy beside your fireplace, alongside your fire pit, or just while you’re inside scrolling through Facebook avoiding the increasingly-chilly outdoors.

Cheers!

She's My Apple Pie

 

She’s My Apple Pie:

Glass: Mason Jar | Technique: Shaken

Ingredients:

·         2 oz. Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey

·         2 oz. Apple juice

·         1 oz. pineapple juice

·         ½ oz. Monin Salted Caramel

·         1 oz. hard cider

·         Whipped cream, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and favorite cinnamon cookie or graham cracker for garnish

 

Southern Jam

Southern Jam

Glass: Mason Jar | Technique: Shaken

Ingredients:

·         1 ½ oz. Monkey Shoulder Scotch

·         1 oz. black cherry puree

·         4 blackberries

·         ¾ oz. lemon juice

·         ½ oz. simple syrup

·         2 speared luxuardo cherries for garnish

“Blue Blood” Kali’s Court – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. of Stoli Blueberry Vodka
  • 2 oz. of Blood Orange Juice

Drink Preparations:

  • Add ice to martini glass and set aside to chill.
  • Add the ingredients listed above (in the order listed) to a shaker.
  • Give it a couple of good shakes.
  • Strain into martini glass.
  • Garnish with blueberries.
  • Cheers!

 

Kali’s Court is located in Fell’s Point in Baltimore, MD.  Kali’s Court, which was previously one of Baltimore’s premier upscale seafood restaurants, has become one of Baltimore’s newest and hottest night clubs. It is perfectly set for a couple of friends going out on the town and or a whole gathering. The layout has private areas for more intimate gatherings. Kali’s Court also has bottle service and VIP seating upstairs. They have kept their well known outdoor seating area as well, which makes for a cozy romantic setting during the warm weather.

This signature cocktail is perfect for a night out on the town. However, I think it also could be a great addition for your brunch. The “Blue Blood” is smooth, light and not too sweet. The ingredients blend well, so neither one overpowers the other.

Carmen Motto is our wonderful bartender in this video. You have probably seen her before in other videos of ours. She has been in the industry for years. She has shared her expertise here in Baltimore and down in Key West. Carmen is very energetic and entertaining behind the bar. You will never have a complaint if you are lucky enough to have her serve you.

“Comfortably Numb” Bluegrass Tavern – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • Chartreuse rinse
  • 1 oz. of Barr Hill Gin
  • 1 oz. of Dancing Pines Chai Liqueur
  • 1 oz. of St. Germain

Drink Preparation:

  • Pour a small amount of Chartreuse into Old Fashioned Glass and swirl around the glass – toss out the excess.
  • Add ice to a shaker and add the ingredients in the order listed above.
  • Give the ingredients a couple of shakes.
  • Strain into Old Fashioned Glass.
  • Garnish with orange rind.
  • Cheers!

Bluegrass Tavern is a classic neighborhood restaurant in South Baltimore featuring a contemporary American menu and an eclectic wine list and cocktails. From the moment you step through the front door, the dark wood, rich greens and floor to ceiling windows create a soothing yet airy feeling. Both floors feature a bar and a dining room.

This cocktail has many different herbs in the mix here, yet they somehow all pull it together to make delicious cocktail. The Barr Hill gin is able to make the herbs less subtle, while the herbs blend together so that one does not overpower the other.  

Our creator of this Signature Cocktail is Stephen. Stephen has been bartending for seven years and has been at Bluegrass Tavern for three years. Bluegrass Tavern was selected as the Best South Baltimore Restaurant in 2015.

“Fall Fashion” – Mezze

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 3 Cherries
  • 4 Pieces of orange
  • 1 Teaspoon of cinnamon sugar
  • 1 oz. of Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1 oz. of Van Gogh Wild Apple Vodka

Drink Preparation:

  • Muddle the cherries, oranges and cinnamon sugar in old fashioned glass (rocks glass).
  • Add the Bulleit and Van Gogh to the glass.
  • Fill the glass with ice and pour into a shaker.
  • Using a bar spoon, stir ingredients in shaker and slowly pour back into glass.
  • Garnish with Cherries.
  • Cheers! 

Kali’s Mezze is Kali’s Court’s sister restaurant. Like Kali’s Court, it is located in the heart of Baltimore’s famous Fell’s Point. Mezze specializes in traditional Mediterranean Cuisine, and has incredible ambiance. Located a stone’s throw from the water, the Mezze is settled amidst a busy area with plenty to do besides the dining. If you are there for the evening hours, you should find plenty of after-dinner activities, possible dancing at the newly renovated Kali’s Court.

This cocktail is Mezze’s play on the Old Fashion, one of my favorites, since I love bourbon. That said, I am always a little skeptical and nervous when someone has to play with the Old Fashioned. You know the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Since, fortunately, I have worked with Maryam before I gave her some latitude. It is exactly a fall fashion – the ingredients chosen for this signature cocktail blended with the Bulleit give it the perfect taste and color for a fall cocktail. It has just a little bite – the amount you would need on that fall day after raking leaves in forty degree weather when you need a little warmth.

Maryam Samadi is the creator of this signature cocktail and the lovely bartender in this video. Maryam has plenty of experience behind the bar and in the restaurant industry. She can make you some great cocktails and be very entertaining while doing it. If you are looking for a place with exceptional food, innovative drinks, and great service behind the bar, I suggest you stop in at Mezze.

Baltimore Seafood Festival

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Did you visit the inaugural Baltimore Seafood Festival at Canton Waterfront Park last year? If you didn’t, you missed out, but fortunately it was so successful that the sequel is upon us.

If you did visit last year, you’ll be impressed with the exponential increase in offerings in terms of both food and spirits this year.

In addition to the food tents and drinks tables, local bands like 8 Ohms Band and Unity Reggae Band will be on hand, a family-friendly area will be set up, and cooking demos will be available all day. One of our favorites from last year was Jessica Formicola’s (of Savory Experiments) super easy butternut squash soup adorned with huge chunks of lump crab meat.

“The Inaugural Baltimore Seafood Festival was a major success! People traveled from as far south as North Carolina and as far north as Maine,” stated Beth Laverick, President of B Scene Events. “This year, we will be adding an additional restaurant tent due to the event growing in size. This has the potential to become a regional event and a tradition for Baltimoreans, and we are very excited for this year’s festivities.”

Some of the restaurants that we’ve gotten word might be on hand shucking oysters and serving up some of their seafood favorites are:

  • Ryleigh’s Oysters
  • Verde
  • Stuggy’s
  • Roy’s
  • Cazbar
  • Mare Nostrum
  • Captain James
  • Atwater’s
  • Jimmy’s Famous Seafood
  • Bandito’s
  • Pitango
  • Warehouse 518
  • Saigon Today
  • Barcocina
  • Slainte
  • La Scala
  • Farmstead Grill
  • Heavy Seas Alehouse
  • Flavor Cupcakery

And while last year’s event had a decent amount of beverages, this year’s list of brews, vino, and cocktails (at multiple tables) is beyond impressive:

  • Heineken
  • Amstel Light
  • New Castle
  • Dos Equis Lager
  • Strong Bow Cider
  • Wave Series Sauvignon Blanc
  • Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc
  • SeaGlass Unoaked Chardonnay
  • Charles & Charles Chardonnay
  • SeaGlass Pinot Noir
  • Charles & Charles Red Blend
  • La Merika Chardonnay
  • Noble Vines 446 Chardonnay
  • La Merika Pinot Noir
  • HandCraft Petite Sirah
  • HandCraft Malbec
  • Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Callia Alta Torrontes
  • Alta Luna Sauvignon Blanc
  • Mazzei Badiola (Sangiovese Blend)
  • Santa Rita Secret Reserve Red Blend
  • Portillo Malbec
  • Roscato Sweet Rose
  • Svedka Crush
  • Casa Noble Margarita
  • Jim Beam Apple Orchard
  • Cruzan Blueberry Lemonade
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select Riesling
  • 14 Hands Riesling
  • ANEW Riesling
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling
  • St M Riesling
  • Eroica Riesling
  • Classic Sangria made with Riunite
  • White Sangria made with Pacific Rim Riesling
  • Bolla Prosecco
  • Rosa Regale Brachetto
  • Bolla Sparkling Rose
  • Ruffino Prosecco
  • Simi Dry Rose
  • Anderra Sauvignon Blanc
  • Ruffino Unoaked Chardonnay
  • Wild Horse Pinot Gris
  • Hidden Crush Pinot Noir
  • The Dreaming Tree Crush

If you haven’t already purchased tickets, or want more information, check out baltimoreseafoodfest.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance.

 

Saturday September 19, 2015 from 12:00 to 7:00 pm

Canton Waterfront Park

3001 Boston Street Baltimore, MD 21224

 

 

“Jameson Palmer” The Point in Fells – Fells Point, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • Several lemon slices
  • 1.5 oz. of Agave Nectar
  • 1.5 – 2.0 oz. of Jameson Black Barrel, to your discretion
  • 2.5 oz. of unsweetened ice tea
  • Garnish – lemon wedge

Drink Preparation:

  • Muddle several lemon wedges in pint glass.
  • Add the ingredients in the order listed above.
  • Give the cocktail a good shake.
  • Garnish with lemon wedge.
  • Cheers!

The Point in Fells is located in the heart of Fell’s Point on Thames Street. It‘s across from the old stomping grounds of where “Homicide Life on the Streets” was filmed. The Point has great ambiance with its hard wood floors and old school wood bar and they have ample choices on their signature cocktail menu. There’s clearly something special about the place – on every visit they always have a crowd. It seems safe to say that, despite the vast array of drinking spots in Fell’s Point, The Point in Fells is the place to stop.

Our lovely bartender in this video ,and creator of this cocktail, is Gala Bencivenni. Gala has been in the industry for the past nine years. However, she has been on the creative side of it for the past 6 years. Gala enjoys creating great cocktails for her customers to enjoy. She has been at The Point in Fells for four months as of this post. Gala is pretty entertaining and does know her way around the bar. When you make that trip to Baltimore, make that extra effort to get to Fell’s Point to visit The Point in Fells.

Piaza Fresh is a Winner at McHenry Row

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Fast-casual dining in Baltimore has taken off at a record pace, and we’ve been equal parts impressed and not-so-much with the various establishments trying to pull off this concept. One that we’ve been most impressed with recently, though, is Piaza Fresh, a newer Italian take on the concept at McHenry Row.

We stopped into the spot around noon on what started out as a quiet Sunday for the spot, and spread out at their dark wood tables with the backdrop of rustic wooden walls adorned with local photography of Baltimore.

After checking out the menu, we quickly relayed our order to the staff behind the counter and settled in with cups for our sodas and tea, though after learning there’s no corkage fee in place right now, we regretted our choice to not hit the liquor store before we came. (Hindsight… learn from us.)

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Pizzas hit the table first. We ordered the Mediterranean (classic tomato sauce, mozzarella blend, artichokes, spinach, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, feta, seasoned mushrooms) and the Red, White and Green (parmesan pesto, ricotta cheese, mozzarella blend, spinach, red onion, roasted red peppers, whole roasted garlic), one on the traditional crust, the other on rosemary garlic crust. Both pizzas were balanced in flavors and ingredients, but we were particularly impressed with the ability of the thin crust to hold up under the toppings. As for the crust flavors? Our four collective palates couldn’t distinguish between the two types. But maybe on simpler pizzas, flavors would be more noticeable.

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The piada came next. We shared it amongst us, but this could be a super-hearty lunch for one, or a share for two.

First, here’s the deal on the piada: It’s essentially a handheld (or, for us since we shared, a fork and knife) Italian burrito at Piaza Fresh (you can find different styles of piadas at different spots). Basically, for the Classic style, a tortilla-style thin flatbread is wrapped around spicy sauce with ricotta, meatballs, and Israeli couscous. Thick, juicy meatballs inside mingle well with the toothsome couscous. Our only advisory would be to get an extra order of the sauce – we loved it so much, we wished there was more inside.

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Steak salad was a win as well. Who doesn’t love steak that mingles with gorgonzola over greens and mushrooms and tomatoes? We might have liked the steak a tad more rare, but we’re picky when in comes to steak and for a fast-casual spot, this was far better than we expected. The salad and steak portions are generous, and the house dressing is something we wish to recreate at home. Also, the salad comes with a buttery herbed garlic bread piece that is worth fighting for.

By the time we left, the place was filled with firefighters, yogis from next door, and families. We were glad we snagged our table when we did.

Overall, Piaza Fresh is a win. And if you count in the no-corkage-fee, it should be on the top of the list for BYOB spots in Baltimore right now.

1606 Whetstone Way

Baltimore, MD 21230
phone: (410) 468-0800
fax: (410) 468-0801

“Corn & Oil” Verde – Canton, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Blackwell Jamaican Rum.
  • .75 oz. of housemade cordial (Verde’s version of Fernet)
  • .5 oz. of lime juice.
  • A couple of dashes of Angostura Bitters.

Drink Preparation:

  • Using a shaker add the ingredients in the order listed above.
  • Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously.
  • Strain cocktail into rocks glass.
  • Add ice.
  • Garnish with lime peel.
  • Cheers!

Stephen Lamb has worked in the industry for about 10 years in Baltimore. During those ten years he has developed an acumen of what alcohol works well and pleases the palate. His cocktails tend toward a sweet flavor profile.

The restaurant Verde is located in Canton in Baltimore City. Verde is a casual, upscale, full-service trattoria specializing in authentic Neapolitan pizza. Verde is developing a reputation for signature cocktails, so it is worth your time and effort to visit for both their food and the cocktails.

This is Verde’s version of “Corn & Oil”. it is a lighter version, by substituting Dark Rum for Black Strap Rum and adding a small amount of lime juice. This signature cocktail is a boozy, yet balanced, spicy and complex cocktail. Plus- it’s one of those cocktails that can sneak up on you.

“Art”fully Cruising in Charm City

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On a recent unseasonably mild July weeknight, we carted our coolers and collective snacks down the docks in Canton to board the 42 foot yacht “Howling at the Moon” for a sunset cruise aboard Art’s Cruises.

With more than 50 years of boating experience, Art Murray launched his Baltimore cruising business a few years ago, offering trips that last from 3 hours (spanning the local Baltimore scenery) to 3 or 4 days (as far as Kent Narrows, Chestertown, or Oxford). Since we all had to be up bright and early on Friday morning, we opted for the 3 hour tour (non-Gilligan style, I promise).

After setting out spreads on the kitchen’s granite countertops and the living-room-style-space’s coffee tables, (and filling the fridge with wine and brews, of course), we quickly got the lay of land… or boat, to be more precise.

On a brief tour, we departed the living room and kitchen space (sporting plenty of seating and an appropriately sized flat-screen) and checked out the two decks – one covered, one un-covered – as well as the 2 bedroom quarters, and we even got a handy how-to on the boat bathroom (this is important, people). We also learned that Art also keeps a grill on hand (Burgers on the bay? Yes, please!), and that there is wifi as well as iPod hookups, and plenty of heat options, were we cruising in the cooler months.

Before toasts with Prosecco could even be made on the wicker chairs on the stern, or the cushioned seats on the bow, motors were running and we departed.

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Our tour ran the gamut of Baltimore’s waterfront. All onboard were Baltimore natives or long-time residents who routinely dine and drink from the land with a view of the water. The inverse perspective, from water to land, is a rare opportunity, and one that should be wholly appreciated by locals and tourists alike. On a basic level, we appreciated seeing some changes to the Inner Harbor that we might not have otherwise seen (because locals don’t often visit there, right?) that sparked conversation. On a more historical level, we appreciated that Art could precisely point out spots like where Francis Scott Key sat while composing the Star Spangled Banner.

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We neared the bridge to watch sunset, then turned and returned slowly to the docks, beers and wine glasses in hand, chatting about a lot, but mainly about Baltimore. Our 3 hour tour actually turned into a bit more… and not only in terms of time, but appreciation and reflection, as well.

 

Thanks to Art for our cruise! If you’re looking for a different or unique night out for family or friend events, bachelor/bachelorette parties, book clubs, and other get-togethers, Art’s Cruises has affordable pricing with flexible schedules and locations. For about $50/person (depending on group size), guests on Howling at the Moon can experience a similar night to ours, or customize a trip. Check it out at: http://artscruises.com/.

“Sweet Fix” Bread & Circuses – Towson, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 3 strawberries
  • 2 dashes of simple syrup
  • Splash of rose water
  • .5 oz. of elderflower liqueur
  • Top off with Champagne

Drink Preparation:

  • Add strawberries and simple syrup to shaker, then muddle.
  • Add the rose water and elderflower liqueur to shaker.
  • Slowly add the Champagne.
  • Pour into Champagne flute.
  • Cheers!

Bread & Circuses is located in Towson, MD. Towson is the proud home of The Towson Tigers of Towson University. Towson University received national recognition this year on American Ninja Warrior via Kacy Catanzaro, a graduate and former gymnast of Towson University.

Bread & Circuses is surrounded by establishments that cater to the Towson students. That said, Bread & Circuses is a breath of fresh air in the area since it departs from the typical chicken wings and mozzarella sticks with its more elevated menu. Bread & Circuses has an extensive list of signature cocktails, and if you like Scotch, you will most definitely enjoy their selection.

This is a pretty simple cocktail to make and it’s just easy to consume, so watch yourself with this one. It has a sweet taste with some floral overtones to it. The strawberries and Champagne, of course, do their job of subduing the floral nature of the elderflower. This is a great cocktail for the summer, but with champagne it really is a cocktail for any season, that provides as good any excuse as any to imbibe.

Demi, our energetic and entertaining bartender from Bread & Circuses, decided to be original with her bio. So here it is:

After retiring from a stressful career as brain surgeon, Demi has plans to work for Sports Illustrated as a location scout and a part time model.

She certainly has a sense of humor.

Stop in to Bread and Circuses when you are in town. You will not be disappointed by any of their signature cocktails or bartenders.

“Mint Julep” Tark’s Grill – Lutherville, Md

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Drink Ingredients:

2.5 oz. of Makers Mark (or any bourbon of your choice)
.3 oz. of mint-infused simple syrup
.75 of cup of sugar
2 cups of freshly chopped mint
Drink Preparation:

  • First make Mint-infused simple syrup.
  • Take the mint and lay it out on a cutting board, then pour the sugar over it.
  • Using a dough roller to crush the sugar and mint together.
  • Now prepare a simple syrup using equal parts of water to sugar. Then add your mint, to your taste.
  • Add crushed ice to a highball glass.
  • Pour add the Mint Infused Simple Syrup and then the Bourbon.
  • Garnish with Mint Leaves.

Cheers!

 

This cocktail was made at Tark’s Grill, which is located in an area affectionately referred to as the “The Station.” So if you are from out of town, the formal name is Greenspring Station.

Tark’s is a favorite of many in the Lutherville area. On warm days and nights you can eat outside in the courtyard surrounded by flowers, bushes and a water fountain. What better way to woo your girl, than to dine outside with that ambiance? Inside there are three parts to the restaurant: the formal seating area, the bar with its own eating area and a private eating area. Tark’s Grill is modeled on the traditional American Bistro with an emphasis on succulent aged steaks and local seafood favorites.

Will Shriver our bartender in this video has been in the industry for seven years. Despite making a classic rather than a true signature cocktail for this video, Will does enjoy creating his own cocktails, and has a good ear to figure out what guests want, if they have something in mind.

“Mint Julep,” a cocktail known for its association with Triple Crown, is also a great summer cocktail, that is very refreshing, especially if you live in Baltimore with its humid evenings. Fresh mint combines with the smoky flavor of the bourbon and the mild sweet taste of the mint-infused simple syrup for a balanced beverage.

“Thoroughbred of Sin” Bar Liquorice – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. of Crater Lake Pepper Vodka
  • .5 oz. of Lime Juice
  • Top off with Gosling’s Ginger Beer

Drink Preparations:

  • Fill a beer mug with ice.
  • Add the ingredients listed above in the order listed.
  • Using a straw to friction the ice.
  • Garnish with Lime Slice.
  • Cheers!

Bar Liquorice… well what do I write that has already not been written? This place is a corner bar in Federal Hill, that does not feel like your corner bar. Everything about it is well done and the detail put into everything from the ambiance, cocktails and food lets you know every dollar is well spent. Shaun who serves the cocktails, also creates them as well, along with many of the ingredients he uses. Jeff Cahill, owner and chef, takes great pride in the service, ambiance and food served. There is not one detail that is missed.

This signature cocktail was perfect for the Belmont, and beyond. It has a little bite from the Crater Lake Pepper Vodka, that follows up with the robust, spicy taste of Gosling’s Ginger Beer and finishes the drink off by bringing the cocktail to a smooth finish.

Bikes and Beers Baltimore – June 20th

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Stock photo bike ride

We’re hard-pressed to think of a better way to kick off the official start to summer than a morning ride through Charm City by bike followed by an afternoon of local brews, bands and food truck noshes.

Sponsored by Union Craft Brewing Company and Heavy Seas Alehouse (as well as the Cycle Mill and Aviation Velo Bike Shop), the 15 mile round trip ride begins at 9:30 (for the earliest risers). There are also start times of 10, 10:30, and 11 am, with all riders headed to Heavy Seas Alehouse where two 5 oz beers created specifically for the event can be sampled before heading back to Union Craft. The predetermined route which runs through areas including Penn Station, the Maryland Zoo, Fell’s Point and Little Italy can be accessed here.

Once back at Union Craft, riders can re-hydrate with some more suds (one Union Craft pint is included) and partake in the post-pedaling festival with games, live music and food trucks. Registration also includes a raffle ticket for prizes like new bikes and restaurant gift cards.

Proceeds support the advocacy efforts of Bikemore and Bike MD for better safety and infrastructure for bike riding in Baltimore.

Learn more and sign up at: http://www.bikesandbeers.org/map–event-info.html.

 

 

 

“Black Eyed Susan” Tark’s Grill – Lutherville, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Grey Goose Vodka (or your choice)
  • .5 oz. of St. Germain Liqueur
  • 2 oz. of Pineapple Juice
  • .25 oz. of Fresh Lime Juice
  • .75 oz. of Fresh Orange Juice

Drink Preparation:

  • Set aside a collins glass with ice.
  • Fill a pint glass with ice.
  • Add the ingredients above in the order listed.
  • With a shaker, shake well to make cocktail frothy.
  • Pour into collins glass.
  • Garnish with an orange wedge.
  • Cheers!

This cocktail was made at Tark’s Grill, which is located in an area affectionately called “The Station.” So if you are from out of town, it is Greenspring Station. Tark’s is a favorite of many in the Lutherville area. On warm days and nights you can eat outside in the courtyard surrounded by flowers and bushes with a water fountain. What better way to woo your girl? Inside there are three parts to the restaurant, the formal seating area, bar with its own tables and a private area. 

Will Shriver, our bartender in this video, has been in the industry for 7 years. Despite that today’s drink isn’t a signature selection, Will does enjoy creating his own cocktails, and has a good ear to figure out what the customer wants.

“Black Eyed Susan” is close to the Mai Tai and Orange Crush families. It’s a perfect cocktail for this time of year with its fruit blends and the alcohol subduing the fruit and adding a little life. A very refreshing cocktail, this is the official cocktail of The Preakness.

“Grim Fandango” Bar Liquorice – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Death’s Door White Whiskey
  • .75 oz. of Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liquor
  • .75 oz. of Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 oz. of Simple Syrup

Drink Preparation:

  • Fill an old fashioned glass with ice.
  • Fill a pint glass with ice (also referred to as a mixing glass).
  • Add the ingredients above – in the order they are listed – to the pint glass.
  • Using a shaker and the pint glass, give the cocktail a good shake.
  • Strain into the old fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with salted lime wedge.
  • Cheers!

 

Bar Liquorice… What do I write that has already not been written?

This place is a corner bar in Federal Hill that does not feel like your typical corner bar. Everything about it is well done, and the detail put into everything from the ambiance and cocktails to the food lets you know every dollar is well spent here.

Shaun, who serves the drinks, is also the creator of the cocktails and many of their ingredients. Jeff Cahill, the owner and chef, takes great pride in the service, ambiance and food served. There is not one detail that is missed.

Free Meals for First Responders

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Baltimore restaurants are showing support for police, fire, national guard, and EMS workers by offering free meals today, and throughout the curfew. We’ll be adding to the list as we hear about more – tweet us, find us on Facebook, or comment to fill us in on other spots offering similar deals as well!

Blue Moon Cafe

Family Meal

Pastore’s Rosedale

Smaltimore

Costas Inn

Firehouse Tavern

Amicci’s

Ropewalk Tavern

Jimmy’s Famous Seafood

 

“Whole Lot of GD Bacon Going On” Ouzo Bay – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • .75 oz. of bacon infused maple syrup
  • 2 oz. of bacon infused George Dickel Rye Whiskey
  • 2 dashes of Regan’s orange bitters

Drink Preparations:

  • Set ice in coupe glass to chill the glass.
  • Add the ingredients listed above to a mixing glass. If you do not have one, a pint glass will suffice.
  • Add ice to the ingredients and stir using a bar spoon.
  • Empty ice from coupe glass and double strain cocktail into the glass.
  • Garnish with nutmeg orange espuma (I’ll explain how to make it).
  • Then garnish the nutmeg orange espuma with bacon powder and grated nutmeg.
  • Cheers!

Side note: To make the bacon powder/grated nutmeg mix one cup of bacon fat with maltodextrin to make the bacon powder. Then place equal parts of bacon powder and grated nutmeg into a shaker.

Espuma: 800 ml of milk, 4 egg yolks, 50 gm of sugar, 1.5 oz. of the bacon infused whiskey, zest of half an orange, gratings of one whole nutmeg, 4 gm of Xantham gum, 3 gm of versa whip.

Bacon Infused Maple Syrup

  • 1 packed cup of 1/4-inch diced bacon
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup water

Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Deglaze the pan with the water and maple syrup and reduce until two cups remain. Strain and dispose of bacon and return syrup to a small saucepan. Whisk over high heat for 3-4 minutes, until syrup thickens. Allow the syrup to cool to prevent the fat from separating and whisk occasionally. Refrigerate to make syrup thicker. When ready to use bring to room temperature.

Bacon infused George Dickel Whiskey: Ingredients 750 ml bottle of Whiskey, a couple of jars, 3 to 4 pieces of bacon, coffee filters, and a funnel.

Process: Cook the bacon until crisp and retain the fat. When the bacon has cooled a bit pour 1 ounce of fat from the pan. Pour the whiskey into a jar (or any container). Strain bacon fat into said container and infuse for 4-6 hours at room temperature. Place mixture in freezer until the fat is solidified. Using a funnel and coffee filters pour bacon whiskey to catch fat. Change the filters when necessary. After this is complete filter one more time for clearness.

This cocktail is a fine balance of bacon, rye, maple, nutmeg and orange flavors.

Ouzo Bay is located in Harbor East, a great little area of shops, restaurants and hotels. Ouzo Bay specializes in Greek cuisine and an assortment of signature cocktails that should suit everyone’s taste. They go that extra mile by serving you an after dinner cocktail because? It’s Ouzo, of course.

William Escalante is the head bartender at Ouzo Bay and obviously enjoys his trade by adding a little flair to his service. This is not the first time we have seen Will behind the bar. He has participated in a wonderful annual event for Cystic Fibrosis, Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis. This event features some of the finest bartenders in Baltimore, so you are pretty much guaranteed a great cocktail from William. This year William won Best Cocktail with this cocktail at Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis.

Sing Away Your Sorrows On Tax Day!

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If you have to pay Uncle Sam this year, you might appreciate a free meal.

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore is here to help. On April 15 from 5-7 pm, pop into Hard Rock and sing a song in front of the restaurant and get awarded with a free meal from their Legendary™ Burger menu – including vegetarian options.

Comment here, and let us know what songs you think would be perfect to serenade on Tax Day!

 

Opening Day Celebrations and Specials

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Orioles’ Opening Day might as well be an official holiday in Baltimore (don’t you agree, Mayor SRB?) and who wants to miss out on any of the fun by being stuck at, you know, work? Instead, don your boldest orange attire and get out there to celebrate the true start of spring – Baltimore baseball season.

Here’s a list of some our favorite picks (from classy to dive) for pre- and post- game parties, or where to sidle up to a seat (if you’re an early bird to the bar) to watch the 3:05 game on Friday. Go O’s!

B&O American Brasserie: “Beef & Bohs.” For $5 guests can enjoy beef sliders and a Natty Boh.

Leinenkugel’s Beer Garden: Pre-game at Power Plant in Leinie’s Beer Garden with $3 Miller Lite drafts, $20 Miller Lite Beer Towers, and $1 Ballpark dogs. Stay for game-watching, as well.

Alewife: Starting at 10 am, these guys will be pouring discounted pints of Full Tilt, Flying Dog, and Brewer’s Art beers.

Rusty Scupper: Specials from 11 – 7 pm and a free shuttle to the game are on tap at this Charm City seafood spot. Drink specials: $3 16 oz Natty Boh Cans, $5.50 house wine, $3.50 Yuengling, $5 O’s Orange Crush. Food Specials: $3 Old Bay chips, $7 crab and artichoke dip, $6 popcorn fried shrimp, $7 1/2 lb black angus burger, $7 pepper parmesan calamari, $6 mussels marinara, $6 plum ginger bbq ribs.

Lighthouse Tavern: $2.50 Bohs during all games and $4 Home Run Fireball shots are available at this corner joint just off the Square in Canton.

Pratt Street Alehouse: Party on Pratt Street before, during, or after the game and enjoy Oliver Brewing Company‘s annual ‘Balls To The Wall’ – Opening Day IPA (a special annual brew), outside grille, outside bars, a live broadcast by Maynard and 100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station, and live music by Rob Fahey.

Horseshoe Casino: Live music will be on hand for the party to be jointly hosted with 98 Rock outside of the casino. $40 ($50 at the door) will get you all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink as well as parking and shuttle service.

Keep checking back as we’ll continue to expand our list as the week continues. Please comment and let us know your favorite Opening Day spot!

*Photo Credit: Rusty Scupper

April 8th – To Do: Cigar and Rum Pairing at Wit and Wisdom

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Make Wednesday worthwhile with a visit to Wit and Wisdom for cigars and rum.

Wit and Wisdom at Baltimore’s Four Seasons Hotel is hosting its inaugural cigar and rum tasting experience Wednesday, April 8. Attendees will have the chance to learn about various cigar profiles and the intricacies of rolling a cigar as well as the art of pairing rum with those taste profiles.

Craig Martin of QG, a downtown barbershop and department store catering to men’s services, and Alec Rubiera of Ashton Cigars will be on hand to greet guests upon arrival.  Martin will cover the basics and etiquette of cigars as well as fundamentals of cutting, smoking and disposal. Rubiera will guide guests through identification of flavor profiles.

Next Aaron Joseph, Wit and Wisdom’s lead bartender will instruct guests on how to create the perfect rum pairings for cigar profiles.

All guests will receive a welcome daiquiri, two cigars, two cocktails, light snacks and a departing swag bag with special treats from QG and Ashton’s as well as Wit & Wisdom’s talented executive pastry chef, Dyan Ng.

The knowledge of the night needn’t end there. Wit and Wisdom plans to expand its current cigar selection to include “more flavor profiles for diners to enjoy at Wit on the Water in the future,” opening the invitation for return visits to sip and smoke.

Details

Time: 5 – 8 pm

Cost: $85 pp plus tax (gratuity included)

Reservations can be made by calling (410) 223-1464 or emailingShannon.Toback@fourseasons.com

“Papa’s Old Fashioned” Bread & Circuses – Towson, MD

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Drink Ingredients

  • 2.5 oz. Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Orange slice
  • Raw sugar
  • Cherry

Drink Preparation:

  • Add the raw sugar, orange slice and cherry to the Old Fashioned Glass.
  • Muddle the above ingredients.
  • Add the 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and muddle again.
  • Add the 2.5 oz. of Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum and muddle.
  • Take orange slice out and pour into another Old Fashioned Glass filled with ice.
  • Cheers!

 

Bread & Circuses is located in Towson, MD. Towson is the proud home of The Towson Tigers of Towson University. Towson University just received national recognition when Kacy Catanzaro, a graduate and former gymnast of Towson University, competed on American Ninja Warrior.

Bread & Circuses is surrounded by establishments that cater to the Towson students so Bread & Circuses is a breath of fresh air in Towson, since it serves up more elevated cuisine than the typical chicken wings and mozzarella sticks. Bread & Circuses has an extensive list of signature cocktails and if you like Scotch, you are sure to enjoy their Scotch selection.

This signature cocktail would make Ernest Hemingway proud, considering the the Rum used was made in his honor. The taste of the rum with its hints of bourbon, cinnamon and almonds blending with the muddled orange slice, sugar, cherry and bitters, gives this cocktail a smooth and mildly sweet taste. It is a dangerous cocktail as it is very easy to drink.

Maya Mehta has been bartending at Bread and Circuses for three years. Fortunately she has returned from her brief hiatus (for a trip to Fiji) so look for more of her videos, soon.

“Peychaud’s Apothecary” Bread & Circuses – Towson, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Remy Martin Cognac
  • Absinthe rinse
  • Couple of dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 sugar cubes or 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Orange zest

Drink Preparation:

  • Spray Old Fashioned Glass with Absinthe rinse.
  • Muddle 2 sugar cubes or the 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Add 1.5 oz. of Remy Martin Cognac.
  • Add orange zest to the glass.
  • Add ice to the glass.
  • Add a couple of dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters.
  • Stir cocktail.
  • Cheers!

Bread & Circuses is located in Towson, MD. Towson is the proud home of The Towson Tigers of Towson University. Towson University just received national recognition when Kacy Catanzaro, a graduate and former gymnast of Towson University, competed on American Ninja Warrior. Bread & Circuses is surrounded by establishments that cater to the Towson students. However, Bread & Circuses is a breath of fresh air in Towson, since it serves more elevated cuisine than the typical chicken wings and mozzarella sticks of most other local joints. Bread & Circuses has an extensive list of Signature Cocktails and if you like Scotch, you will enjoy their Scotch selection.

This signature cocktail is a complex one that will be enjoyed by those with experienced palates. The primary ingredient, the Remy Martin Cognac, lends a sweetness to the drink while the Peychaud’s Bitters brings spicy notes, all complemented by the Absinthe Rinse.

Maya Mehta has been bartending at Bread and Circuses for three years. Fortunately she has returned from a brief hiatus (for a trip to Fiji), so look for more of her videos soon.

“Citrus Berry Blast” Anastasia – Fells Point, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Van Gogh Mango Vodka
  • Splash of raspberry-cherry reduction
  • 1 oz. sour mix
  • 1 oz. cranberry juice
  • Splash of Red Bull
  • Garnish with lemon and blackberry

Drink Preparation:

  • Add ice to the Hurricane glass.
  • Add the above ingredients except the Red Bull to the Hurricane glass.
  • Pour the ingredients from the Hurricane glass into a shaker and shake.
  • Pour back into Hurricane glass.
  • Add a splash of Red Bull.
  • Garnish with Lemon and Blackberry.
  • Cheers!

Note: A reduction is synonymous with simple syrup.

At Anastasia you will find simple, yet elegant Italian fare served while listening to the beats of Europe’s thriving dance scene. Find rare, imported craft Italian beers on tap, fabulous regional Italian wines on the list, and specialty cocktails inspired by exotic Italian fruits, like Sicilian Blood Oranges, crafted by Baltimore’s Best Bartender. But it doesn’t end there – late night, dancing to the music of a live DJ ensues. Prints of Italian icons like Gia, Brando, Sophia Loren, Ferrari and Ducat bedeck the walls.

Our bartender in this video and creator of this cocktail is Carmen Motto. Carmen has been in the industry for over 15 years. She won the distinguished award of Best Bartender in Baltimore two years in a row so one should expect she knows what she is doing. You will enjoy her company as well – she is very entertaining behind the bar. This signature cocktail has an initial sweet taste from the Raspberry – Cherry Reduction followed by a kick from the Red Bull and the mix of the Mango Vodka.

 

 

“Bangkok Boat Ride” Fork & Wrench – Canton,MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Prairie Organic Vodka
  • 1 oz. of Thai Basil Chili syrup
  • .5 oz. of lime juice
  • 1 oz. of Ginger Beer (Fever Tree)
  • 1/8th oz. of Xilli Tequila
  • Top with soda water
  • Garnish with lime wedge.

Drink Preparation:

  • Using a Collins glass, add all of the ingredients in the order listed above except the soda water.
  • Add ice to the cocktail.
  • Top off with soda water.
  • Garnish with lime wedge.
  • Cheers!

Side Note: How to Make Thai Basil Chili Pepper Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 Thai basil leaves, torn
    3 Thai chili peppers, sliced.
  • Preparation:
    • Add 1 cup of water and the sugar to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring often until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from heat and add the basil leaves and chili pepper. Let cool for 30 minutes.
    • Strain the syrup and discard the basil and chili peppers.

 

This signature cocktail is created by Ian Clark of Fork and Wrench in Baltimore, MD. Ian has had several cocktails on our site so be sure to look those up as well. Ian is very creative behind the bar, very knowledgeable about alcohol, and his love of photography is demonstrated in how visually appealing his cocktails are.

This signature cocktail has a sweet and spicy taste from the blends of vodka, thai basil chili pepper syrup, lime juice, ginger beer and the tequila. The drink is blended so well that you forget that you are drinking alcohol. However, the bite from the Chili Syrup, which is cooled off by the lime juice reminds you that you are having a cocktail. This signature cocktail is one that may be enjoyed any time of the year.

“Chicago SkyLine” Birroteca – Clipper Mill, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka
  • .5 oz. Letherbee Besk Absinthe
  • .5 oz. Rudy’s Tonic Syrup
  • .5 oz. lime juice
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • Splash of soda water

Drink Preparation:

  • Using a shaker add the mint leaves.
  • Then add rest of the ingredients in the order listed above except the soda water.
  • Add ice to shaker and shake.
  • Pour into Collins glass.
  • Top it off with some soda water.
  • Garnish with fresh cranberries.
  • Cheers!

Birroteca is a cool restaurant located in Baltimore. It has a unique location in an old industrial area of Baltimore called Clipper Mill.

Birroteca is known for its artisan pizza and Italian cuisine – it is worth the visit.

Nick Ramey, who is in the video, uses the same creativity in his cocktails that he uses in ceramic arts. Nick has been in several videos already, so be sure try those as well.  

Nick is the creator of this delicious signature cocktail and many of the other cocktails you will find at Birroteca. Like many of the bartenders we work with, his knowledge of the different brands of alcohol and how they mix with other ingredients is extensive. You are pretty much guaranteed to get a quality cocktail, every time.

This signature cocktail is a refreshing and fruity cocktail with a bitter herbaceous twist. Perfect for sitting by the fire, there are many opportunities these days, to enjoy this cocktail.

“Hail Mary” Anastasia – Fells Point, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. of Jack Daniels
  • 2 oz. of sour mix
  • Topped off with Twisted Tea

Drink Preparation:

  • Add ingredients to a hurricane glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel and orange half – moon.
  • Cheers!

At Anastasia you will find simple, yet elegant Italian fare served while listening to the beats of Europe’s thriving dance scene. Rare, imported craft Italian beers  are on tap, fabulous regional Italian wines are poured, and specialty cocktails inspired by exotic Italian fruits, like Sicilian Blood Oranges, are crafted by Baltimore’s best bartender. But it doesn’t end there – late night, dancing to the music of a live Dj ensues after 10. Prints of Italian icons like Gia, Brando, Sophia Loren, Ferrari and Ducat adorn the walls.

Our bartender in this video is the creator of this cocktail is Carmen Motto. Carmen has been in the industry for over 15 years. She won the distinguished award of Best Bartender in Baltimore two years in a row, so one should expect she knows what she is doing! You will enjoy her company as much as your drink – she is very entertaining behind the bar.

“No Pressure” Verde – Canton, MD

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No Pressure Final (a)

Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Dimmi Liquore di Milano
  • .5 oz. of Opal Bianca Sambuca (of course if you can’t get Opal Bianca Sambuca, any Sambuca will do)
  • .5 oz. of House Rhubarb Bitters (for those who don’t feel like making bitters, Fee Brothers and Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters carries Rhubarb Bitters)
  • .5 oz. of fresh tangerine juice
  • .5 oz. of fresh lemon juice

Drink Preparation:

  • Add all of the ingredients in the order listed above to a shaker.
  • Add ice to shaker and stir.
  • Strain into Cocktail Glass.
  • Garnish with orange half – moon.
  • Cheers!

 

Stephen Lamb has worked in the industry for about 10 years in Baltimore. During those ten years he has developed an acumen of what alcohol works well and pleases the palate.  His cocktails tend toward a sweet flavor profile.

The restaurant Verde is located in Canton in Baltimore City. Verde is casual, upscale, full-service trattoria specializing in authentic Neapolitan pizza. Verde is developing a reputation for Signature cocktails, so it is worth your time and effort to visit for their food and cocktails.

The Dimmi Liquore di Milano gives this Signature Cocktail a crisp and sweet taste. There are hints of Rhubarb with a strong anise component. You will find yourself having more than one.

 

A Super Kind of Bowl

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Well, we’ve reached the end of the 2014 NFL season.  The Super Bowl is, of course, the conclusion of any given football season.  After two weeks of long press conferences, interviews, articles, Vegas odds, etc, we finally get a game to watch.

On Sunday, we’ll see, of course, the Seattle Seahawks defend their title against the New England Patriots, two teams who have been quite dominant for most of the season in their capacities.

The Patriots have once again shown a strong offense during the regular and post season.  They’ve set a record for most points scored in 2007, and were the leaders in scoring in 2011.  Both of those years led to Super Bowl berths (and losses to the Giants each time).  This time, they’ve had a respectable scoring average per game, ranking 4th in the league.  Their scoring hasn’t slowed down in the playoffs so far, but then again it didn’t slow down much in the previous Super Bowl runs either.  However, their opponent has had the top scoring defense.

The Seahawks have either set new highs or started new streaks with their defense.  It is the second year in a row that they’ve been ranked #1 in defensive yards allowed.  Such a feat hasn’t been accomplished since the 1985-86 Chicago Bears.  They also are the first team to return to the Super Bowl following a victory since the 2003-04 Patriots.  I’m sure there’s some statistic somewhere that will be pulled if the Seahawks get a second straight SB victory over the previous team to do such a thing.

Although there hasn’t been much attention paid to this tidbit, still Russell Wilson is only the second African American quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl and he’s close to winning his second.  There was a lot of speculation on whether Donovan McNabb would be the 2nd such athlete when he was in the 2004 season Super Bowl.  Same can kind of be said for the 2012 season’s SB with Colin Kaepernick leading the 49ers.  So I’m somewhat surprised there hasn’t been a national story or two about this bit of history.  Then again, I’m somewhat happy that there hasn’t been a need for such a story and Wilson is his own person, not characterized by his appearance for who he is.

Just about all major media stories have, of course, been surrounding the Patriots and yet another team-wide scandal!  I’m sure you’re well versed in the happenings related to the AFC Championship game, but if you’re not, the NFL discovered 11 of the 12 game balls used by the Patriots in the first half were well deflated.  This gives a lot of benefits to whomever uses the balls, as they’re easier to catch despite the pouring rain that engulfed the contest.  While one may ask why there’s no action being taken against Belicheck and the Patriots, one may also already know the answer:

The Super Bowl is so big that for years the event has been considered an unofficial holiday.  A large majority of the U.S. will be sitting somewhere in front of a television set for 3+ hours watching this game.  The slotting for advertisements is notoriously expensive, with prices costing millions of dollars for 30 seconds of airtime.  Whatever locale is hosting a Super Bowl has to house the thousands of people & media members who will spend a significant amount of time spending money in their area.  Money is flowing so much at this time of year that, guaranteed, you’ll see noticeable changes on Wall Street Monday morning.

Money is also flowing in for football enthusiasts’ local cities and towns.  Everyone is encouraged to prepare for the big game, from getting food to getting a brand new flat screen to watch it.  This is all obvious stuff, of course, that you’re already aware of happening around you.  And, of course, I have purposefully been writing “of course” in this piece a lot.  Why?

Because of course you should know the NFL won’t make decisions on the Patriots until after the big game.  Of course you know that it means the difference in hundreds of millions of dollars if Patriots fans & casual fans can have reasonable doubt for Brady’s team.  Of course we here in Baltimore and out in Indianapolis would have preferred an elimination game between both teams to have one of us in the Super Bowl instead of the Patriots.  Of course we knew the petition for such a game wouldn’t have worked.  Of course we know that #DeflateGate has distracted from a multitude of issues that the NFL personnel would likely have to give answers to during the media interviews.

And, of course there can be serious long term effects in the NFL if the Super Bowl suddenly becomes less watchable.  Who would want to watch a Super Bowl where a known cheating team could very well have been decided the winner before it starts?  Why have favorite teams if they aren’t the chosen few to win Super Bowls in any given year?  Why watch the Bills games or buy season tickets to the Jaguars games if those teams are destined never to win the Super Bowl unless they’re allowed to cheat very hard?  What use is watching networks like ESPN when the sports highlights they show seem manufactured and not authentic?

The Super Bowl matchup between the Patriots and Seahawks must happen since they both did win their respective championship games.  There’s no guarantee the Patriots would have lost if all of their balls were properly inflated.  There’s no guarantee the Patriots would have lost to the Ravens if they didn’t use four-offensive linemen formations with a hurry up offense.  So as far as we’re concerned, they did win the AFC Championship and have earned a Super Bowl entry.

For Sunday’s game (6:30pm NBC), there are three things I’m considering: 1) I want the Seahawks to win. 2) I have a good feeling the Seahawks will win. 3) The NFL will benefit the best if the Seahawks do win, as then the public won’t be as concerned over the “Deflate Gate” debacle.  They can issue a penalty to New England with far less watchful eyes from the mainstream media if that happens.

Of course, just because I’m going to root for the Seahawks in this game doesn’t mean you have to.  Enjoy the game for what it is, the Super Bowl – generally the most exciting and one of the top games played of the whole NFL season.  Just relax, be with friends, family, strangers at a bar, whomever you wish.

Enjoy the game and best of luck to the Ravens next year!

-CW

“Belle de Jour” Red Maple – Baltimore, MD

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Belle de Jour Final (a)

Drink Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz. of Belle Meade Bourbon
  • .5 oz. Mata Hari Absinthe
  • Several dashes of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
  • .25 oz. of agave
  • Orange twist

Drink Preparation:

  • Add bourbon, absinthe and agave to shaker with ice.
  • Shake and pour into rocks glass.
  • Add several dashes of orange bitters.
  • Add the orange twist and then run around the rim of the glass.
  • Garnish with orange twist.
  • Cheers!

Cliff Harris is our bartender in this video from Red Maple. Those of you who have been to our site before may recognize Cliff from Tapas Adela. So if you would like to see other cocktails he has done, you can check them out by doing a search for Cliff.  The cocktail that Cliff has made here has a smooth forward taste of honey, followed by a slight bite from the absinthe.

Red Maple is located in the Mt. Vernon area of Baltimore it is known for its tapas plates with global influences; it has received many accolades for its cuisine as well its ambiance. Red Maple offers many different environments for you to enjoy including the Fireside Lounge, Rainbow Room, Garden Terrace and the dance floor. Red Maple also offers Salsa dancing every Tuesday night from 9:30 pm until close and Salsa dancing lessons(free) every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Ask for Martina Miller for more information about the Salsa evenings.

 

Chef Cyrus Keefer Has “Piqued” Our Interest With His Recent Pop Up Dinner

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Whether at Fork and Wrench or Birroteca here in Baltimore, or at Nage or Redfin in Rehoboth Beach, Chef Cyrus Keefer consistently wows diners with his innovative cooking techniques, creative use of ingredients, and stylish plate presentation, leaving no one to wonder why he has received such honors as local People’s Choice nominations and an invitation to prepare a meal showcasing the cuisine of the Chesapeake at the notable James Beard House in 2013.

On Thursday, January 22, Keefer continued his trend of preparing upscale crowd pleasing cuisine (alongside the likes of Jonah Kim and Riccardo Bosio) at his pop up dinner hosted by Sotto Sopra.

Intended to showcase the flavors and ingredients of his up and coming Hampden restaurant PIQUE (hopefully opening in the spring of this year – read on to find how you can help), the six course menu featured seafood, pork, duck and vegetables all prepared with Chef Keefer’s signature French-Asian flare.

We were fortunate enough to secure some tickets to the sold out event, the goal of which was also to publicize Keefer’s Kickstarter campaign to help with the costs of opening PIQUE.

Upscale bites during cocktail hour included an elegant steak tartare with a black garlic gribiche (served, literally, on a silver spoon), some standout chicken liver tacos with chipotle, cured lime, and mesquite butter, and the escargot buns that Keefer is known for, featuring a soft bun encasing the earthy escargot and truffle butter.

If the hors d’oeuvres were described, rightfully, as pleasantly decadent, the six courses to follow were artfully restrained, showcasing Keefer’s ability to prepare and plate elevated ingredients without pretense.

The first course featured pork belly wrapped in a dumpling with a whiskey vinegar sauce that added a bite to the dish, and a crema that balanced the sauce for the perfect bite.

Insalada Bianca followed. A creamy base of lightly spiced mascarpone was bedecked with pickled mushrooms, bits of cauliflower, and cipollini onion.

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The favorite of our table, and of many around us, was the tender octopus in the third course. Sizable chunks of octopus swam in a light citrusy sauce with green curry and pickled coriander, tomatillos, and coconut poached potatoes.

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A warm egg custard with marinated tomato and olives was absolutely gorgeous, though possibly the least successful of the dishes due to heavy smokiness from the olive oil. That said, we’ve experienced other very similar dishes from Keefer (most recently during his brief return to Bandito’s where his custard featured on a Wednesday small plates menu was to die for). So while this execution may have been a bit overpowering for us, the concept itself has the potential to be a winner.

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For what we thought was the final course, duck pot au feu showcased juicy strips of duck with an absolutely perfectly cooked soft boiled egg all atop greens (including thai basil), roast turnips, and a complex sauce featuring black garlic and ginger.

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Chef Keefer never fails to surprise, and in doing so on this evening, he treated guests to an extra course. Created by pastry chef Rebecca Hummer, the sixth course brought salted caramel lined bowls that were topped with small toothsome spice cakes for a finale that was just enough to satiate a sweet tooth.

Overall, if Keefer’s goal was to whet Charm City’s appetite for his new venture, this event was an overriding success.

Like what you see and want to get in on the action? Head over to Chef Keefer’s pop up in the private kitchen at Food Market, February 11 – 13th. A variety of small plates will be featured for a fixed cost of $60 per person. Reservations are highly suggested as limited seats are available. Call 410-366-0606.

And, consider popping over to his Kickstarter campaign to learn more and donate a few dollars to help Chef Keefer realize his dream of opening a restaurant… and ours of eating there! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1584030908/pique

 

Photo Credit: Dara Bunjon of Dara Does It

I Dip, You Dip, We Dip (For The Brigance Brigade Foundation)

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Embracing the start of the football season, 98 Rock is on the hunt for the city’s best dip to accompany a Ravens game at its first ever 98 Rock Dip Bowl on Saturday, September 24th at Horseshoe Casino’s outdoor entertainment plaza.

98 Rock’s Justin, Scott & Spiegel will be hosting the dip-off which will benefit the Brigance Brigade Foundation, an organization that equips, encourages and empowers people battling ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and their families and was founded by former Baltimore Raven O.J. Brigance and his wife Chanda in 2008.

Fifteen local Ravens Roosts will prepare dips to compete for the chance to win awards and prizes. Guests at the event will have the opportunity to sample the dips and celebrity judges will be on hand to vote for the winner in categories like best warm dip, best cold dip, and best presentation/team spirit. There will also be a People’s Choice award.

“We are extremely grateful that 98 Rock chose the Brigance Brigade Foundation as its charity of choice for the station’s first Dip Bowl,” said Chanda Brigance, Co-Founder of the Brigance Brigade Foundation. “98 Rock has been a long-time, valued partner of the Foundation and we couldn’t be happier to continue the partnership through this fun event. I am looking forward to kicking off the Ravens’ season with some delicious snacks and dedicated fans!”  

In addition to a plethora of dips, the tailgate-style event will also have additional food, drinks, and music.

The 98 Rock Dip Bowl is a 21+ event. Attendees can purchase tickets ($5.00 to enter) at the casino on the day of the event with cash, check, or credit card. The first 500 guests in the door will receive a commemorative mug. The event will go on,  rain or shine.

 

Date: Saturday, September 24th

Time: 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Location: Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore

1525 Russell Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

 

 

Tomato Week at Wine Market

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Photo Credit: Wine Market Bistro

From September 5th – 10th, join the Wine Market in celebrating one of the state’s favorite seasonal vegetables, the tomato.

For $35, enjoy 3 courses of tomato-centric dishes courtesy of Chef Brian Mahon and Calvert’s Gift Farm in Sparks, MD.

First Course:

“PLT” Tartine

Heirloom tomatoes, crispy pork belly, bibb lettuce, “Market” mayo, brioche

Fried Green Tomatoes

charred tomato and Jimmy Nardello aioli, tomato marmalade

Second Course:

Tomato Gnocci

wilted pea shoots, castlevetrano olives, ricotta salata

Creekstone Farm Hanger Steak

tomato cornbread pudding, tomato conserva, chipotle demi-glace

Pan Seared Trout

tomato dashi, ricotta polenta cakes, smoked tomato, trout roe

Dessert Course:

Tomato Sorbet

mascarpone whipped cream and balsamic

Wine Market

921 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230

(410) 244-6166

El Garaje – A One Night Transformation

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On Wednesday September 14, Le Garage will transform the kitchen from its usual French food to a special menu featuring Mexican-inspired cuisine and drinks as they host their second annual El Garaje event. Savor the remaining long days of sun and summer over margaritas and a menu of creative small and large plates available in both the bar and bistro from 5 pm to close.

MENU

Chicharrones / apple cider vinegar sauce / 5

Shrimp Ceviche Tostada / Jicama and fennel salad, roasted tomato vinaigrette / 8

Roasted Carrot Salad / avocado, orange, fennel / 8

Beer Battered Shishito Peppers “Chile Relleno” / refried lentils, sea salt / 8

Tacos ( 3 per order )

Grilled Asparagus / roasted poblano goat cheese / 10

Chorizo & Pork Belly / avocado, pineapple, chipotle / 12

Duck Confit Barbacoa / tomatillo salsa verde, smoked corn crema / 12

Larger Plates

Mussels Michelada / smoked tomato, hot sauce, and charred lime / 17

Skirt Steak & Frites / bone marrow salsa / 27

Dessert

Ibarra Chocolate Brownies / cinnamon ice cream, diablo chocolate sauce/ 6

Call 410-243-6300 to reserve your table

 

Le Garage

911 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211

(410) 243-6300

“Sagamore in Santorini” Ouzo Bay – Baltimore, MD

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Sagamore in Santorini 7 Final 2

Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.75 oz. of Sagamore Rye
  • .5 oz. of Tamarind Syrup
  • .5 oz. of Lemon Juice
  • .75 oz. of Cilantro Ginger Shrub
  • Top with Fever Tree club soda

Drink Preparation:

  • Add the ingredients listed above except for the club soda to a shaker
  • Shake and strain into a Collins Glass
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Garnish with with Lemon peel and fresh cilantro
  • Cheers!

Tamarind Syrup:

  • Shell a dozen Tamarindo bean pods. Simmer in 4 cups of water for 45 minutes or until Tamarindo dissolves completely into water
  • Strain liquid through a chinois and coffee filter
  • Add 4 cups of sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Allow to cool and enjoy.

Cilantro Ginger Shrub:

  • Peel fresh ginger (about 2 cups worth) and mince in a blender.
  • Take ginger and finely chopped stalk of cilantro and add it to 4 cups of apple cider vinegar in a sealed non-reactive container.
  • Allow to rest in cool place for 3 days.
  • Strain ginger and cilantro.
  • Add 4 cups of sugar and stir until it dissolves.
  • Enjoy!

Ouzo Bay is located in Harbor East, which is a great little area of shops, restaurants and hotels. Ouzo Bay specializes in Greek cuisine and an assortment of signature cocktails that should suit everyone’s taste. They go that extra mile by serving you an after dinner cocktail – Ouzo of course.

William Escalante is the head bartender at Ouzo Bay and obviously enjoys his trade by adding a little flair to his service. This is not the first time we have seen Will behind the bar. He has participated in a wonderful event for Cystic Fibrosis, Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis. This event has some of the finest bartenders in Baltimore so you are pretty much guaranteed a great cocktail from William. This year William won “Judge’s Choice at the 2015 Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis”.

This signature cocktail is a refreshing glorified whiskey highball perfect for your summer cookouts. If you live in horse country like I do, it;s perfect for the horse races.

Battle Fromage – This Week At Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament

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This week will mark the final week before the semi-finals kick off for this year’s annual Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament.

The exciting Iron Chef-style single-elimination tournament runs all summer long at the Inn at the Colonnade and showcases the creativity and talent of local chefs who compete for the final prize of being named this year’s Master Chef.

Each week is themed and this coming week will feature “Battle Fromage” with Grille 620 competing against Smokin’ Hot Bar and Grille on Monday and KitchenCray battling The White Oak Tavern on Tuesday.

Semi-Final matches will be held August 1 and 2, culminating in the Final Championship match on Sunday, August 14th. A full schedule as well as chef bios are available at http://www.masondixonmasterchef.com/schedule-results/bracket.php. All competitions will be held at the Inn at the Colonnade Baltimore.

 

Tournament Ticket Details

Tickets for all remaining dates are available for purchase at: http://www.masondixonmasterchef.com.

Tickets for most matches are $25 for general admission and $45 for judging experience (including all taxes).

In addition, the Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament donates 10% of the net proceeds of each ticket sold directly to their charity partner Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland.

 

Event Timeline:

5:30 p.m. – Happy Hour with Complementary Hors d’oeurves and Wine Tasting by Boordy Vineyards, plus Drink and Food Specials

6:30 p.m. – Cold Prep Begins for the Competition

7:00 p.m. – Chef Competition

8:00 p.m. – Judging Begins, Complementary Dessert and Coffee Served

 

Partners and Sponsors:

Partners: Boordy Vineyards, Restaurant Association of Maryland, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland

Platinum Sponsors: Inn at the Colonnade Baltimore, Emmi Roth Kase USA, The Umbrella Syndicate

 

Gold Sponsors: American Metal Craft, Logan’s Sausage, Maple Leaf Farms, Pepsico, Phillips Food, Roland Foods, Steelite International, Sysco Food Service/Metropolitan, Vulcan, Whole Fresh Foods

Silver Sponsors: Aqua Panna/S. Pellegrino (Nestle Waters), Bigelow Tea, Certified Angus Beef, Chef a la mode, ECOLAB, Coleman/Harvestland, Hatfield, Marcho Farms, National Pasteurized Eggs, Pastry Star

Bronze Sponsors: Atalanta, BelGioioso, Anchor, Daisy Brand, House-Autry, Kraft-Heinz, Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company,  Ventura Foods, Wholesome Harvest Baking

“Galia’s Legacy” Ouzo Bay – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1. 5 oz. of Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin
  • .5 oz. of fennel syrup
  • .5 oz. of fresh lime juice
  • 1. oz. of fresh watermelon juice
  • .5 oz. of yellow chartreuse
  • Garnish with lime peel and cantaloupe wedge

Drink Preparation:

  • Add ice to coupe glass and set aside to chill.
  • Add ingredients to shaker in order listed above except lime peel and cantaloupe.
  • Empty ice from coupe glass.
  • Shake ingredients and strain into coupe glass.
  • Run lime peel around glass rim, then add as garnish.
  • Garnish glass with cantaloupe wedge.
  • Cheers!

Fennel Syrup Preparation:

  • Toast 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds briefly in oven. Then, simmer in 4 cups of water for 20-25 minutes. Strain fennel seeds, add 4 cups of sugar. Stir the sugar until it dissolves.

Ouzo Bay is located in Harbor East which is a great little area of shops, restaurants, and hotels. Ouzo Bay specializes in Greek cuisine and an assortment of signature cocktails to suit everyone’s taste. They go that extra mile by serving you an after dinner cocktail – Ouzo, of course.

William Escalante is the head bartender at Ouzo Bay and obviously enjoys his trade by adding a little flair to his service. This is not the first time we have seen Will behind the bar. He has participated in an annual local charity event for Cystic Fibrosis called Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis. This event has some of the finest bartenders in Baltimore, so you are pretty much guaranteed a great cocktail from William. This year William won “Judge’s Choice at the 2015 Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis”.

This signature cocktail has honeyed notes and herbal flavor. These flavors come from the blending of Uncle Val’s Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, fennel, lime and watermelon. This makes for a light and refreshing summer cocktail.

Chefs Behind Bars – June 1, 2016

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Last year’s inaugural Chefs Behind Bars event was hugely successful, raising thousands of dollars for the charity No Kid Hungry, which works to end childhood hunger in America. Thanks to that success, the event will be repeated this year on June 1 on Wit & Wisdom’s outdoor patio, Wit on the Water.

 

This year’s event will feature six top-notch local chefs shaking and stirring behind their own stations in an effort to create the best cocktails. Judges will be on hand to taste the chef’s creations and to choose winners, but attendees will also have the chance to taste and vote for their favorites as well. Both “people’s choice” and “judges’ choice” awards will be given.

 

In addition to cocktail samples, Wit & Wisdom’s Executive Chef Zack Mills will provide passed appetizers while Shake Shack will be visiting to serve their Chick’n Shack sliders all to the backdrop of live music by Ruben Montoya.

 

Participating chefs, their affiliations, and the liquor that they’ll be using  are as follows:

 

Chef Restaurant Liquor
Zack Mills Wit & Wisdom Barr Hill Gin
Ben Lefenfeld La Cuchara Papa’s Pilar – Blonde
Bryan Voltaggio AGGIO WhistlePig Rye Whiskey
Josh Brown Fox Boys Hospitality Papa’s Pilar – Dark
Opie Crooks Woodberry Kitchen One Eight – Rock Creek Whiskey
Chad Gauss The Food Market Belle Isle Grapefruit

 

Advanced tickets are $45 and $50 at the door with 100 percent of all ticket sales benefitting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.

 

For more information, and to purchase tickets for the “Chefs Behind Bars” event, visit: http://ce.strength.org/events/baltimore-chefs-behind-bars

 

Wit & Wisdom

Four Seasons Hotel

200 International Drive

Baltimore, MD 21202

 

Wednesday June 1, 2016

6:00 – 8:00 pm

“Nuevo Rita” Birroteca – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 3 slices of jalapenos (take the seeds out)
  • .5 oz. of simple syrup
  • .5 oz. fresh lime juice
  • .75 oz. of Luxardo Triple Sec
  • 1.5 oz. of Tromba Blanco Tequila

Garnish:

  • Top : Passion Fruit Foam
  • Black lava sea salt

Drink Preparation:

  • Using a mixing glass add the jalapeno slices and simple syrup.
  • Muddle the two ingredients.
  • Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed.
  • Pour into shaker and shake.
  • Double stain into margarita glass.
  • Top with passion fruit foam.
  • Garnish with black lava sea salt.
  • Cheers!

Passion Fruit Foam:

  • 4 oz. of Passion Fruit Nectar
  • 6 oz. of water
  • 4 egg whites
  • Stir.
  • Pour into whip cream canister. If you don’t have one shake vigorously. But they can be purchased easily.

Birroteca is a cool restaurant with a unique location in an old industrial area of Baltimore called Clipper Mill. Birroteca is known for its artisan pizza and Italian cuisine. It is worth the visit.

Nick, who is in the video, uses the same creativity in his cocktails that he uses in ceramic arts. Nick has been in several videos already, so be sure to check those out as well. Nick Ramey is the creator of this delicious Signature Cocktail and many of the other cocktails you will find at Birroteca. Like many of the bartenders we work with, his knowledge of the different brands of alcohol and how they mix with other ingredients is extensive – so you are pretty much guaranteed to get a great cocktail, every time.

“Aegean Paradise” Ouzo Bay – Baltimore, MD

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Aegean Paradise

 

Drink Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. of Papa’s Pilar Blonde
  • .75 oz. of orgeat syrup
  • .5 oz. of lime juice
  • .75 oz. of passion fruit puree
  • .5 oz. of orange juice
  • .5 oz. of pineapple juice
  • Pineapple wedge and edible orchid garnish

Drink Preparation:

  • Place all ingredients in shaker.
  • Shake and strain into Collins glass.
  • Garnish with an edible orchid and pineapple wedge.
  • Cheers!

How to make Orgeat Syrup:

  • 250 grams of toasted almond slices
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 oz. of orange flower water
  • 2 oz. of cognac
  • 2 oz. of Disaronno

Orgeat Syrup Preparation:

  • Bring water to boil.
  • Add toasted almonds, then lower temperature to a simmer.
  • Allow to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Strain almonds and add sugar.
  • Stir sugar until it dissolves.
  • Add orange flower water, cognac and Disaronno.
  • Stir and allow to cool.
  • Cheers!

Ouzo Bay is located in Harbor East, a great little area filled with shops, restaurants, and hotels. Ouzo Bay specializes in Greek cuisine and an assortment of signature cocktails that are bound to suit everyone’s taste. They go that extra mile by serving an after-dinner drink – Ouzo, of course.

William Escalante is the head bartender at Ouzo Bay and obviously enjoys his trade by adding a little flair to his service. This is not the first time we have seen Will behind the bar – he has participated in a wonderful event for Cystic Fibrosis. Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis. This event has some of the finest bartenders in Baltimore, so you are pretty much guaranteed a great cocktail from William. This year William won Best Cocktail with this cocktail at Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis.

“Feel the Bern!” Bar Liquorice – Locust Point, MD

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Drink Ingredients

  • 3 splashes of Scrappy’s Fire Water Bitters
  • 1.5 oz. of Barr Hill Gin
  • .5 oz. of Patron Citronage
  • 1 oz. of lemon juice
  • 1 oz. of honey simple syrup

 Drink Preparation:

  • Set aside a martini glass with ice in it to chill.
  • Using a mixing glass filled with ice, add the ingredients as listed above.
  • Using a bar spoon, stir ingredients.
  • Empty ice from martini glass.
  • Using a strainer, pour ingredients into martini glass.
  • Cheers!

Bar Liquorice… This place is a comfortable spot in Federal Hill that does not feel like your typical corner bar. Everything about it is well done and the detail put into everything from the ambiance, cocktails, and food makes you know every dollar here is well spent. Shaun creates the cocktails as well as many of the ingredients. Jeff Cahill, the owner and chef, takes great pride in the service, ambiance, and food served. There is not one detail that is missed.

This signature cocktail “Feel the Bern!” is similar to a Bees Knees, but with some kick from the Patron Citronage and bitters.

“Sidecar” Bar Liquorice – Locust Point, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.25 oz. Old Grand Dad 80
  • .75 oz. Patrón Citrónge
  • 1.5 oz. of Lemon Juice

Drink Preparation:

  • Add ice to mixing glass or shaker.
  • Add the ingredients in the order listed above.
  • Using a bar spoon, stir.
  • Strain into an Old-Fashioned glass.
  • Cheers!

Bar Liquorice – what do I write that has already not been written? This place is a corner bar in Federal Hill, that does not feel like your typical corner bar. Everything about it is well done, and the detail put into everything from the ambiance, cocktails and food lets you know every dollar spent is well spent. Shaun, who serves the cocktails, also creates them, as well as many of the ingredients used for his cocktails. Jeff Cahill, the owner and chef, takes great pride in the service, ambiance and food served. There is not one detail that is missed.

The Sidecar is an old school classic cognac cocktail. This version has an American twist to it, with the bourbon, which makes the cocktail easier on the palate.

Brewhouse No 16 – Upcoming Events

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Late in 2015, Brewhouse No. 16 finally opened, and the surrounding Mt. Vernon community, and beyond, couldn’t have been more excited for its newest local brewery and gastropub.

The space itself retains the history of the building as a firehouse, while invoking an intimate atmosphere and serving up well-prepared dishes like crab cakes and a decadent pulled duck poutine that pair well with their house brews and craft cocktails.

Visit any evening, check out their new brunch, or pop in for any of these events:

March 1st: Sips for Scholarships Fundraiser: http://csfbaltimore.org/sips-for-scholarships-2016-at-brew-house-no-16/ 

Easter: Keep a lookout on the page for a special brunch menu for the holiday.

April 23rd: Co-hosted home-brewing competition with Lady Brew Baltimore for Saison style beer (Stay tuned for a link to the event to be posted on FB).
Brewhouse No. 16

831 N. Calvert Street

410-659-4084

“Success from Scandal” Ware House 518 – Mt. Vernon, MD

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Drink Ingredients

  • 2 oz. of Barr Hill Gin
  • .5 oz. of Suze
  • .5 oz. of arugula honey syrup
  • .5 oz. of lemon juice
  • 1 whole egg white
  • Angostura bitters

 

Drink Preparation

  • Combine all ingredients except bitters into a shaker and shake contents.
  • Add ice to shaker and shake again.
  • Strain into a Coup Glass.
  • Garnish with Angostura Bitters.
  • Cheers!

 

This cocktail is from one of the new hot spots in Baltimore for craft cocktails. Ware House 518 is a contemporary American restaurant in the heart of historic Mt. Vernon. The Louie Bar is craft cocktail destination within Ware House 518 that offers an elevated tippling experience Friday and Saturday from 9:00 pm until 2:00 am.

In this video we have Aden as our bartender – this is his first time working with us. He is new to the craft cocktail side of the industry. This cocktail is a gin forward beverage with herbal notes and a full texture created by the egg whites. It is a relatively simple cocktail to make, and a pleasing cocktail on the palate.

The Crimson Sand Trap

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Orangerie (Infused Scotch with Orange Peel, Cassih and Clove)
  • 1 oz. of Brovo “Jammy” Vermouth
  • .5 oz. brandied cherry juice
  • 3 drops of black walnut bitters
  • Orange wedge

Drink Preparation:

  • Add ice to coupe glass to chill and set aside.
  • Add ingredients to shaker in order listed above.
  • Squeeze a fresh orange into mix.
  • Add ice and stir for 12 seconds.
  • Empty ice from glass.
  • Garnish with orange wedge.
  • Cheers!

This signature cocktail is created by Ian Clark of Fork and Wrench in Baltimore, MD. Ian has had several cocktails on our site. So be sure to look those up as well. Ian is very creative behind the bar, very knowledgeable about alcohol and his love of photography is demonstrated in how visually appealing his cocktails are.

This signature cocktail from Fork & Wrench is well balanced. It combines the subtle flavors of the orange infused scotch, cloves, cherry and the woodsy flavor of the walnut bitters. This cocktail is complex in taste, yet smooth with no lingering aftertaste.

Oregon Grille Wine Pairing – February 2

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In the days since the blizzard hit, you’ve probably spent enough quality time with your stove and oven. The digging out is nearly finished – it’s time to get out for a meal.

On February 2, join Bruce Mooers, the president of Far Niente Winery in Napa Valley, California, for a five course dinner and wine pairing at The Oregon Grille.

 

First Course: Jumbo lump crab with citrus butter and blood orange segments; paired with Far Niente, Chardonnay, Napa, 2013

Second Course: Grilled halloumi cheese with pomegranate, cherry reduction and micro arugula; paired with EnRoute ‘Les Pommiers’, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, 2013

Third Course: Pan-seared blue nose with a smoked potato silk, truffles and root vegetables; paired with Nickel & Nickel ‘Darien Vinyard’, Syrah, Russian River Valley, 2012

 

Fourth Course: Cedar plank grilled venison with braised red cabbage and a blackberry Valrhona chocolate sauce; paired with Nickel & Nickel ‘Quicksilver Vineyard’, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, 2012 and Nickel & Nickel ‘Regusci Vineyard’, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag’s Leap District, 2006

Dessert: Poached pear in a white wine sauce filled with an apricot mascarpone with Candied Apricots and an Apricot Reduction; paired with Dolce Late Harvest, Napa Valley, 2009

 

$175 per person not including tax/gratuity

For reservations, please call the Oregon Grille at 410-771-0505.

Jackets required for men

Cook Your Way Through Winter at Wegmans

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Kicking off its 10th year, the Contemporary Cooking Series at Wegmans in Hunt Valley will showcase a variety of locals as well as the shop’s own executive chefs, to teach how to cook with panache.

Guests include Amy von Lange, chef and co-owner of the new Schola cooking school, Baltimore’s favorite hon, Denise Whiting, owner of Cafe Hon in Hampden, and Enrique Limardo, Venezuelan native and executive chef at Alma Cocina Latina in Canton.

At $20 per class (including the demonstration and tastings of four recipes as well as a gift bag), the sessions run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month, from January to May.

Reservations are required. Call 410-773-3900 or stop by the Hunt Valley customer service desk for tickets. Wegmans Hunt Valley is located at 122 Shawan Road in Hunt Valley, Maryland. This is the place to sharpen your culinary skills and meet some of Baltimore’s most talented chefs.

Schedule:

 Braising: How to Ward Off the Chill

Wednesday, January 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Nothing warms the heart and soul quite like braising, winter’s most appealing and versatile cooking technique. Wegmans Hunt Valley chef Colin Radka will show you how to cook low and slow, whether in the oven, on top of the stove or in a slow cooker, and turn inexpensive cuts of meat into luscious meals for family and friends.

 Valentine’s Day Lovefest

Wednesday, February 3, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Love is in the air! Whether you’re cooking a Valentine’s Day feast for your sweetheart or for everyone you know and love, chef Amy von Lange of the new Schola cooking school in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon shows how to make it easy and delicious. She’ll share her secret spin on classics like oysters Rockefeller, coffee-rubbed tenderloin, and chocolate lava cake.

Celebrate Spring at Your Table

Wednesday, March 2, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Looking for a reminder that spring really is around the corner? Or maybe a new twist on Easter dinner? How about mousse-stuffed poached salmon, dilly potato salad, berry crunch pie and more, with none other than Chef Denise Whiting, owner of the venerable Café Hon in Hampden, as your guide. It’ll be a class to put spring in your step, for sure.

 Sauces: Simple to Spectacular

Wednesday, April 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Ready to kick your kitchen confidence up to the next level? Wegmans Hunt Valley chef David Carpin will show you how to unlock the power of the traditional French “Mother” sauces from which all others are made. Hollandaise, béchamel, velouté — talk about keys to creativity in the kitchen! You’ll be saucing like a pro in no time.

A Taste of Venezuela

Wednesday, May 4, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Influenced by the Andes Mountains in the northwest and a long Caribbean coast, the cuisine of Venezuela is unique and delicious. Tonight Executive Chef Enrique Limardo from Irena Stein’s newest restaurant, Alma Cocina Latina in Canton, will present a crash course in the fascinating ingredients and dishes of his native land.

New Year’s Day Brunch

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After all of the New Year’s Eve revelry (debauchery, even?) welcoming in the new year with some hearty food and perhaps a drink (or two…) should be on the agenda. Here are a few spots around town to ring in the first day of the new year… or just take the sting off of the effects of the previous night’s fun. Happy New Year!

Knotty Pine

This corner Brewer’s Hill bar entering its 17th year is serving up a cooked to order brunch from 11 am – 3 pm. Additionally, get your mimosa, bloody mary, or Boh in bottomless form from 11 am – 2 pm for only $13 per person.

Alexander’s Tavern

Opening at 10 am, the tavern will feature a full brunch menu as well as $3.50 Bloody Marys, screwdrivers and mimosas.

Mother’s Federal Hill Grille

From 9 am – 2 pm, nurse your NYE hangover with plenty of eggs, bacon, bloodies and mimosas on the deck.

Tavern on the Square

Playing the bowl games all day, Tavern on the Square is inviting New Year’s Day brunchers to don their pajamas for a comfy brunch from 11 am – 2 pm, featuring bottomless mimosas, bloodies, and sangria. Go for brunch in pj’s and get 15% off your check, but if you choose to wear onesie pajamas, as a shout out to some social media hilarity on the now-infamous Canton Neighbors Facebook page, you can also get “free water and a shot.” (Rest assured, those not in onesies, your water will be free too!).

B&O American Brasserie

From 8 am until 2:30 pm, B&O will be offering a Hangover Brunch followed by their regular dinner service from 5 until 10 pm. Initially we were a little astounded by anyone who might make it to brunch by 8 am on New Year’s Day, but the likes of monkey bread (with banana, caramel, and sea salt) for only $6 and the pork belly sammy (maple glazed pork belly, fried egg, smoked cheddar, frisee salad, brioche) for $15 might even entice us to get up a little earlier after the NYE celebrations.

Portside Tavern

In the heart of Canton, Portside will be offering their brunch menu from 11 am – 2 pm.

Wit and Wisdom

If you want a swanky start to the new year, there may be no better spot than Wit and Wisdom. Their New Year’s Day Brunch Buffet, for $69 ($30 for children 12 and under) is offered from 8 am to 3 pm and features organic scrambled eggs or homemade frittatas, local smoked salmon, artisan cheeses, chilled shellfish and plenty of hot entrees, as well.

Blue Agave

Opening at 9 am on New Year’s Day, Blue Agave is offering bottomless mimosas, peach sangria, and blackberry sangria alongside their signature dishes like Tres Leches Pancakes and Huevos Rancheros.

Iron Rooster

This new spot in Canton Crossing has created a flurry of excitement since it has opened, and for good reason. With all-day everyday breakfast (in addition to lunch and dinner options) from their opening at 7 am until close at 10 pm, this Annapolis transplant has everyone raving about their crumbly, sweet homemade pop-tarts, decadently sauced chicken and waffles, and the savory shrimp and grits with their subtle heat. There may be a wait, but you can nurse that hangover in the foyer or outdoor seating area with a bloody from the bar garnished with a full thick slice of bacon, large spear of pickled asparagus, and a hearty rim of Old Bay.

Noble’s

From 10 am – 3 pm Nobel’s will feature and all-you-can-eat brunch buffet with bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas for only $24.99. Upstairs, play beer pong and flip cup. Pajamas are encouraged.

Regi’s Bistro

Starting at 9 am, Regi’s will serve their regular brunch menu as well as $5 crushes.

Saute

Just off the Square in Canton, Saute is serving bottomless Brunch for $19.95 from 10 am until 3 pm. You can make reservations by calling Sauté at 410.327.2883 or text your name and number of people to 410.948.4930.

Papi’s Tacos

Serving their full brunch menu starting at 11, Papi’s is also offering all you can drink tequila sunrises, screwdrivers, bellinis, mimosas, Bloody Marys and Marias, and Dos Equis Lager and Amber for $12.

Cardinal Tavern

From 9:30 am until 3 pm, Cardinal Tavern will be serving their regular brunch menu.

Looney’s Tavern

From 11 am until 3 pm, Looney’s is featuring a Hangover Brunch with omelets, benedicts, french toast, and breakfast sandwiches as well as $4 mimosas, build your own bloodies, and Irish coffees.

“Hera’s Pride” Ouzo Bay – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • .75 oz. of Cinnamon/Clove Syrup
  • .75 oz. Lemon Juice
  • .75 oz.  Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • .75 oz. Velvet Falernum
  • 1.5 oz. Buffalo Trace Bourbon
  • Splash of Fever Tree Club Soda

Drink Preparation:

  • Cinnamon/Clove Syrup – Bring 8 cups of water, 10 cinnamon sticks and a tablespoon of whole cloves (grinded) to almost a boil and allow to simmer for 25 minutes. Then, strain cinnamon sticks and cloves and add 8 cups of sugar to complete syrup.
  • Add the ingredients in the order listed above to a shaker with ice.
  • Strain into Collins glass with ice.
  • Garnish with Rosemary sprig.
  • Cheers!

This signature cocktail from Ouzo Bay is a seasonal blend of cinnamon, clove, pineapple, vanilla and lemon flavors.

Ouzo Bay is located in Harbor East which is a great little area of shops, restaurants, and hotels. Ouzo Bay specializes in Greek cuisine and an assortment of signature cocktails that suit everyone’s tastes. They go the extra mile by serving you an after dinner cocktail.

William Escalante is the head bartender at Ouzo Bay and obviously enjoys his trade, often adding a little flair to his service. This is not the first time we have seen Will behind the bar; he has participated in a wonderful event for Cystic Fibrosis, Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis. This event has some of the finest bartenders in Baltimore, so you are pretty much guaranteed a great cocktail from William. This year William won Best Cocktail with this cocktail at Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis.

“Sage Advice” – Birroteca, Baltimore MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Ballast Point Barrel Rested Gin
  • .75 oz. Jack Rudy Elderflower Tonic
  • .75 oz. Apple cider
  • .75 oz. Bella Bellina Lemonata Moscato
  • 2-3 Sage leaves

Drink Preparation:

  • Using a shaker with ice add the all of the ingredients except the Bella Bellini Lemonata Moscato.
  • Add 2 sage leaves to the shaker.
  • Shake the ingredients.
  • Pour into Collins glass.
  • Garnish with a sage leaf and lemon twist.
  • Cheers!

Birroteca is a cool restaurant in a unique location in an old industrial area of Baltimore called Clipper Mill. Birroteca is known for its artisan pizza and Italian cuisine – it is worth the visit.

This signature cocktail is not a seasonal cocktail from the standpoint that you can enjoy it anytime of the year. Nick has once again worked his magic of perfect blends of herbs and alcohol. This signature cocktail has a nice balance of herbaceous gin and sage, with floral notes from the tonic and refreshing citrus.

Nick Ramey, the creator of this cocktail is featured in the video. He uses the same creativity in his cocktails that he uses in ceramic arts. Nick has been in several videos already, so be sure try those cocktails as well. Like many of the bartenders we work with, his knowledge of the different brands of alcohol and how they mix with other ingredients is extensive so you are pretty much guaranteed to get a great cocktail every time.

“Hedge Fund” Kali’s Court – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Maker’s Mark
  • .5 of Maple syrup
  • 1 oz. of Lime juice
  • Rosemary sprig

Drink Preparation:

  • Fill highball glass with ice.
  • Add the ingredient listed above to highball glass, except the rosemary sprig.
  • Pour into shaker, and shake.
  • Pour shaken cocktail back into highball glass.
  • Garnish with rosemary sprig.
  • Cheers!

Kali’s Court is located in Fell’s Point of Baltimore, MD.  Kali’s Court, once one of Baltimore’s premier seafood restaurants, has more recently become one of Baltimore’s newest and hottest night clubs. It is perfectly set for a couple of friends going out on the town and or a larger gathering. The layout has private areas for more intimate gatherings. Kali’s Court also has bottle service and VIP seating upstairs. They have kept their well-known outdoor seating area as well, which makes for a nice romantic setting during warm weather.

This signature cocktail from Kali’s Court has an undertone of sweetness from the maple syrup that evens out the Maker’s Mark smokiness. The balanced cocktail is finished with a hint of lime.

Carmen Motto is our wonderful bartender in this video. You have probably seen her in other videos of ours. She has been in the industry for years. She has shared her expertise here in Baltimore and down in Key West. Carmen is very energetic and entertaining behind the bar. You will never have a complaint if you are lucky enough to have her serve you.

Rockin’ the Cool Weather Cocktails

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In the summer, cocktails are the answer to the hot weather – am I right? Fruity juices mixed with rum or vodka are the refreshing answer to the all-encompassing heat and humidity. But when it comes to winter, what is the best warmer from the inside out?

Still, a cocktail.

Along with other drink visionaries around town, Hard Rock Cafe has placed the cocktail outside of its warm-weather box. Sure, we all know classics like a Manhattan or a Negroni are year-round beverages. But many other creative cocktails tend toward the light style that lends itself to the warmer months.

Hard Rock has crafted five new beverages intended to ward off the winter chill, all with (naturally) rock-themed names and cold-weather-appropriate booze (read: whiskey and scotch). You can visit their Baltimore location alongside the Inner Harbor, but we’ve also been fortunate enough to garner a couple recipes that you can make at home to enjoy beside your fireplace, alongside your fire pit, or just while you’re inside scrolling through Facebook avoiding the increasingly-chilly outdoors.

Cheers!

She's My Apple Pie

 

She’s My Apple Pie:

Glass: Mason Jar | Technique: Shaken

Ingredients:

·         2 oz. Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey

·         2 oz. Apple juice

·         1 oz. pineapple juice

·         ½ oz. Monin Salted Caramel

·         1 oz. hard cider

·         Whipped cream, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and favorite cinnamon cookie or graham cracker for garnish

 

Southern Jam

Southern Jam

Glass: Mason Jar | Technique: Shaken

Ingredients:

·         1 ½ oz. Monkey Shoulder Scotch

·         1 oz. black cherry puree

·         4 blackberries

·         ¾ oz. lemon juice

·         ½ oz. simple syrup

·         2 speared luxuardo cherries for garnish

“Blue Blood” Kali’s Court – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. of Stoli Blueberry Vodka
  • 2 oz. of Blood Orange Juice

Drink Preparations:

  • Add ice to martini glass and set aside to chill.
  • Add the ingredients listed above (in the order listed) to a shaker.
  • Give it a couple of good shakes.
  • Strain into martini glass.
  • Garnish with blueberries.
  • Cheers!

 

Kali’s Court is located in Fell’s Point in Baltimore, MD.  Kali’s Court, which was previously one of Baltimore’s premier upscale seafood restaurants, has become one of Baltimore’s newest and hottest night clubs. It is perfectly set for a couple of friends going out on the town and or a whole gathering. The layout has private areas for more intimate gatherings. Kali’s Court also has bottle service and VIP seating upstairs. They have kept their well known outdoor seating area as well, which makes for a cozy romantic setting during the warm weather.

This signature cocktail is perfect for a night out on the town. However, I think it also could be a great addition for your brunch. The “Blue Blood” is smooth, light and not too sweet. The ingredients blend well, so neither one overpowers the other.

Carmen Motto is our wonderful bartender in this video. You have probably seen her before in other videos of ours. She has been in the industry for years. She has shared her expertise here in Baltimore and down in Key West. Carmen is very energetic and entertaining behind the bar. You will never have a complaint if you are lucky enough to have her serve you.

“Comfortably Numb” Bluegrass Tavern – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • Chartreuse rinse
  • 1 oz. of Barr Hill Gin
  • 1 oz. of Dancing Pines Chai Liqueur
  • 1 oz. of St. Germain

Drink Preparation:

  • Pour a small amount of Chartreuse into Old Fashioned Glass and swirl around the glass – toss out the excess.
  • Add ice to a shaker and add the ingredients in the order listed above.
  • Give the ingredients a couple of shakes.
  • Strain into Old Fashioned Glass.
  • Garnish with orange rind.
  • Cheers!

Bluegrass Tavern is a classic neighborhood restaurant in South Baltimore featuring a contemporary American menu and an eclectic wine list and cocktails. From the moment you step through the front door, the dark wood, rich greens and floor to ceiling windows create a soothing yet airy feeling. Both floors feature a bar and a dining room.

This cocktail has many different herbs in the mix here, yet they somehow all pull it together to make delicious cocktail. The Barr Hill gin is able to make the herbs less subtle, while the herbs blend together so that one does not overpower the other.  

Our creator of this Signature Cocktail is Stephen. Stephen has been bartending for seven years and has been at Bluegrass Tavern for three years. Bluegrass Tavern was selected as the Best South Baltimore Restaurant in 2015.

“Fall Fashion” – Mezze

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 3 Cherries
  • 4 Pieces of orange
  • 1 Teaspoon of cinnamon sugar
  • 1 oz. of Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1 oz. of Van Gogh Wild Apple Vodka

Drink Preparation:

  • Muddle the cherries, oranges and cinnamon sugar in old fashioned glass (rocks glass).
  • Add the Bulleit and Van Gogh to the glass.
  • Fill the glass with ice and pour into a shaker.
  • Using a bar spoon, stir ingredients in shaker and slowly pour back into glass.
  • Garnish with Cherries.
  • Cheers! 

Kali’s Mezze is Kali’s Court’s sister restaurant. Like Kali’s Court, it is located in the heart of Baltimore’s famous Fell’s Point. Mezze specializes in traditional Mediterranean Cuisine, and has incredible ambiance. Located a stone’s throw from the water, the Mezze is settled amidst a busy area with plenty to do besides the dining. If you are there for the evening hours, you should find plenty of after-dinner activities, possible dancing at the newly renovated Kali’s Court.

This cocktail is Mezze’s play on the Old Fashion, one of my favorites, since I love bourbon. That said, I am always a little skeptical and nervous when someone has to play with the Old Fashioned. You know the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Since, fortunately, I have worked with Maryam before I gave her some latitude. It is exactly a fall fashion – the ingredients chosen for this signature cocktail blended with the Bulleit give it the perfect taste and color for a fall cocktail. It has just a little bite – the amount you would need on that fall day after raking leaves in forty degree weather when you need a little warmth.

Maryam Samadi is the creator of this signature cocktail and the lovely bartender in this video. Maryam has plenty of experience behind the bar and in the restaurant industry. She can make you some great cocktails and be very entertaining while doing it. If you are looking for a place with exceptional food, innovative drinks, and great service behind the bar, I suggest you stop in at Mezze.

Baltimore Seafood Festival

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Did you visit the inaugural Baltimore Seafood Festival at Canton Waterfront Park last year? If you didn’t, you missed out, but fortunately it was so successful that the sequel is upon us.

If you did visit last year, you’ll be impressed with the exponential increase in offerings in terms of both food and spirits this year.

In addition to the food tents and drinks tables, local bands like 8 Ohms Band and Unity Reggae Band will be on hand, a family-friendly area will be set up, and cooking demos will be available all day. One of our favorites from last year was Jessica Formicola’s (of Savory Experiments) super easy butternut squash soup adorned with huge chunks of lump crab meat.

“The Inaugural Baltimore Seafood Festival was a major success! People traveled from as far south as North Carolina and as far north as Maine,” stated Beth Laverick, President of B Scene Events. “This year, we will be adding an additional restaurant tent due to the event growing in size. This has the potential to become a regional event and a tradition for Baltimoreans, and we are very excited for this year’s festivities.”

Some of the restaurants that we’ve gotten word might be on hand shucking oysters and serving up some of their seafood favorites are:

  • Ryleigh’s Oysters
  • Verde
  • Stuggy’s
  • Roy’s
  • Cazbar
  • Mare Nostrum
  • Captain James
  • Atwater’s
  • Jimmy’s Famous Seafood
  • Bandito’s
  • Pitango
  • Warehouse 518
  • Saigon Today
  • Barcocina
  • Slainte
  • La Scala
  • Farmstead Grill
  • Heavy Seas Alehouse
  • Flavor Cupcakery

And while last year’s event had a decent amount of beverages, this year’s list of brews, vino, and cocktails (at multiple tables) is beyond impressive:

  • Heineken
  • Amstel Light
  • New Castle
  • Dos Equis Lager
  • Strong Bow Cider
  • Wave Series Sauvignon Blanc
  • Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc
  • SeaGlass Unoaked Chardonnay
  • Charles & Charles Chardonnay
  • SeaGlass Pinot Noir
  • Charles & Charles Red Blend
  • La Merika Chardonnay
  • Noble Vines 446 Chardonnay
  • La Merika Pinot Noir
  • HandCraft Petite Sirah
  • HandCraft Malbec
  • Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Callia Alta Torrontes
  • Alta Luna Sauvignon Blanc
  • Mazzei Badiola (Sangiovese Blend)
  • Santa Rita Secret Reserve Red Blend
  • Portillo Malbec
  • Roscato Sweet Rose
  • Svedka Crush
  • Casa Noble Margarita
  • Jim Beam Apple Orchard
  • Cruzan Blueberry Lemonade
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select Riesling
  • 14 Hands Riesling
  • ANEW Riesling
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling
  • St M Riesling
  • Eroica Riesling
  • Classic Sangria made with Riunite
  • White Sangria made with Pacific Rim Riesling
  • Bolla Prosecco
  • Rosa Regale Brachetto
  • Bolla Sparkling Rose
  • Ruffino Prosecco
  • Simi Dry Rose
  • Anderra Sauvignon Blanc
  • Ruffino Unoaked Chardonnay
  • Wild Horse Pinot Gris
  • Hidden Crush Pinot Noir
  • The Dreaming Tree Crush

If you haven’t already purchased tickets, or want more information, check out baltimoreseafoodfest.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance.

 

Saturday September 19, 2015 from 12:00 to 7:00 pm

Canton Waterfront Park

3001 Boston Street Baltimore, MD 21224

 

 

“Jameson Palmer” The Point in Fells – Fells Point, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • Several lemon slices
  • 1.5 oz. of Agave Nectar
  • 1.5 – 2.0 oz. of Jameson Black Barrel, to your discretion
  • 2.5 oz. of unsweetened ice tea
  • Garnish – lemon wedge

Drink Preparation:

  • Muddle several lemon wedges in pint glass.
  • Add the ingredients in the order listed above.
  • Give the cocktail a good shake.
  • Garnish with lemon wedge.
  • Cheers!

The Point in Fells is located in the heart of Fell’s Point on Thames Street. It‘s across from the old stomping grounds of where “Homicide Life on the Streets” was filmed. The Point has great ambiance with its hard wood floors and old school wood bar and they have ample choices on their signature cocktail menu. There’s clearly something special about the place – on every visit they always have a crowd. It seems safe to say that, despite the vast array of drinking spots in Fell’s Point, The Point in Fells is the place to stop.

Our lovely bartender in this video ,and creator of this cocktail, is Gala Bencivenni. Gala has been in the industry for the past nine years. However, she has been on the creative side of it for the past 6 years. Gala enjoys creating great cocktails for her customers to enjoy. She has been at The Point in Fells for four months as of this post. Gala is pretty entertaining and does know her way around the bar. When you make that trip to Baltimore, make that extra effort to get to Fell’s Point to visit The Point in Fells.

Piaza Fresh is a Winner at McHenry Row

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Fast-casual dining in Baltimore has taken off at a record pace, and we’ve been equal parts impressed and not-so-much with the various establishments trying to pull off this concept. One that we’ve been most impressed with recently, though, is Piaza Fresh, a newer Italian take on the concept at McHenry Row.

We stopped into the spot around noon on what started out as a quiet Sunday for the spot, and spread out at their dark wood tables with the backdrop of rustic wooden walls adorned with local photography of Baltimore.

After checking out the menu, we quickly relayed our order to the staff behind the counter and settled in with cups for our sodas and tea, though after learning there’s no corkage fee in place right now, we regretted our choice to not hit the liquor store before we came. (Hindsight… learn from us.)

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Pizzas hit the table first. We ordered the Mediterranean (classic tomato sauce, mozzarella blend, artichokes, spinach, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, feta, seasoned mushrooms) and the Red, White and Green (parmesan pesto, ricotta cheese, mozzarella blend, spinach, red onion, roasted red peppers, whole roasted garlic), one on the traditional crust, the other on rosemary garlic crust. Both pizzas were balanced in flavors and ingredients, but we were particularly impressed with the ability of the thin crust to hold up under the toppings. As for the crust flavors? Our four collective palates couldn’t distinguish between the two types. But maybe on simpler pizzas, flavors would be more noticeable.

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The piada came next. We shared it amongst us, but this could be a super-hearty lunch for one, or a share for two.

First, here’s the deal on the piada: It’s essentially a handheld (or, for us since we shared, a fork and knife) Italian burrito at Piaza Fresh (you can find different styles of piadas at different spots). Basically, for the Classic style, a tortilla-style thin flatbread is wrapped around spicy sauce with ricotta, meatballs, and Israeli couscous. Thick, juicy meatballs inside mingle well with the toothsome couscous. Our only advisory would be to get an extra order of the sauce – we loved it so much, we wished there was more inside.

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Steak salad was a win as well. Who doesn’t love steak that mingles with gorgonzola over greens and mushrooms and tomatoes? We might have liked the steak a tad more rare, but we’re picky when in comes to steak and for a fast-casual spot, this was far better than we expected. The salad and steak portions are generous, and the house dressing is something we wish to recreate at home. Also, the salad comes with a buttery herbed garlic bread piece that is worth fighting for.

By the time we left, the place was filled with firefighters, yogis from next door, and families. We were glad we snagged our table when we did.

Overall, Piaza Fresh is a win. And if you count in the no-corkage-fee, it should be on the top of the list for BYOB spots in Baltimore right now.

1606 Whetstone Way

Baltimore, MD 21230
phone: (410) 468-0800
fax: (410) 468-0801

“Corn & Oil” Verde – Canton, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Blackwell Jamaican Rum.
  • .75 oz. of housemade cordial (Verde’s version of Fernet)
  • .5 oz. of lime juice.
  • A couple of dashes of Angostura Bitters.

Drink Preparation:

  • Using a shaker add the ingredients in the order listed above.
  • Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously.
  • Strain cocktail into rocks glass.
  • Add ice.
  • Garnish with lime peel.
  • Cheers!

Stephen Lamb has worked in the industry for about 10 years in Baltimore. During those ten years he has developed an acumen of what alcohol works well and pleases the palate. His cocktails tend toward a sweet flavor profile.

The restaurant Verde is located in Canton in Baltimore City. Verde is a casual, upscale, full-service trattoria specializing in authentic Neapolitan pizza. Verde is developing a reputation for signature cocktails, so it is worth your time and effort to visit for both their food and the cocktails.

This is Verde’s version of “Corn & Oil”. it is a lighter version, by substituting Dark Rum for Black Strap Rum and adding a small amount of lime juice. This signature cocktail is a boozy, yet balanced, spicy and complex cocktail. Plus- it’s one of those cocktails that can sneak up on you.

“Art”fully Cruising in Charm City

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On a recent unseasonably mild July weeknight, we carted our coolers and collective snacks down the docks in Canton to board the 42 foot yacht “Howling at the Moon” for a sunset cruise aboard Art’s Cruises.

With more than 50 years of boating experience, Art Murray launched his Baltimore cruising business a few years ago, offering trips that last from 3 hours (spanning the local Baltimore scenery) to 3 or 4 days (as far as Kent Narrows, Chestertown, or Oxford). Since we all had to be up bright and early on Friday morning, we opted for the 3 hour tour (non-Gilligan style, I promise).

After setting out spreads on the kitchen’s granite countertops and the living-room-style-space’s coffee tables, (and filling the fridge with wine and brews, of course), we quickly got the lay of land… or boat, to be more precise.

On a brief tour, we departed the living room and kitchen space (sporting plenty of seating and an appropriately sized flat-screen) and checked out the two decks – one covered, one un-covered – as well as the 2 bedroom quarters, and we even got a handy how-to on the boat bathroom (this is important, people). We also learned that Art also keeps a grill on hand (Burgers on the bay? Yes, please!), and that there is wifi as well as iPod hookups, and plenty of heat options, were we cruising in the cooler months.

Before toasts with Prosecco could even be made on the wicker chairs on the stern, or the cushioned seats on the bow, motors were running and we departed.

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Our tour ran the gamut of Baltimore’s waterfront. All onboard were Baltimore natives or long-time residents who routinely dine and drink from the land with a view of the water. The inverse perspective, from water to land, is a rare opportunity, and one that should be wholly appreciated by locals and tourists alike. On a basic level, we appreciated seeing some changes to the Inner Harbor that we might not have otherwise seen (because locals don’t often visit there, right?) that sparked conversation. On a more historical level, we appreciated that Art could precisely point out spots like where Francis Scott Key sat while composing the Star Spangled Banner.

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We neared the bridge to watch sunset, then turned and returned slowly to the docks, beers and wine glasses in hand, chatting about a lot, but mainly about Baltimore. Our 3 hour tour actually turned into a bit more… and not only in terms of time, but appreciation and reflection, as well.

 

Thanks to Art for our cruise! If you’re looking for a different or unique night out for family or friend events, bachelor/bachelorette parties, book clubs, and other get-togethers, Art’s Cruises has affordable pricing with flexible schedules and locations. For about $50/person (depending on group size), guests on Howling at the Moon can experience a similar night to ours, or customize a trip. Check it out at: http://artscruises.com/.

“Sweet Fix” Bread & Circuses – Towson, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 3 strawberries
  • 2 dashes of simple syrup
  • Splash of rose water
  • .5 oz. of elderflower liqueur
  • Top off with Champagne

Drink Preparation:

  • Add strawberries and simple syrup to shaker, then muddle.
  • Add the rose water and elderflower liqueur to shaker.
  • Slowly add the Champagne.
  • Pour into Champagne flute.
  • Cheers!

Bread & Circuses is located in Towson, MD. Towson is the proud home of The Towson Tigers of Towson University. Towson University received national recognition this year on American Ninja Warrior via Kacy Catanzaro, a graduate and former gymnast of Towson University.

Bread & Circuses is surrounded by establishments that cater to the Towson students. That said, Bread & Circuses is a breath of fresh air in the area since it departs from the typical chicken wings and mozzarella sticks with its more elevated menu. Bread & Circuses has an extensive list of signature cocktails, and if you like Scotch, you will most definitely enjoy their selection.

This is a pretty simple cocktail to make and it’s just easy to consume, so watch yourself with this one. It has a sweet taste with some floral overtones to it. The strawberries and Champagne, of course, do their job of subduing the floral nature of the elderflower. This is a great cocktail for the summer, but with champagne it really is a cocktail for any season, that provides as good any excuse as any to imbibe.

Demi, our energetic and entertaining bartender from Bread & Circuses, decided to be original with her bio. So here it is:

After retiring from a stressful career as brain surgeon, Demi has plans to work for Sports Illustrated as a location scout and a part time model.

She certainly has a sense of humor.

Stop in to Bread and Circuses when you are in town. You will not be disappointed by any of their signature cocktails or bartenders.

“Mint Julep” Tark’s Grill – Lutherville, Md

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Drink Ingredients:

2.5 oz. of Makers Mark (or any bourbon of your choice)
.3 oz. of mint-infused simple syrup
.75 of cup of sugar
2 cups of freshly chopped mint
Drink Preparation:

  • First make Mint-infused simple syrup.
  • Take the mint and lay it out on a cutting board, then pour the sugar over it.
  • Using a dough roller to crush the sugar and mint together.
  • Now prepare a simple syrup using equal parts of water to sugar. Then add your mint, to your taste.
  • Add crushed ice to a highball glass.
  • Pour add the Mint Infused Simple Syrup and then the Bourbon.
  • Garnish with Mint Leaves.

Cheers!

 

This cocktail was made at Tark’s Grill, which is located in an area affectionately referred to as the “The Station.” So if you are from out of town, the formal name is Greenspring Station.

Tark’s is a favorite of many in the Lutherville area. On warm days and nights you can eat outside in the courtyard surrounded by flowers, bushes and a water fountain. What better way to woo your girl, than to dine outside with that ambiance? Inside there are three parts to the restaurant: the formal seating area, the bar with its own eating area and a private eating area. Tark’s Grill is modeled on the traditional American Bistro with an emphasis on succulent aged steaks and local seafood favorites.

Will Shriver our bartender in this video has been in the industry for seven years. Despite making a classic rather than a true signature cocktail for this video, Will does enjoy creating his own cocktails, and has a good ear to figure out what guests want, if they have something in mind.

“Mint Julep,” a cocktail known for its association with Triple Crown, is also a great summer cocktail, that is very refreshing, especially if you live in Baltimore with its humid evenings. Fresh mint combines with the smoky flavor of the bourbon and the mild sweet taste of the mint-infused simple syrup for a balanced beverage.

“Thoroughbred of Sin” Bar Liquorice – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. of Crater Lake Pepper Vodka
  • .5 oz. of Lime Juice
  • Top off with Gosling’s Ginger Beer

Drink Preparations:

  • Fill a beer mug with ice.
  • Add the ingredients listed above in the order listed.
  • Using a straw to friction the ice.
  • Garnish with Lime Slice.
  • Cheers!

Bar Liquorice… well what do I write that has already not been written? This place is a corner bar in Federal Hill, that does not feel like your corner bar. Everything about it is well done and the detail put into everything from the ambiance, cocktails and food lets you know every dollar is well spent. Shaun who serves the cocktails, also creates them as well, along with many of the ingredients he uses. Jeff Cahill, owner and chef, takes great pride in the service, ambiance and food served. There is not one detail that is missed.

This signature cocktail was perfect for the Belmont, and beyond. It has a little bite from the Crater Lake Pepper Vodka, that follows up with the robust, spicy taste of Gosling’s Ginger Beer and finishes the drink off by bringing the cocktail to a smooth finish.

Bikes and Beers Baltimore – June 20th

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Stock photo bike ride

We’re hard-pressed to think of a better way to kick off the official start to summer than a morning ride through Charm City by bike followed by an afternoon of local brews, bands and food truck noshes.

Sponsored by Union Craft Brewing Company and Heavy Seas Alehouse (as well as the Cycle Mill and Aviation Velo Bike Shop), the 15 mile round trip ride begins at 9:30 (for the earliest risers). There are also start times of 10, 10:30, and 11 am, with all riders headed to Heavy Seas Alehouse where two 5 oz beers created specifically for the event can be sampled before heading back to Union Craft. The predetermined route which runs through areas including Penn Station, the Maryland Zoo, Fell’s Point and Little Italy can be accessed here.

Once back at Union Craft, riders can re-hydrate with some more suds (one Union Craft pint is included) and partake in the post-pedaling festival with games, live music and food trucks. Registration also includes a raffle ticket for prizes like new bikes and restaurant gift cards.

Proceeds support the advocacy efforts of Bikemore and Bike MD for better safety and infrastructure for bike riding in Baltimore.

Learn more and sign up at: http://www.bikesandbeers.org/map–event-info.html.

 

 

 

“Black Eyed Susan” Tark’s Grill – Lutherville, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Grey Goose Vodka (or your choice)
  • .5 oz. of St. Germain Liqueur
  • 2 oz. of Pineapple Juice
  • .25 oz. of Fresh Lime Juice
  • .75 oz. of Fresh Orange Juice

Drink Preparation:

  • Set aside a collins glass with ice.
  • Fill a pint glass with ice.
  • Add the ingredients above in the order listed.
  • With a shaker, shake well to make cocktail frothy.
  • Pour into collins glass.
  • Garnish with an orange wedge.
  • Cheers!

This cocktail was made at Tark’s Grill, which is located in an area affectionately called “The Station.” So if you are from out of town, it is Greenspring Station. Tark’s is a favorite of many in the Lutherville area. On warm days and nights you can eat outside in the courtyard surrounded by flowers and bushes with a water fountain. What better way to woo your girl? Inside there are three parts to the restaurant, the formal seating area, bar with its own tables and a private area. 

Will Shriver, our bartender in this video, has been in the industry for 7 years. Despite that today’s drink isn’t a signature selection, Will does enjoy creating his own cocktails, and has a good ear to figure out what the customer wants.

“Black Eyed Susan” is close to the Mai Tai and Orange Crush families. It’s a perfect cocktail for this time of year with its fruit blends and the alcohol subduing the fruit and adding a little life. A very refreshing cocktail, this is the official cocktail of The Preakness.

“Grim Fandango” Bar Liquorice – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Death’s Door White Whiskey
  • .75 oz. of Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liquor
  • .75 oz. of Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 oz. of Simple Syrup

Drink Preparation:

  • Fill an old fashioned glass with ice.
  • Fill a pint glass with ice (also referred to as a mixing glass).
  • Add the ingredients above – in the order they are listed – to the pint glass.
  • Using a shaker and the pint glass, give the cocktail a good shake.
  • Strain into the old fashioned glass.
  • Garnish with salted lime wedge.
  • Cheers!

 

Bar Liquorice… What do I write that has already not been written?

This place is a corner bar in Federal Hill that does not feel like your typical corner bar. Everything about it is well done, and the detail put into everything from the ambiance and cocktails to the food lets you know every dollar is well spent here.

Shaun, who serves the drinks, is also the creator of the cocktails and many of their ingredients. Jeff Cahill, the owner and chef, takes great pride in the service, ambiance and food served. There is not one detail that is missed.

Free Meals for First Responders

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Baltimore restaurants are showing support for police, fire, national guard, and EMS workers by offering free meals today, and throughout the curfew. We’ll be adding to the list as we hear about more – tweet us, find us on Facebook, or comment to fill us in on other spots offering similar deals as well!

Blue Moon Cafe

Family Meal

Pastore’s Rosedale

Smaltimore

Costas Inn

Firehouse Tavern

Amicci’s

Ropewalk Tavern

Jimmy’s Famous Seafood

 

“Whole Lot of GD Bacon Going On” Ouzo Bay – Baltimore, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • .75 oz. of bacon infused maple syrup
  • 2 oz. of bacon infused George Dickel Rye Whiskey
  • 2 dashes of Regan’s orange bitters

Drink Preparations:

  • Set ice in coupe glass to chill the glass.
  • Add the ingredients listed above to a mixing glass. If you do not have one, a pint glass will suffice.
  • Add ice to the ingredients and stir using a bar spoon.
  • Empty ice from coupe glass and double strain cocktail into the glass.
  • Garnish with nutmeg orange espuma (I’ll explain how to make it).
  • Then garnish the nutmeg orange espuma with bacon powder and grated nutmeg.
  • Cheers!

Side note: To make the bacon powder/grated nutmeg mix one cup of bacon fat with maltodextrin to make the bacon powder. Then place equal parts of bacon powder and grated nutmeg into a shaker.

Espuma: 800 ml of milk, 4 egg yolks, 50 gm of sugar, 1.5 oz. of the bacon infused whiskey, zest of half an orange, gratings of one whole nutmeg, 4 gm of Xantham gum, 3 gm of versa whip.

Bacon Infused Maple Syrup

  • 1 packed cup of 1/4-inch diced bacon
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup water

Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Deglaze the pan with the water and maple syrup and reduce until two cups remain. Strain and dispose of bacon and return syrup to a small saucepan. Whisk over high heat for 3-4 minutes, until syrup thickens. Allow the syrup to cool to prevent the fat from separating and whisk occasionally. Refrigerate to make syrup thicker. When ready to use bring to room temperature.

Bacon infused George Dickel Whiskey: Ingredients 750 ml bottle of Whiskey, a couple of jars, 3 to 4 pieces of bacon, coffee filters, and a funnel.

Process: Cook the bacon until crisp and retain the fat. When the bacon has cooled a bit pour 1 ounce of fat from the pan. Pour the whiskey into a jar (or any container). Strain bacon fat into said container and infuse for 4-6 hours at room temperature. Place mixture in freezer until the fat is solidified. Using a funnel and coffee filters pour bacon whiskey to catch fat. Change the filters when necessary. After this is complete filter one more time for clearness.

This cocktail is a fine balance of bacon, rye, maple, nutmeg and orange flavors.

Ouzo Bay is located in Harbor East, a great little area of shops, restaurants and hotels. Ouzo Bay specializes in Greek cuisine and an assortment of signature cocktails that should suit everyone’s taste. They go that extra mile by serving you an after dinner cocktail because? It’s Ouzo, of course.

William Escalante is the head bartender at Ouzo Bay and obviously enjoys his trade by adding a little flair to his service. This is not the first time we have seen Will behind the bar. He has participated in a wonderful annual event for Cystic Fibrosis, Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis. This event features some of the finest bartenders in Baltimore, so you are pretty much guaranteed a great cocktail from William. This year William won Best Cocktail with this cocktail at Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis.

Sing Away Your Sorrows On Tax Day!

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If you have to pay Uncle Sam this year, you might appreciate a free meal.

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore is here to help. On April 15 from 5-7 pm, pop into Hard Rock and sing a song in front of the restaurant and get awarded with a free meal from their Legendary™ Burger menu – including vegetarian options.

Comment here, and let us know what songs you think would be perfect to serenade on Tax Day!

 

Opening Day Celebrations and Specials

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Orioles’ Opening Day might as well be an official holiday in Baltimore (don’t you agree, Mayor SRB?) and who wants to miss out on any of the fun by being stuck at, you know, work? Instead, don your boldest orange attire and get out there to celebrate the true start of spring – Baltimore baseball season.

Here’s a list of some our favorite picks (from classy to dive) for pre- and post- game parties, or where to sidle up to a seat (if you’re an early bird to the bar) to watch the 3:05 game on Friday. Go O’s!

B&O American Brasserie: “Beef & Bohs.” For $5 guests can enjoy beef sliders and a Natty Boh.

Leinenkugel’s Beer Garden: Pre-game at Power Plant in Leinie’s Beer Garden with $3 Miller Lite drafts, $20 Miller Lite Beer Towers, and $1 Ballpark dogs. Stay for game-watching, as well.

Alewife: Starting at 10 am, these guys will be pouring discounted pints of Full Tilt, Flying Dog, and Brewer’s Art beers.

Rusty Scupper: Specials from 11 – 7 pm and a free shuttle to the game are on tap at this Charm City seafood spot. Drink specials: $3 16 oz Natty Boh Cans, $5.50 house wine, $3.50 Yuengling, $5 O’s Orange Crush. Food Specials: $3 Old Bay chips, $7 crab and artichoke dip, $6 popcorn fried shrimp, $7 1/2 lb black angus burger, $7 pepper parmesan calamari, $6 mussels marinara, $6 plum ginger bbq ribs.

Lighthouse Tavern: $2.50 Bohs during all games and $4 Home Run Fireball shots are available at this corner joint just off the Square in Canton.

Pratt Street Alehouse: Party on Pratt Street before, during, or after the game and enjoy Oliver Brewing Company‘s annual ‘Balls To The Wall’ – Opening Day IPA (a special annual brew), outside grille, outside bars, a live broadcast by Maynard and 100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station, and live music by Rob Fahey.

Horseshoe Casino: Live music will be on hand for the party to be jointly hosted with 98 Rock outside of the casino. $40 ($50 at the door) will get you all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink as well as parking and shuttle service.

Keep checking back as we’ll continue to expand our list as the week continues. Please comment and let us know your favorite Opening Day spot!

*Photo Credit: Rusty Scupper

April 8th – To Do: Cigar and Rum Pairing at Wit and Wisdom

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Make Wednesday worthwhile with a visit to Wit and Wisdom for cigars and rum.

Wit and Wisdom at Baltimore’s Four Seasons Hotel is hosting its inaugural cigar and rum tasting experience Wednesday, April 8. Attendees will have the chance to learn about various cigar profiles and the intricacies of rolling a cigar as well as the art of pairing rum with those taste profiles.

Craig Martin of QG, a downtown barbershop and department store catering to men’s services, and Alec Rubiera of Ashton Cigars will be on hand to greet guests upon arrival.  Martin will cover the basics and etiquette of cigars as well as fundamentals of cutting, smoking and disposal. Rubiera will guide guests through identification of flavor profiles.

Next Aaron Joseph, Wit and Wisdom’s lead bartender will instruct guests on how to create the perfect rum pairings for cigar profiles.

All guests will receive a welcome daiquiri, two cigars, two cocktails, light snacks and a departing swag bag with special treats from QG and Ashton’s as well as Wit & Wisdom’s talented executive pastry chef, Dyan Ng.

The knowledge of the night needn’t end there. Wit and Wisdom plans to expand its current cigar selection to include “more flavor profiles for diners to enjoy at Wit on the Water in the future,” opening the invitation for return visits to sip and smoke.

Details

Time: 5 – 8 pm

Cost: $85 pp plus tax (gratuity included)

Reservations can be made by calling (410) 223-1464 or emailingShannon.Toback@fourseasons.com

“Papa’s Old Fashioned” Bread & Circuses – Towson, MD

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Drink Ingredients

  • 2.5 oz. Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Orange slice
  • Raw sugar
  • Cherry

Drink Preparation:

  • Add the raw sugar, orange slice and cherry to the Old Fashioned Glass.
  • Muddle the above ingredients.
  • Add the 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and muddle again.
  • Add the 2.5 oz. of Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum and muddle.
  • Take orange slice out and pour into another Old Fashioned Glass filled with ice.
  • Cheers!

 

Bread & Circuses is located in Towson, MD. Towson is the proud home of The Towson Tigers of Towson University. Towson University just received national recognition when Kacy Catanzaro, a graduate and former gymnast of Towson University, competed on American Ninja Warrior.

Bread & Circuses is surrounded by establishments that cater to the Towson students so Bread & Circuses is a breath of fresh air in Towson, since it serves up more elevated cuisine than the typical chicken wings and mozzarella sticks. Bread & Circuses has an extensive list of signature cocktails and if you like Scotch, you are sure to enjoy their Scotch selection.

This signature cocktail would make Ernest Hemingway proud, considering the the Rum used was made in his honor. The taste of the rum with its hints of bourbon, cinnamon and almonds blending with the muddled orange slice, sugar, cherry and bitters, gives this cocktail a smooth and mildly sweet taste. It is a dangerous cocktail as it is very easy to drink.

Maya Mehta has been bartending at Bread and Circuses for three years. Fortunately she has returned from her brief hiatus (for a trip to Fiji) so look for more of her videos, soon.

“Peychaud’s Apothecary” Bread & Circuses – Towson, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Remy Martin Cognac
  • Absinthe rinse
  • Couple of dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
  • 2 sugar cubes or 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Orange zest

Drink Preparation:

  • Spray Old Fashioned Glass with Absinthe rinse.
  • Muddle 2 sugar cubes or the 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Add 1.5 oz. of Remy Martin Cognac.
  • Add orange zest to the glass.
  • Add ice to the glass.
  • Add a couple of dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters.
  • Stir cocktail.
  • Cheers!

Bread & Circuses is located in Towson, MD. Towson is the proud home of The Towson Tigers of Towson University. Towson University just received national recognition when Kacy Catanzaro, a graduate and former gymnast of Towson University, competed on American Ninja Warrior. Bread & Circuses is surrounded by establishments that cater to the Towson students. However, Bread & Circuses is a breath of fresh air in Towson, since it serves more elevated cuisine than the typical chicken wings and mozzarella sticks of most other local joints. Bread & Circuses has an extensive list of Signature Cocktails and if you like Scotch, you will enjoy their Scotch selection.

This signature cocktail is a complex one that will be enjoyed by those with experienced palates. The primary ingredient, the Remy Martin Cognac, lends a sweetness to the drink while the Peychaud’s Bitters brings spicy notes, all complemented by the Absinthe Rinse.

Maya Mehta has been bartending at Bread and Circuses for three years. Fortunately she has returned from a brief hiatus (for a trip to Fiji), so look for more of her videos soon.

“Citrus Berry Blast” Anastasia – Fells Point, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Van Gogh Mango Vodka
  • Splash of raspberry-cherry reduction
  • 1 oz. sour mix
  • 1 oz. cranberry juice
  • Splash of Red Bull
  • Garnish with lemon and blackberry

Drink Preparation:

  • Add ice to the Hurricane glass.
  • Add the above ingredients except the Red Bull to the Hurricane glass.
  • Pour the ingredients from the Hurricane glass into a shaker and shake.
  • Pour back into Hurricane glass.
  • Add a splash of Red Bull.
  • Garnish with Lemon and Blackberry.
  • Cheers!

Note: A reduction is synonymous with simple syrup.

At Anastasia you will find simple, yet elegant Italian fare served while listening to the beats of Europe’s thriving dance scene. Find rare, imported craft Italian beers on tap, fabulous regional Italian wines on the list, and specialty cocktails inspired by exotic Italian fruits, like Sicilian Blood Oranges, crafted by Baltimore’s Best Bartender. But it doesn’t end there – late night, dancing to the music of a live DJ ensues. Prints of Italian icons like Gia, Brando, Sophia Loren, Ferrari and Ducat bedeck the walls.

Our bartender in this video and creator of this cocktail is Carmen Motto. Carmen has been in the industry for over 15 years. She won the distinguished award of Best Bartender in Baltimore two years in a row so one should expect she knows what she is doing. You will enjoy her company as well – she is very entertaining behind the bar. This signature cocktail has an initial sweet taste from the Raspberry – Cherry Reduction followed by a kick from the Red Bull and the mix of the Mango Vodka.

 

 

“Bangkok Boat Ride” Fork & Wrench – Canton,MD

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Bangkok Boatride 4 Final

Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Prairie Organic Vodka
  • 1 oz. of Thai Basil Chili syrup
  • .5 oz. of lime juice
  • 1 oz. of Ginger Beer (Fever Tree)
  • 1/8th oz. of Xilli Tequila
  • Top with soda water
  • Garnish with lime wedge.

Drink Preparation:

  • Using a Collins glass, add all of the ingredients in the order listed above except the soda water.
  • Add ice to the cocktail.
  • Top off with soda water.
  • Garnish with lime wedge.
  • Cheers!

Side Note: How to Make Thai Basil Chili Pepper Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 Thai basil leaves, torn
    3 Thai chili peppers, sliced.
  • Preparation:
    • Add 1 cup of water and the sugar to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring often until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from heat and add the basil leaves and chili pepper. Let cool for 30 minutes.
    • Strain the syrup and discard the basil and chili peppers.

 

This signature cocktail is created by Ian Clark of Fork and Wrench in Baltimore, MD. Ian has had several cocktails on our site so be sure to look those up as well. Ian is very creative behind the bar, very knowledgeable about alcohol, and his love of photography is demonstrated in how visually appealing his cocktails are.

This signature cocktail has a sweet and spicy taste from the blends of vodka, thai basil chili pepper syrup, lime juice, ginger beer and the tequila. The drink is blended so well that you forget that you are drinking alcohol. However, the bite from the Chili Syrup, which is cooled off by the lime juice reminds you that you are having a cocktail. This signature cocktail is one that may be enjoyed any time of the year.

“Chicago SkyLine” Birroteca – Clipper Mill, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka
  • .5 oz. Letherbee Besk Absinthe
  • .5 oz. Rudy’s Tonic Syrup
  • .5 oz. lime juice
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • Splash of soda water

Drink Preparation:

  • Using a shaker add the mint leaves.
  • Then add rest of the ingredients in the order listed above except the soda water.
  • Add ice to shaker and shake.
  • Pour into Collins glass.
  • Top it off with some soda water.
  • Garnish with fresh cranberries.
  • Cheers!

Birroteca is a cool restaurant located in Baltimore. It has a unique location in an old industrial area of Baltimore called Clipper Mill.

Birroteca is known for its artisan pizza and Italian cuisine – it is worth the visit.

Nick Ramey, who is in the video, uses the same creativity in his cocktails that he uses in ceramic arts. Nick has been in several videos already, so be sure try those as well.  

Nick is the creator of this delicious signature cocktail and many of the other cocktails you will find at Birroteca. Like many of the bartenders we work with, his knowledge of the different brands of alcohol and how they mix with other ingredients is extensive. You are pretty much guaranteed to get a quality cocktail, every time.

This signature cocktail is a refreshing and fruity cocktail with a bitter herbaceous twist. Perfect for sitting by the fire, there are many opportunities these days, to enjoy this cocktail.

“Hail Mary” Anastasia – Fells Point, MD

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Drink Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. of Jack Daniels
  • 2 oz. of sour mix
  • Topped off with Twisted Tea

Drink Preparation:

  • Add ingredients to a hurricane glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel and orange half – moon.
  • Cheers!

At Anastasia you will find simple, yet elegant Italian fare served while listening to the beats of Europe’s thriving dance scene. Rare, imported craft Italian beers  are on tap, fabulous regional Italian wines are poured, and specialty cocktails inspired by exotic Italian fruits, like Sicilian Blood Oranges, are crafted by Baltimore’s best bartender. But it doesn’t end there – late night, dancing to the music of a live Dj ensues after 10. Prints of Italian icons like Gia, Brando, Sophia Loren, Ferrari and Ducat adorn the walls.

Our bartender in this video is the creator of this cocktail is Carmen Motto. Carmen has been in the industry for over 15 years. She won the distinguished award of Best Bartender in Baltimore two years in a row, so one should expect she knows what she is doing! You will enjoy her company as much as your drink – she is very entertaining behind the bar.

“No Pressure” Verde – Canton, MD

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No Pressure Final (a)

Drink Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. of Dimmi Liquore di Milano
  • .5 oz. of Opal Bianca Sambuca (of course if you can’t get Opal Bianca Sambuca, any Sambuca will do)
  • .5 oz. of House Rhubarb Bitters (for those who don’t feel like making bitters, Fee Brothers and Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters carries Rhubarb Bitters)
  • .5 oz. of fresh tangerine juice
  • .5 oz. of fresh lemon juice

Drink Preparation:

  • Add all of the ingredients in the order listed above to a shaker.
  • Add ice to shaker and stir.
  • Strain into Cocktail Glass.
  • Garnish with orange half – moon.
  • Cheers!

 

Stephen Lamb has worked in the industry for about 10 years in Baltimore. During those ten years he has developed an acumen of what alcohol works well and pleases the palate.  His cocktails tend toward a sweet flavor profile.

The restaurant Verde is located in Canton in Baltimore City. Verde is casual, upscale, full-service trattoria specializing in authentic Neapolitan pizza. Verde is developing a reputation for Signature cocktails, so it is worth your time and effort to visit for their food and cocktails.

The Dimmi Liquore di Milano gives this Signature Cocktail a crisp and sweet taste. There are hints of Rhubarb with a strong anise component. You will find yourself having more than one.

 

A Super Kind of Bowl

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Well, we’ve reached the end of the 2014 NFL season.  The Super Bowl is, of course, the conclusion of any given football season.  After two weeks of long press conferences, interviews, articles, Vegas odds, etc, we finally get a game to watch.

On Sunday, we’ll see, of course, the Seattle Seahawks defend their title against the New England Patriots, two teams who have been quite dominant for most of the season in their capacities.

The Patriots have once again shown a strong offense during the regular and post season.  They’ve set a record for most points scored in 2007, and were the leaders in scoring in 2011.  Both of those years led to Super Bowl berths (and losses to the Giants each time).  This time, they’ve had a respectable scoring average per game, ranking 4th in the league.  Their scoring hasn’t slowed down in the playoffs so far, but then again it didn’t slow down much in the previous Super Bowl runs either.  However, their opponent has had the top scoring defense.

The Seahawks have either set new highs or started new streaks with their defense.  It is the second year in a row that they’ve been ranked #1 in defensive yards allowed.  Such a feat hasn’t been accomplished since the 1985-86 Chicago Bears.  They also are the first team to return to the Super Bowl following a victory since the 2003-04 Patriots.  I’m sure there’s some statistic somewhere that will be pulled if the Seahawks get a second straight SB victory over the previous team to do such a thing.

Although there hasn’t been much attention paid to this tidbit, still Russell Wilson is only the second African American quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl and he’s close to winning his second.  There was a lot of speculation on whether Donovan McNabb would be the 2nd such athlete when he was in the 2004 season Super Bowl.  Same can kind of be said for the 2012 season’s SB with Colin Kaepernick leading the 49ers.  So I’m somewhat surprised there hasn’t been a national story or two about this bit of history.  Then again, I’m somewhat happy that there hasn’t been a need for such a story and Wilson is his own person, not characterized by his appearance for who he is.

Just about all major media stories have, of course, been surrounding the Patriots and yet another team-wide scandal!  I’m sure you’re well versed in the happenings related to the AFC Championship game, but if you’re not, the NFL discovered 11 of the 12 game balls used by the Patriots in the first half were well deflated.  This gives a lot of benefits to whomever uses the balls, as they’re easier to catch despite the pouring rain that engulfed the contest.  While one may ask why there’s no action being taken against Belicheck and the Patriots, one may also already know the answer:

The Super Bowl is so big that for years the event has been considered an unofficial holiday.  A large majority of the U.S. will be sitting somewhere in front of a television set for 3+ hours watching this game.  The slotting for advertisements is notoriously expensive, with prices costing millions of dollars for 30 seconds of airtime.  Whatever locale is hosting a Super Bowl has to house the thousands of people & media members who will spend a significant amount of time spending money in their area.  Money is flowing so much at this time of year that, guaranteed, you’ll see noticeable changes on Wall Street Monday morning.

Money is also flowing in for football enthusiasts’ local cities and towns.  Everyone is encouraged to prepare for the big game, from getting food to getting a brand new flat screen to watch it.  This is all obvious stuff, of course, that you’re already aware of happening around you.  And, of course, I have purposefully been writing “of course” in this piece a lot.  Why?

Because of course you should know the NFL won’t make decisions on the Patriots until after the big game.  Of course you know that it means the difference in hundreds of millions of dollars if Patriots fans & casual fans can have reasonable doubt for Brady’s team.  Of course we here in Baltimore and out in Indianapolis would have preferred an elimination game between both teams to have one of us in the Super Bowl instead of the Patriots.  Of course we knew the petition for such a game wouldn’t have worked.  Of course we know that #DeflateGate has distracted from a multitude of issues that the NFL personnel would likely have to give answers to during the media interviews.

And, of course there can be serious long term effects in the NFL if the Super Bowl suddenly becomes less watchable.  Who would want to watch a Super Bowl where a known cheating team could very well have been decided the winner before it starts?  Why have favorite teams if they aren’t the chosen few to win Super Bowls in any given year?  Why watch the Bills games or buy season tickets to the Jaguars games if those teams are destined never to win the Super Bowl unless they’re allowed to cheat very hard?  What use is watching networks like ESPN when the sports highlights they show seem manufactured and not authentic?

The Super Bowl matchup between the Patriots and Seahawks must happen since they both did win their respective championship games.  There’s no guarantee the Patriots would have lost if all of their balls were properly inflated.  There’s no guarantee the Patriots would have lost to the Ravens if they didn’t use four-offensive linemen formations with a hurry up offense.  So as far as we’re concerned, they did win the AFC Championship and have earned a Super Bowl entry.

For Sunday’s game (6:30pm NBC), there are three things I’m considering: 1) I want the Seahawks to win. 2) I have a good feeling the Seahawks will win. 3) The NFL will benefit the best if the Seahawks do win, as then the public won’t be as concerned over the “Deflate Gate” debacle.  They can issue a penalty to New England with far less watchful eyes from the mainstream media if that happens.

Of course, just because I’m going to root for the Seahawks in this game doesn’t mean you have to.  Enjoy the game for what it is, the Super Bowl – generally the most exciting and one of the top games played of the whole NFL season.  Just relax, be with friends, family, strangers at a bar, whomever you wish.

Enjoy the game and best of luck to the Ravens next year!

-CW

“Belle de Jour” Red Maple – Baltimore, MD

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Belle de Jour Final (a)

Drink Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz. of Belle Meade Bourbon
  • .5 oz. Mata Hari Absinthe
  • Several dashes of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
  • .25 oz. of agave
  • Orange twist

Drink Preparation:

  • Add bourbon, absinthe and agave to shaker with ice.
  • Shake and pour into rocks glass.
  • Add several dashes of orange bitters.
  • Add the orange twist and then run around the rim of the glass.
  • Garnish with orange twist.
  • Cheers!

Cliff Harris is our bartender in this video from Red Maple. Those of you who have been to our site before may recognize Cliff from Tapas Adela. So if you would like to see other cocktails he has done, you can check them out by doing a search for Cliff.  The cocktail that Cliff has made here has a smooth forward taste of honey, followed by a slight bite from the absinthe.

Red Maple is located in the Mt. Vernon area of Baltimore it is known for its tapas plates with global influences; it has received many accolades for its cuisine as well its ambiance. Red Maple offers many different environments for you to enjoy including the Fireside Lounge, Rainbow Room, Garden Terrace and the dance floor. Red Maple also offers Salsa dancing every Tuesday night from 9:30 pm until close and Salsa dancing lessons(free) every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Ask for Martina Miller for more information about the Salsa evenings.

 

Chef Cyrus Keefer Has “Piqued” Our Interest With His Recent Pop Up Dinner

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Whether at Fork and Wrench or Birroteca here in Baltimore, or at Nage or Redfin in Rehoboth Beach, Chef Cyrus Keefer consistently wows diners with his innovative cooking techniques, creative use of ingredients, and stylish plate presentation, leaving no one to wonder why he has received such honors as local People’s Choice nominations and an invitation to prepare a meal showcasing the cuisine of the Chesapeake at the notable James Beard House in 2013.

On Thursday, January 22, Keefer continued his trend of preparing upscale crowd pleasing cuisine (alongside the likes of Jonah Kim and Riccardo Bosio) at his pop up dinner hosted by Sotto Sopra.

Intended to showcase the flavors and ingredients of his up and coming Hampden restaurant PIQUE (hopefully opening in the spring of this year – read on to find how you can help), the six course menu featured seafood, pork, duck and vegetables all prepared with Chef Keefer’s signature French-Asian flare.

We were fortunate enough to secure some tickets to the sold out event, the goal of which was also to publicize Keefer’s Kickstarter campaign to help with the costs of opening PIQUE.

Upscale bites during cocktail hour included an elegant steak tartare with a black garlic gribiche (served, literally, on a silver spoon), some standout chicken liver tacos with chipotle, cured lime, and mesquite butter, and the escargot buns that Keefer is known for, featuring a soft bun encasing the earthy escargot and truffle butter.

If the hors d’oeuvres were described, rightfully, as pleasantly decadent, the six courses to follow were artfully restrained, showcasing Keefer’s ability to prepare and plate elevated ingredients without pretense.

The first course featured pork belly wrapped in a dumpling with a whiskey vinegar sauce that added a bite to the dish, and a crema that balanced the sauce for the perfect bite.

Insalada Bianca followed. A creamy base of lightly spiced mascarpone was bedecked with pickled mushrooms, bits of cauliflower, and cipollini onion.

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The favorite of our table, and of many around us, was the tender octopus in the third course. Sizable chunks of octopus swam in a light citrusy sauce with green curry and pickled coriander, tomatillos, and coconut poached potatoes.

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A warm egg custard with marinated tomato and olives was absolutely gorgeous, though possibly the least successful of the dishes due to heavy smokiness from the olive oil. That said, we’ve experienced other very similar dishes from Keefer (most recently during his brief return to Bandito’s where his custard featured on a Wednesday small plates menu was to die for). So while this execution may have been a bit overpowering for us, the concept itself has the potential to be a winner.

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For what we thought was the final course, duck pot au feu showcased juicy strips of duck with an absolutely perfectly cooked soft boiled egg all atop greens (including thai basil), roast turnips, and a complex sauce featuring black garlic and ginger.

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Chef Keefer never fails to surprise, and in doing so on this evening, he treated guests to an extra course. Created by pastry chef Rebecca Hummer, the sixth course brought salted caramel lined bowls that were topped with small toothsome spice cakes for a finale that was just enough to satiate a sweet tooth.

Overall, if Keefer’s goal was to whet Charm City’s appetite for his new venture, this event was an overriding success.

Like what you see and want to get in on the action? Head over to Chef Keefer’s pop up in the private kitchen at Food Market, February 11 – 13th. A variety of small plates will be featured for a fixed cost of $60 per person. Reservations are highly suggested as limited seats are available. Call 410-366-0606.

And, consider popping over to his Kickstarter campaign to learn more and donate a few dollars to help Chef Keefer realize his dream of opening a restaurant… and ours of eating there! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1584030908/pique

 

Photo Credit: Dara Bunjon of Dara Does It