The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

World Renowned Jazz Pianist in Baltimore for 1 Night Only

 Peter Beets, World-Renowned Pianist
“Chopin meets the Blues”
Sotto Sopra Restaurant - 405 N. Charles Street - Baltimore, MD 21201
Wednesday, June 28th
Open Reservations: from 6 pm to 9 pm
410 625 0534
 $10 cover charge per person plus dinner reservations -ala carte menu

It is with great pleasure that Sotto Sopra announces the internationally-acclaimed jazz pianist Peter Beets will be back performing at their restaurant on Wednesday, June 28th from 6 pm to 9 pm when he returns to touring in the United States.  Beets wowed our guests back in March and so enjoyed the intimacy of playing our dining room, he has agreed to play for you once again. 

 Beets is regularly featured at major concert venues and international jazz festivals.

The Dutch-born pianist will be playing limited engagement concerts in the US, on the East Coast: New York, Philadelphia and in Baltimore at Sotto Sopra. The theme will be "Chopin meets the Blues," a take on his album, Chopin meets the Blues Live.

Sotto Sopra will be serving our regular ala carte dinner menu and offering open seating between 6 pm to 9 pm. There will be a $10 cover charge per person along plus dinner from our ala carte menu. Seating is limited to 100 guests for the evening.
Listen to Peter Beets
Facebook: @PeterBeetsNL  Twitter: @PeterBeets
Cost per Person:  $10 cover charge per person plus entree order from our ala carte menu
Reservations required: (410) 625-0534
Sotto Sopra Restaurant - 405 N. Charles Street - Baltimore, MD  21201
(410) 625-0534

Link to Event Web Page

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Adult vacation playground: Virginia

For a couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to focus on writing my story about a recent trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, finding a focal point.  First, Virginia is core to our American History, over 400 years since the landing of the first English colony, Jamestown, and of course historic Colonial Williamsburg, where one steps back in time to what life was like in the days of yore. Virginia is steeped in the roots of America’s history. 

Virginia boasts an ever growing aquaculture, the largest producer of oysters on the East Coast.  Oyster lovers can indulge by following the Virginia Oyster Trail to 8 distinct locations throughout the state.  As aquaculture grows, so does the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ekiben: Don't leave Baltimore before trying their Asian fusion fare

The word “ekiben” loosely translates as a boxed meal sold at railway food stalls in Japan to passengers for their journey. The proprietors of Ekiben on Eastern Avenue are three college buddies who created a steamed bun phenomenon, selling their Asian fusion mashup fare at the local farmers market, and now at their own restaurant. 

Read my review at  - 10 Hot Spots for Dining in Baltimore

Friday, June 09, 2017

Potato Masala Recipe: National herb and spice day - Saturday June 10th

Your Dining Dish will be on Channel 45 WBFF at approximately 9:50 a.m, Saturday, June 10th  talking about National Herb and Spice Day.  I will be sharing spice and herb hacks along with preparing the potato masala recipe.  

Potato Masala

6 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Garlic powder to taste
10 curry leaves (not available use a teaspoon of madras curry)
24 oz. boiled waxy potatoes, cubed
Green chili, cut into small pieces
Add salt to taste
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. red chili powder
Cilantro, chopped fine

Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let crackle. After cumin seeds start to crackle, add garlic powder and curry leaves. Add potatoes while ingredients crackle in pan. Lower heat to simmer and add green chili, salt, sugar, red chili powder and chopped cilantro. Mix well and cover for 3-5 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and serve!

I crave Indian food from time-to-time but don't have the time to do it right, grind the spices fresh, or don't have all the ingredients...for a "quick Indian food fix" I eat the Tandoor Chef frozen dinner products found here in Baltimore at Whole Foods and Safeway. 

Watch the cooking demonstration on Fox 45 Baltimore: Cooking Segment

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Feastival is back: Come hungry

Benefitting Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, this waterfront food and drink walkabout is my charity event pick for June.
Enjoy the waterfront view at the Four Seasons Hotel Promenade on Saturday, June 17th from noon to 4 p.m. as you indulge in culinary delights from restaurants  like Wit & Wisdom, Gnocco, Cask & Grain, Minnow, La Food Marketa, Center Cut Doughnuts, Modern Cook Shop, Loch Bar, Clavel, Azumi, Gunther & Co., Hersh’s, Blue Pit BBQ,and more!

Feastival, Date: June 17, 2017 - Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Harbor East’s Waterfront Promenade (Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore) - 200 International Drive, Baltimore, MD 21202
Tickets: $125 or Two for $200 
Purchase tickets at the event website:
Instagram @Feastivalbaltimore

Friday, June 02, 2017

Hot top 10 restaurants in Baltimore: Cosima

You will never go wrong seeking out Cosima, the Sicilian based cuisine restaurant. Executive chef Donna Crivello's vision is inspired by her Italian grandmother. Check out my review on where they have already been put in the top ten Baltimore restaurants as well as top al fresco dining.  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hot Club of Baltimore back by popular demand at Sotto Sopra Restaurant

Sotto Sopra Restaurant is on fire with their live entertainment for the month of June, especially for jazz lovers.

The Hot Club of Baltimore, a gypsy jazz group specializing in the vast repertoire of vintage jazz including early swing, musette waltzes, bebop and French standards from the 30’s and 40’s.  Along with the musicians, Ethan Philion, Michael Joseph Harris and Sami Arefin, you will be treated to their song stylings from the young chanteuse Alexis Tantau who will mesmerize you with her authentic treatment of songs from Edith Piaf to Ella Fitzgerald

Hot Club of Baltimore thrilled Sotto Sopra's 21st Anniversary Party crowd back in April and they are excited to have them in on this Sunday evening to entertain you once again with their gypsy jazz and renditions of tunes both old and new.   

Hot Club of Baltimore with chanteuse Alexis Tantau
Sunday, June 11th
6 pm to 9 pm – open reservations
$10 cover plus dinner reservations / ala carte menu

Sotto Sopra Restaurant – 405 N. Charles Street – Baltimore, MD  21201  410 625-0534

Friday, May 26, 2017

Broadway Night at Sotto Sopra: Join in the sounds of music

Sotto Sopra Restaurant at 405 N. Charles Street is turning Mt. Vernon into their own Great White Way with their Broadway Night on Sunday, June 4th starting at 6 p.m.  Featured performers from the Baltimore Men’s Chorus (BMC); Cole Reilly, Nathan “Brad” Bradley, and Stephen McMahon will breathe life into popular Broadway Musical songbooks

Sotto Sopra is encouraging attendees to come dressed as anyone of their favorite Broadway show characters, so put on your lederhosen if Sound of Music is your favorite or rollers in your hair if you are a beauty school dropout from Grease. 

READ MORE: At Dara Cooks Blog at Baltimore Post Examiner

Friday, May 19, 2017

Seafood bonanza: By the Docks

By the Docks, a Middle River restaurant, a prominent fixture on Eastern Boulevard, has been recognized and awarded numerous accolades for Baltimore’s Best Crab Cake.  Is it the best, many will agree that the large, lump  Blue Swimming crabmeat cake, broiled to golden brown perfection reigns supreme.  By the Docks’ crab cakes are so popular that you can now have them shipped to anywhere in the contiguous United States. 

Read more and watch the slideshow at my Dara Cooks Blog on Baltimore Post Examiner. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New Pappas Sports Bar in recently renovated Holiday Inn Inner Harbor

Located in the heart of downtown Baltimore, a short walk from Baltimore’s Convention Center, Camden Yards, and Royal Farms Arena is the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor at 301 W. Lombard Street.  Along with the refreshed 365 rooms are the common areas including the lobby, lounge, coffee and gift shop serving Baltimore’s own Zeke’s Coffee, business center, indoor pool, event space including the 4,000 sq. ft. Chesapeake Ballroom and notably a new restaurant, Pappas Sports Bar.  Yes, Baltimore, one the contenders for the Best Crab Cake in Baltimore, Pappas will be offering their award-winning crab cakes to visitors and locals alike in their first downtown location.

“For decades, this iconic hotel has graced the Baltimore skyline, and welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests.  The renovations are extensive – it looks and feels like a brand new property and we couldn’t be happier,” said Adam Novotny, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor. “We know our guests and meeting attendees will appreciate a higher level of comfort and exceptional service delivered by our outstanding team.”

Friday, May 12, 2017

New bar bites and crafted cocktails at Bonefish Grill

Bonefish Grill calls it their Hand-Crafted Happy Hour because they feature their $5 Hand-Crafted Martini and Cocktails the likes of the Raspberry Vodka Collins with Tito’s vodka, Blueberry Lemon Drop with Absolut Citron, Tropical Tiki Martini with Captain Morgan rum, and Fresh Margarita with Dimeca Altos Tequila.  There are other libation specials: $1 off draft beers, $4 House Wines and select spirits $5. The Raspberry Collins was a bit strong for my companion, but the Tropical Tiki Martini was enjoyed by both of us. The Tropical Tiki Martini was a refreshing blend of island flavors and not to overly sweet.

Watch the slideshow and read more at Dara Cooks at Baltimore Post Examiner

Thursday, May 04, 2017

The Nickel Taphouse keeps brunch hot with Nashville Hot Fried Chicken

If I rave on about the Nickel Taphouse Brunch it is because there is so much that is good.  Yes, I was invited in as their guest to taste their new brunch menu items, to spread the Nickel Taphouse Brunch good word, but I fell in love with numerous brunch offerings, especially the Nashville Hot Fried Chicken with French toast.  They take a couple liberties with the traditional Tennessee recipe rather than Tabasco or Texas Pete they use honey Sriracha for that sweet hot bite of flavor which is counterbalanced with the cool, airy, whipped cream on their French toast. It was so good, I have had sense memory flashbacks and I find myself licking my lips.  

Watch the slideshow and read the full story at my Dara Cooks blog - Baltimore Post Examiner 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Spring has sprung on new menu: B & O American Brasserie

TIS the season where menus change featuring what the farmers, the waterways and ranchers are featuring.  Always a joy to go back to the B & O American Brasserie and see and taste their new menu offerings by Executive Chef Scott Hines and his culinary crew.  Chef Hines explained the menu has been trimmed down as he did with the fall/winter menu, but with dishes we all know, with his updated embellishment.  Take his Wedge Salad, it looks somewhat traditional with blue cheese, then again, add the guanciale, tomato salt and white balsamic ranch and it is taken a level above the traditional Wedge Salad or the Meatballs in Sunday Gravy – these are mortadella and foie gras meatballs.
Read the full story on my Dara Cooks blog on Baltimore Post Examiner

Chesapeake Farm to Home launches Baltimore's first online farmers market

Chesapeake Farm to Table just launched a new online farmers market for residential customer with delivery to three culinary partner pickup locations in the Baltimore Metro Area: Culinary Architecture, Remington Wine Company and Towson Tavern will be the weekly pick up locations. Chesapeake Farm to Home offers the same quality, fresh, local produce, honey, meats and dairy items to the home consumer.

Read the full story at my blog Dara Cooks at Baltimore Post Examiner 

Friday, April 28, 2017

If you missed the first one - Underground Kitchen is back!

The popular supper club that originated in Richmond, Va. and later expanded into the Mid-Atlantic will make its return to Maryland. On May 22, Underground Kitchen, the ultra-luxe, super-secret, pop-up dining society featuring buzzed about chefs, unconventional locations, and tickets that routinely sell out within minutes, comes to Baltimore/Stevenson.

Read the full story and watch the slideshow at my Dara Cooks blog at Baltimore Post Examiner.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Harbor Market returns to McKeldin Square

Waterfornt Partnership’s pop-up food marketplace, Harbor Market, returns for another summer season of lunch time culinary adventures.  Starting May 5, Harbor Market will be at McKeldin Square every Wednesday and Friday from 11 am to 2pm. Locals and visitors alike can partake of a good cross section of culinary choices:

·         Dobby’s
·         Smoking Swine
·         Green Bowl
·         Mex on the run
·         Sobo CafĂ©
·         Dizzy Cow
·         Greek on the Street
·         Gypsy Queen
·         Ekiben
·         Bon Fresco

Forget that tired old yoghurt or tuna sandwich, live large and eat well!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Taste of Pikesville is back for the 6th year

Personally, I’m looking forward to 6th Annual Taste of Pikesville on Wednesday, April 26th from 6:30 to 9 pm – each year it gets bigger and better with over 45 plus restaurants and caterers participating with signature dishes to taste.  Not to worry about beverages, there will be beer, wine, and cocktails for those who care for an adult beverage.  This enjoyable event takes place at the Double Tree by Hilton, Baltimore North-Pikesville at 1726 Reisterstown Road at the Beltway. General admission tickets are only $48 – purchased in advance and $55 at the door.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Marco's Pizza franchise debuts in central Maryland

Local residents in Anne Arundel County, Brian Bogard and his wife Beth, have selected Lakeshore Plaza in Pasadena as the location for their inaugural Marco’s Pizza in Maryland.  The Lakeshore Plaza location at MD Route 100 and Magothy Beach Road opened earlier this month. The couple plans to open a total of six locations throughout Anne Arundel and Howard County within the next couple years.
Brian Bogard, a former officer in the US Army, served as Company Commander of the Food Service training center at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and his wife Beth, a former caterer, understands a quality product.  It was a visit with relatives in West Virginia, where the Bogards first tasted a Marco’s Pizza, and it was love at first bite. 


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