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, July 30, 2011

The Rowhouse Grille - Federal Hill's culinary secret

Honestly, really honestly – it takes a lot to make my tastebuds stand to attention. Jaded, yes – been there, done that from New York dining at Daniel’s to the humble hot dog off a cart.  A recent media dinner at The Rowhouse Grille caught me by surprise when the first two dishes we shared seemed to be in contention for my OMG dish of the year.

The evening kicked off with The Rowhouse Grille special that evening, Tom Yum mussels in a lemongrass, coconut, lime, shallot and garlic broth.  I am partial to Vietnamese flavors I must admit although everyone at the table was gaga over the Tom Yum mussels and they disappeared too quickly.

Read the full story:  HERE

Rowhouse Grille on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

2012 Washington DC – Baltimore Zagat top restaurants revealed today

Tim and Nina Zagat were the forerunners of user-generated restaurant reviews all the way back to 1982 when they published their first restaurant guide for New York.  now offers restaurant ratings and curated restaurant reviews for 1,000 of restaurant worldwide.
Tim Zagat
 Each year, in numerous cities, the listings are updated and consumers and restaurateurs both wait to see the rankings for food, service and décor.

The Washington DC – Baltimore Zagat is having its reveal today covering not only Baltimore and Washington, but Annapolis, and the Eastern Shore.  Here is a little taste from both cities of the public’s choices as to most popular and top food.

Continue reading 2012 Washington DC – Baltimore Zagat top restaurants revealed today

August 14th is your lucky day Dave – Celebrate Dave Day

Are you named Dave, David or Davy? Is that what is says on your driver’s license than August 14th is your lucky day, you are entitle to a free entrée at Famous Dave’s up to $15. If Dave is your middle name they will give you half off your entrée up to $7.50.  It is even applicable on To-Go orders

Read the full details about the the FREE entree HERE

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sunday brunch at Lebanese Taverna: a little different, a lot delicious

Heat wave or not, it is nice to be out of your kitchen and have others prepare a meal for you and your family.  Making it better is dining at Lebanese Taverna enjoying their lovely view of the Baltimore harbor whether dining al fresco waterfront or in the tastefully decorated restaurant at Harbor East.

Susan Gordon, a friend and the marketing director at Lebanese Taverna, invited a handful of media types to come and enjoy their NEW Sunday Brunch, as she described it, Lebanese Dim Sum.  The dim sum reference comes from the 14 mezze plates that are continously brought to your table and you choose the ones you want.  Want more Chicken Shawarma or Baba Ghannouge, no problem they will bring more plates

Read the full story and watch the slide show HERE
Lebanese Taverna on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Restaurant Weeks: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, & DC

It’s summer time and the eating is easy. No need to cook in the heat, let the chefs do it, they are conditioned to hot kitchens, us mortals are not! With restaurant weeks backing up to each other you can eat out for the next month (budget allowing). Here is a look at the dates and the prices.

Baltimore chefs promote restaurant week - courtesy of Downtown Partnership

Prices will be ranging from $10.11 up to $40.11 for prefix menus.  If you ever wondered where the odd pennies at the end of the prices come from, wonder no more. Restaurant Week always reflects the year in the pricing, i.e. 2011.  Restaurant Week began as a lunch-only promotional event in 1992 in New York City where lunches were $19.92.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Italian store Daniela is open in Hampden on the Avenue

Daniela Useli’s dream has come true, her own store offering her delicate and delicious Italian creations both sweet and savory from Italy, Sardinia her homeland. I know Daniela from her work with Sotto Sopra Restaurant where she created multi course Sardinian dinners once a month featuring the dishes her family has passed down from generation to generation. Her pastas are as light as air – her lasagna is a must try!

The shop is called Daniela and it is on the corner of the 900 block of “the Avenue” (36th Street) and Elm in a tiny house that used to house Eye Candy.

Continue reading and catch the slide show: Italian store Daniela is open in Hampden on the Avenue

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cookbook Corner: Eat Your Books – index your cookbooks on-line

Eat Your Books is a clever idea, an on-line cookbook, magazine and recipe blogger indexing system.  Rather than going to all your cookbook indexes looking for a cream brûlée, brisket or paella recipe you just go on line to Eat Your Books and type.  You are allowed to add a total of five (cookbooks, magazines or on line original recipe blogs) to your personal library for FREE.  Of course, who stops at just five but there is a fee, not a very expensive fee of $2.50 per month or $25 for the year.

If you are a cookbook junkie, this seems a good place to be with others like yourself – I’m easily at 300 cookbooks plus.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Making virtual tortellini helps preserve a part of Bologna’s culinary history

photo morgue file - KA Connors
The game, the Tortellini X-perience recently made its debut in Bologna, Italy.  The multi-media  virtual reality game Tortellini X-perience was designed by Marco Roccetti, a professor of computer science at the University of Bologna for the World Expo in Shanghai last fall.

Roccetti had two goals in mind, the first was preservation, preservation of the culinary heritage of Bologna and the second goal was taking a very hard task, which tortellini is and making it a game.

Continue reading and watch video Making virtual tortellini helps preserve a part of Bologna’s culinary history

Chazz Palminteri teams up with Visit My Baltimore

Yes, I spend a lot of time on the internet, a lot of time on Facebook but it pays off. Great story ideas, new friends and getting some scoops.  Tonight I picked up on a new  video that Chazz Palminteri made about Baltimore and of course his restaurant, Chazz for

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crab Bash 2011 and you are invited

The 2nd annual Crab Bash is on, the crab mallet has been swung and regional chefs duke it out to walk away with the Crab Bash Champion treasure chest.  Last year’s winner, chef Dave Newman of Brewer’s Art will be there defending his title against:

o      B&O American Brasserie’s Thomas Dunklin
o      Maisy’s Cyrus Keefer
o      Atwood Café’s Derek Simcik (Chicago, IL)
o      Riptide By the Bay’s Meredith & Roger Rippel
o      Ryleigh’s Oyster Bar’s Shawn McClure
o      Square 1682’s Guillermo Tellez (Philadelphia, PA)*
o      Domaso’s Paul Healey (Arlington, VA)*
o      Chris Becker formerly of  The Wine Market /now Bagby Restaurant Group
o      Jackson 20/The Grille’s Dennis Marron (Alexandria, VA)
*returning for a rematch.

You’re invited!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

sofi™ Gold Awards announced at Summer Fancy Food Show

The winners of the 39th sofi Awards for the outstanding specialty foods and beverages of the year were announced last night by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) at the Summer Fancy Food Show.

Private Reserve Caramelized Garlic Finish from GarLic it! Outstanding New Product
The awards were presented at a red-carpet ceremony hosted by Celebrity Chef Cat Cora. A sofi Award is considered the highest honor in the $70-billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for specialty outstanding food innovation.

The 2011 sofi Gold Winners are::

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Fancy Food Show: Taste No.5 Umami Paste

The International Fancy Food Show is in its 2nd day in Washington DC and it is home to all specialty food products from cheeses, sauces, cookies, jams, chocolates, tea, and more.  The number of booths is 2400 with over 180,000 products being shown and I only made it through the lower level of the convention center.  I never made it to the top floor and to all you exhibitors who were there I apologize.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. I walked the show floor looking for new and or tasty products.  One of my top picks is Taste No.5 Umami Paste

Continue reading  Summer Fancy Food Show: Taste No.5 Umami Paste

The Manor Tavern: new owners, new look, new feel

Remodel will be using reclaimed barn wood
It is official, The Manor Tavern in Monkton has been sold and the deal was done this past Saturday, confirmed Bill Irvin, one of the partners.  The historic restaurant that was once the stable that housed George Washington’s horse will be going through serious changes.

The concept was explained to be similar to the award winning restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barn in Pocantico Hills, New York known for its philosophy of a working four season farm.  Blue Hill’s Chef Dan Barber helped create the philosophical and practical framework for Stone Barns Center, a working four-season farm and educational center, and continues to help guide it in its mission to create a consciousness about the effect of everyday food choices.

Summer Fancy Food Show: Bubbie Jeanne’s Brisket Magic

First, maybe I should define bubbie, derived from the Yiddish terminology for grandmother, bubeleh.  There is nothing like a Jewish brisket made by a bubbie. But the days of the bubbie are nearly gone so you can now get your bubbie in a jar, well at least for your brisket.

I am renowned for my brisket; it has even made the pages of Baltimore Magazine.  I tell you this so you know that I am the brisket maven,a trusted expert in the brisket field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to you.

Continue reading and watch the video on  Summer Fancy Food Show: Bubbie Jeanne’s Brisket Magic

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Sonoma-Cutrer: 30 years of culinary history celebrity panel

Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards broke ground in 1981 for their new winery, a winery whose decision was to focus on one wine: Chardonnay vinified according to the time-honored Burgundian traditions. The introduction of the Sonoma-Cutrer vintage release in 1981 was just the beginning. In 2003 Sonoma-Cutrer introduced their first Pinot Noir, 2006 Club Cutrer is launched and 2011 is their culinary retrospective for their 30th anniversary.

To celebrate their momentous anniversary, Sonoma-Cutrer gathered culinarians for a panel that looked back 30 years and how we have progressed, our culinary footprint. The illustrious panel gathered at the French Culinary Institutes – International Culinary Center Theater to present their views on 30 years of food to a diverse audience of media and food notables.
Chefs Alain Sailhac & Jacques Pepin
 The evening kicked off with a short reception featuring the fine wines from Sonoma-Cutrer along with cheeses and charcuterie

Continue reading  Sonoma-Cutrer: 30 years of culinary history celebrity panel - slide show and video

Monday, July 04, 2011

Just arrived - limoncello aprons from the Amalfi coast for sale

Da Mimmo Restaurant’s email arrived announcing the sale of these great looking aprons which have beautiful graphics and the authentic Limoncello recipe  in Italian and English.  Check out the photo and try to focus on the apron.  The colors of the apron are those of the Italian ceramics, rich yellows and deep greens. A clever craft person could take the apron and make an interesting wall hanging for a kitchen dining space or deck
Mimmo playing around modeling the apron on the shores of the Amalfi coast.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Go west young man (or woman) – Waterstone Bar and Grille

Lisa Markiewicz, school teacher by day and restaurant and bar owner by night has mixed her Greek heritage dishes, pub food and salutes to Maryland cuisine together at Waterstone Bar & Grille. The newly remodeled location just west of Howard Street on Madison near Maryland General and the State Office buildings where on any given evening you will find the suits are mixed with the docs, the theater goers with government workers.

This was my birthday dinner – the May birthday ended up being celebrated in June when my gal pal posse took me out for the 29th birthday party.

Continue reading & check out the slide show:  Go west young man (or woman) – Waterstone Bar and Grille

Waterstone Bar & Grille on Urbanspoon

Entertaining: What to serve gluten intolerant guests

The bad news is that gluten intolerance and Ceilac disease is growing by leaps and bounds.  More than likely one or multiple friends or family members can no longer eat products containing gluten.  The good news is that because the numbers are growing there are many more options.

Betsy Craig, CEO of MenuTrinfo, a company that creates nutritional labeling for restaurants is well aware of what products contain gluten.  She and her dietitians/nutritionists have put together suggestions as to what to serve your guests who are eating gluten free.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Tulsi - Worth the trip to New York City for Summer Restaurant Week

With New York City’s Summer Restaurant Week ready to kick off July 11th and running through July 24th the time is opportune for us travelers from Baltimore to enjoy the Big Apple’s restaurants.

Tulsi Restaurant, midtown on the far east side of Manhattan, is that ideal blend of all that is delicious and exciting about Indian food.  The chef, Hemant Mathur, is one of the leading tandoori chefs in the country.  As co-executive chef at Dévi with Survir Saran

Continue reading and view snaps:  Tulsi - Worth the trip to New York City for Summer Restaurant Week
Tulsi on Urbanspoon

Hooah – Outback Steakhouse keeps giving to our service men and women

Outback presents $1,000,000 check to Operation Homefront
With 4th of July  on Monday, what better time to give a hooah to Outback Steakhouse for another successful year of raising dollars through their Thanks for Giving program. The program benefits Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization that provides emergency and moral support for active troops, veterans and their families. It is taking care of those who take care of our freedom and isn’t that what 4th of July is about – freedom.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Baltimore International College is closing

News broke earlier this week that the Baltimore International College had lost their accreditation.  Founded in 1972 BIC started out strictly as a culinary school and grew to now offer hospitality master’s degrees, associated degrees and bachelor’s degrees.

A friend’s husband was to start teaching at BIC in 2 weeks. He received a call that the college will officially close on .....Continue reading  Baltimore International College is closing


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