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.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day Tripping on the Potomac: 5th Annual National Harbor Wine and Food Festival

Queen of Southern Cooking - Nathalie Dupree
National Harbor’s Wine and Food Festival is back for the 5th time, Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th  from noon to 6 p.m. each day.  The advanced weather forecast calls for partly sunny and the temperatures in the mid 70’s – an ideal day for drink, food, fun and sun. It’s a short day trip about fifty miles from my home in Baltimore County to National Harbor located on the Potomac River. There are weekend packages available for those who really want to extend their getaway.

Chef Sara Moulton
 This year’s festival will include over 150 International wines, spirits and beers featured along with local and regional favorites.  Guests will be able to sample all of the varieties as well as purchase them by the glass and the bottle, on-site at special event only low prices. Beyond the drink tastings there are many other highlights which include: a Cinco De Mayo Pavilion featuring Hornitos tequila, Special craft beer tasting Bier Garten experience, Whiskey and Bourbon Tasting Experience in a relaxed setting - paired with hand rolled cigars, three stages of live music and smooth jazz, and so much more.  It is the largest wine festival of its kind in the Metro DC market.

Read the full story HERE

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Goodbye Pazza Luna, welcome Sweet Caroline's Bistro and Tavern

The goldenrod bulletin from the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City has been posted at the closed Locust Point’s Pazza Luna restaurant.  The location has been shut down just about a year after Chef Davide Rossi and his wife Christa Bruno-Rossi shut the doors due to a dispute with the building’s owners. The couple went to work for Christa’s uncle Tony Ashe, helping him open the The Mallet Restaurant and entertainment complex in Fallston. After The Mallet got on its feet, the couple moved to Milan. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Who are the winners at the Restaurant Association of Maryland annual gala?

This evening the Restaurant Association of Maryland held their annual gala and restaurant award ceremony at Martin’s West. Chefs turned in their toques for tuxedos or gowns as they gathered to celebrate and mingle with others from the industry.

2012 Restaurateur of the Year - Matt Milani

The evening’s festivities began at 6 p.m. with hors d’ouevres from some of the state’s finest restaurants, a raw bar filled with oysters, crab claws and steamed shrimp was hopping as well as the rum bar

Continue reading on Who are the winners at the Restaurant Association of Maryland annual gala?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Swine, wine and dine 2012 - Cochon 555

Pork lovers rejoice!  Cochon 555 is back for its fourth year and guests will be treated to an pork feast of epic proportions.  There will be five heritage pigs prepared by five star chefs from Washington DC in a nose to tail competition.  Last year’s winner, Chef Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgamg Puck is back to keep his title of Prince of Porc. His competition is Graffiato’s and Top Chef’s competitor Mike Isabella, Wes Morton of Art and Soul, Nicholas Stefanelli of Bibiana and Ed Witt of 701 Restaurant.
One of Chef Brian Voltaggio's plates for the judges - Cochon 555 2011

As a judge of this event the past two years I can tell you the creations using of all the parts of a whole pig by these chefs will blow you away.  And, by the way, it is for a good cause…helping maintain heritage pigs and not letting the breeds die out.

Continue reading on Swine, wine and dine 2012 – Cochon 555

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blue Sage Café and Wine Bar to open in June

In a recent memo from the Mt Washington list serve comes news of Blue Sage Café and Wine Bar that will be opening in Mt. Washington Village. The restaurant will open where The Falls was located on Kelly Avenue.
Blue Sage

The owner, Matt Lallo explained to MWIA president that the restaurant will be eclectic, varying cuisines and a neighborhood friendly place to dine whether for breakfast opening at 7 a.m., lunch, dinner or bar menu closing at 10 p.m. Craft beers and international wines will be offered to diners and to go.

Continue reading on Blue Sage Café and Wine Bar to open in June -

Eco friendly carryout tote bags will get you discounts at La Scala Ristorante

April is Earth Month and it is nice to focus in on what the restaurant community is doing to be more ecologically attuned.  La Scala Ristorante in the heart of Baltimore’s Little Italy is turning being eco-friendly into future discounts for their customers.

Chef Nino and Christine Minnick, director of sales and marketing at La Scala  discussed how they could be “greener” and eventually came up with an eco-friendly, reusable tote for their growing carryout business. La Scala’s location right on Eastern Avenue makes it a quick stop to pick up Chef Nino’s culinary creations to go.

Read the full story HERE

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hobnob and rub shoulders with Maryland's top chefs and restaurateurs

The Restaurant Association of Maryland’s annual gala and awards is Monday, April 16th at Martin’s West Baltimore. A cocktail reception, dinner, awards and dancing fills the evening. Gala 2012 Pirate Siege is just that perfect night out to put on your best finery or Captain Hook outfit and eye patch.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Did the dog lick the deviled eggs?

A moral question came up on Facebook, from none other than Nathalie Dupree, the queen of southern cuisine and southern charm and a forerunner to the Food Network with her PBS’s culinary series. The question drew a vast array of responses, actually 108, since yesterday from her friends. The responses ran the gamut; I was smiling reading how diverse they were.  Posted below are Nathalie’s inquiry and a selection of  her friend’s responses.

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Rusty Scupper - 30 years of memories and 1.7 million crab cakes

April kicks off The Rusty Scupper’s 30th anniversary celebration. Thirty years in the prime location with the best view of Baltimore’s Harborplace and the downtown skyline, thirty years serving iconic Maryland seafood and 30 years of memories.

Everyone is invited to enjoy the celebration throughout the month of April with a specially priced two course luncheon for $19.82 commemorating the year that the Rusty Scupper opened. The prix-fixe luncheon menu will feature items from the restaurant’s original menu.

Continue reading on The Rusty Scupper – 30 years of memories and 1.7 million crab cakes Rusty Scupper on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Rant: truffle oil - love it, eat it or leave it?

Over 10 years ago, a chef friend put a dab of white truffle oil on my lips to taste I was won over.  A food junkie, always looking for my next new flavor fix. Truffle oil was a good way to experience the scent and simulated taste of the expensive truffle. I say simulated because the majority of truffle oils on the market are synthetic mixtures of odorants and various oils. 

Continue reading on Rant: truffle oil - love it, eat it or leave it?

For those who love bacon to death - the bacon coffin

Leave it to the boys, excuse me, men at J & D’s Food, famous for Bacon Salt, Bacon Lip Balm, Bacon Microwave Popcorn, Bacon Lube (don’t ask), Bacon Baby Formula, Bacon Gravy and more to come up with one more J & D’s  Bacon product – J & D’s Bacon Coffins.  Dressed like funeral directors in the snapshot, Justin and Dave, the J & D in J & D’s Food explain in a video that there are folks out there who love bacon to death so why not enjoy the afterlife wrapped in a bacon decorated coffin.


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