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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The culinary roster at Horseshoe Casino grows with “Ace of Cakes” Duff Goldman

Baltimore's  own Food Network star, Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes and his sweet treats from his Charm City Cakes is joining the ever growing culinary lineup at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore scheduled to open its doors August 26.

Making the announcement official today, Chad Barnhill, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore's Senior Vice President and General Manager joined Duff Goldman at Charm City Cakes located in Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood. Goldman’s bakers at Charm City Cakes, known world-wide for their creativity and artistry, created a giant slot machine cake to kick off the announcement.

Read the full story and watch the slideshow HERE.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Inn at the Black Olive: A place where everyone knows your name

Jack Dwyer, Woody Harrelson, Dimitris Spiliadis, David Blaine, Chrissa Carlson
Welcome to Baltimore’s Inn at the Black Olive, a green hotel with luxury suites and two restaurants that embrace farm-to-table, organic and the raw food movement. With the additional help and guidance of the new owners Jack Dwyer, founder of the Capital Funding Group and award-winning actor, known for his iconic role on Cheers and most recently for True Detective and Hunger Games , Woody Harrelson - the vision of the luxury, ecological full service inn continues being managed by Dimitris Spiliadis.

A dinner was held to kick off this new phase of the Inn at the Black Olive with a multi-course dinner at their rooftop Olive Room Restaurant that benefited Great Kids Farm. Being able to sit down with the new owners one got the sense of respect both Dwyer and Harrelson held for Spiliadis and his vision.
At the press conference it was made clear that Spiliadis’s vision of a green hotel and organic, farm-to-table restaurants would continue with Dwyer guiding where needed. Harrelson would be more behind the scenes and when his schedule permits visiting the Inn at the Black Olive. 
Watch the video, slideshow and full story HERE.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Vivo Trattoria’s Italian movie and dinner nights

Vivo Trattoria located at the Hotel at Arundel Preserve has created movie themed three course dinners to match select Italian movies that they will be showing every other Thursday evenings.

The inaugural Italian movie and dinner is this coming Thursday, July 31st when guests enjoy an amuse bouche of Italian popcorn, salad, entrée and dessert along with a wine pairing for $35.00 (excludes tax and gratuity).  The first movie The Godfather kicks off the follow schedule:

8/14 - The Big Night
8/28 - Cinema Paradiso
9/11 - Johnny Stecchino
9/25 - Godfather Part II
10/9 - 8 1/2
10/23 - Divorce Italian Style
11/6 - Godfather Part III

The movie will be shown twice during the evening, starting at 5 p.m. and then when finished somewhere around 7:30 or 8:00.  Get full details and slideshow HERE.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bar Liquorice now open in Riverside

Tom Looney, co-owner in the Gypsy Queen Food Trucks and former co-owner in Helen’s Garden has opened Bar Liquourice in the old Lime location with Jeff Cahill and Ed Scherer. They quietly opened their doors this past Thursday and are ready for you to come in, pull a bar stool and visit.
Bar Liquorice’s webpage states, “We bring you Liquorice, small, dark and handsome. A brand new bar experience where visionaries, dockworkers, artists and humbugs can savor our craft spirits and food. Come sit, sip and savor our classic cocktail culture, inside or out.”
Read the full story HERE.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sunshine, blue skies: Regional summer restaurant weeks

Doesn’t it seem we just finished up with Winter Restaurant Weeks? Time flies on a full tummy. Summer months mean restaurant deals from Northern Virginia through to New York City. If you are traveling to any metropolitan city in the United States there is a good chance there will be discounted restaurant week offerings or possibly and taste of the city, i.e. Cambridge Maryland just had the Taste of Cambridge.
The birth of restaurant week started in New York City in 1992 it was a lunch promotion only and the pricing for a prix fixe lunch was $19.92 and pricing continued to increase for each year. Dinner was introduced along with the lunches and it kept the last two digits of the year. Dinner could be 3 courses for 30.14 (i.e. 2014). The concept of discounted prix fixe lunches and dinners is still offered but pricing is all over the boards for some cities and others are regulated.
Get all the details on summer restaurant weeks: Baltimore, Washington DC, Philly, New York, Northern Virginia and Maryland counties HERE

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Binge watching The High Road with Mario Batali

There are just some days and in my case the past couple weeks that inspiration is hard to come by for a food based story. Press releases come in; new food items, a wine dinner or a very worthy charity event and it all feels so old and tired. Where is my muse? Enter Mario Batali.
Back in December, 2011 Batali told Robin Leach known for his television series Life Styles of the Rich and Famous, that he was starting his own on-line TV Network Via Alta Productions. If you know your Italian you will know that via alta translates to high road, hence the name of the series, High Road with Mario Batali. The Batali series launched the first of its 10 to 15 minute episodes June 12, 2014 on Hulu featuring numerous celebrity friends from all walks of life. The first episode was George Stephanopoulos and earlier this morning, like every Thursday morning, a new episode became available, this one the Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon (episode seven).  

Read the full story HERE.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Slow Down: Tales of Dorchester County

Crab Trio - Old Salty's, Hoopers Island
A recent trip to the often overlooked, driven through Dorchester County unveiled numerous stories of land and waterways; generations of watermen and farmers, a revitalized community and rich history. Other than a pit-stop, fast food quick bite on the go or picking up produce at a farm stand most travelers to Maryland’s eastern shore drive through Dorchester County on their way to Ocean City.  My advice, slow down – take time to partake of all the entire county is offering.  

From my first morning’s stop at the new Cambridge bakery Elliott’s Baking Company to my final stop at Layton’s Chance Vineyards and Winery in Vienna the day after, a few things were crystal clear; two days were insufficient to encompass everything that should be seen and enjoyed in Dorchester County. And the sense of community and working together with the folks I met was preeminent. 

Check out the slideshow and full story HERE.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Where to go on Bastille Day

If you are anywhere near a La Madeleine Country French Café just say “Happy Bastille Day” at the register and receive your free mini liberty tart.
Let’s kick off Bastille Day at Bonjour Bakery & Café with Chef Gerard and his staff at the 6070 Falls Road location. This year’s celebration will be smaller than usually since Bonjour Bakery is building a larger facility to create their mouth-watering sweet and savory edibles. For Bastille Day, stop by and sample their delicious baked treats, and enjoy a complimentary small coffee, hot or iced, with your purchase of $5 or more (sorry, no coffee card credit).
Get the full story HERE.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

MISSION BBQ opens in Columbia Maryland

Local entrepreneurs and hospitality experts Bill Kraus and Steve Newton will be opening up their 8th MISSION BBQ in Columbia, Maryland located in Howard County where they call home. Since I last covered their opening in Canton Maryland they have opened up further south in Richmond, Virginia and Wilmington, North Carolina.  

So many choices on BBQ and what regions’ cue you like there is something for everyone’s taste. Back by popular demand is the 9 oz smoked brisket burger, beer soaked–bbq smoked still in the husk corn on the cob or a taste of home banana pudding.  Now Howard County can experience traditional favorites done the MISSION BBQ way, such as Texas Inspired Beef Brisket; Jalapeño and Cheese Sausage; and MISSION’S own North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches accompanied by an array of homemade secret sauces. 

Get all the details HERE.

The revival of the health conscious Inn at the Black Olive

This past winter, 2014, it was announced that actor Woody Harrelson and Baltimore’s own Jack Dwyer, founder of the Capital Funding Group, rescued the repossessed Inn at the Black Olive from First Mariner Bank with a 4.5 million 50/50 co-owner purchase. Management of the hotel will remain under the original owners, the Spiliadis family, specifically Dimitris, who connected with Harrelson when he lived at the hotel while filming HBO’s Game Change.
As a means to introduce the partners and the revival of the Inn at the Black Olive they are inviting folks to the grand re-opening dinner on Sunday, July 27th at 6 p.m. where the Harrelson, Dwyer and Spildiadis share their revolutionary vision. 
Get the full details HERE.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Summer Fancy Food Show 2014: What’s coming to your home cupboard

The international specialty food business puts on the Fancy Food Show; the winter version in San Francisco and the largest one at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City in the summer. I don’t believe I’ve missed either attending or working the summer version in over 20 years. Larger than ever with a new conventional hall at the Javits Center added just last year it is impossible to see everything in one day, in fact, I spent almost 2 whole days and know there were booths I missed. 

When walking the show my focus is on savory items, items that are a little bit different and limited sweets. I’m always looking for that “different” item – something that would have never crossed my mind and bazinga, in the first row I found two. One was Teriyaki Tuna Jelly with cooked tuna and mentaiko that is used with sushi or a condiment with finger food and what looked liked green olives but were baby peaches that you pop in your mouth whole, so sweet and tender you even eat the pit. 

What was big this year, what had an overpowering presence was cheese, ever kind of cheese – so many vendors, distributors and international companies. Lots and lots and lots of cheese – everywhere you turned. 

Watch the slideshow and read the full story HERE.


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