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.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cava Mezze puts a new spin on old world Greek flavors

When one thinks of Greek food and foods of the Mediterranean, one thinks of the traditional fare the likes of hand-rolled stuffed grape leaves, spinach pie, roasted lamb, feta cheese, fish fresh from the sea, warm pita bread and many dishes redolent with lemon and oregano. Cava Mezze, now with five locations in the DMV-Rockville, Washington, DC, Clarendon, Olney and Baltimore has brought Greek and Mediterranean flavors into the 21st century with their shared dishes that salute traditional cuisine with a fresh, current day adaptation. Glancing at the Cava Mezze’s menu there are numerous marriages of the old with the new.

An e-mail invitation from Cava Mezze with photographs of their new spring culinary offerings looked so mouthwatering that an afternoon jaunt was in order to Baltimore’s Harbor East.  It is rare, I mean really rare, that I revel in and kvell over every dish in a meal, however, Cava Mezze is that rare find.  I’m not talking fancy precious food, it is casual dining, shared plates and oh, how I wish there was one in my neighborhood.  

Check out the slideshow and read the full story at Dining 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Rusty Scupper welcomes new Executive Chef William Wilt

The Rusty Scupper and Bar is the quintessential harborside restaurant offering patrons one of the most dramatic views of Baltimore’s harbor, one of the few with the view of Haborplace, Downtown, the Aquarium, Pier Five, Harbor East and down to the  Locust Point’s Domino Sugar sign that glows in rich yellow and orange hues.  The panoramic views are visible from almost any table, with numerous their large picture windows: sunset is mesmerizing, as is watching the boats coming in and out of the city’s harbor.

The Rusty Scupper and Bar is not new to Baltimore, in fact, they have been at their Key Highway location for over 30 years delighting tourist and locals alike.  A self parking lot makes it easy access, and the two hour fee of just $8 adds to the appeal.  Over 30 years, chefs have come and gone and this past March Executive Chef William Wilt took the helm, adding his 20 years experience throughout the Maryland and Washington DC area restaurants to the Scupper’s cuisine.  There are things you do not change like the crab cake, although there are featured specials.  An invite to meet Chef Wilt and partake of his culinary creations could not be turned down. 

Read the full story and watch the slideshow at / Dining

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chef Melanie Molinaro to open Stall 11 in Remington's R. House

Executive Chef Melanie Molinaro, known to Baltimoreans for being top toque at Robin Haas’s restaurants ; The  Nickel Taphouse, Birroteca and Encantada. One of the few women chefs in the region, Molinaro has built a name for herself especially at the seasonal inspired, locally-sourced, vegetarian driven Encantada.  She has now partnered with Urban Pastoral. A high-tech hydroponic growing facility in East Baltimore to open the 2nd announced food stall on the first floor of the 50,000-square-foot historic automobile showroom and garage in Remington – Seawall Development’s $12 million food and drink emporium, R. House. 

Watch the video and read the full story on / Dining

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

New restaurants for Owings Mills: Eggspectation, Bon Fresco and IHOP

This past week Eggspectation opened in Metro Centre off Painters Mill Road, 10209 Grand Central Ave, located next to the subway station.  This Eggspectation is different from the others in the area, this is owned by the parent company based in Montreal – it is the first one they own in the US.  In fact, this Eggspectation, is and will be a template for future Eggspectations; modern, full bar, plenty of flat screen televisions serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The price point is more to the medium side than the cost effective side.  A slice of cheesecake was $10.

Open at 7 a.m until 10 p.m daily, Eggspectation offers a food and drink during happy hour. WEBSITE

The leases have just been signed for two restaurants in the Boulevard College Center on Owings Mills Boulevard. Both restaurants intend to open in mid-summer of this year and join additional dining options at the shopping center that includes Bonefish Grill, Edo Sushi, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Pie Five Pizza Co., Outback Steakhouse, Stone’s Cove Kitbar and Subway.   The shopping center is adjacent to Stevenson University not far from Reisterstown Road and Interstate 795.

The press release reads, “The Owings Mills location represents the fourth for Bon Fresco, which also operates restaurants throughout Anne Arundel, Howard and Prince George’s Counties. The concepts offers a variety of deli-style sandwiches such as corned beef, roasted turkey breast, tuna salad and grilled vegetable, together with freshly-made soups and salads. The International House of Pancakes owns and operates nearly 1700 locations throughout the United States and Canada and is recognized for its diverse breakfast menu including egg varieties and omelets, French toast and waffles. IHOP also offers a complete luncheon and dinner menu.    

Monday, April 04, 2016

Get your tickets for Emporiyum before they are all gone

The very unique, pop-up market Emporiyum is back for a 3rd year here in Baltimore.  Emporiyum gathers specialty food vendors, restaurants and manufactures, bringing their victuals and libations under one roof, for two days only for you to sample, and perchance to purchase. These are not your atypical vendors; they are curated each year featuring unique small, independent retailers and restaurants.

Each year the location changes, in the past year it was held at the Thames Street Wharf building and last year the former H & S Bakery distribution center at 601 S. Eden Street – this year, Emporiyum will be held  in the former Best Buy location at 600 E. Pratt Street – 3rd floor. 

Get all the details at / Dining 

Now open for lunch - Roy's Hawaiian Fusion in Harbor East

It is only recently that the well established Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion restaurant in Harbor East started offering lunch along with their happy hour and dinner service. Lunch is served weekdays starting at 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. With Hawaiian cuisine trending, it is the perfect excuse to come into Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion  and taste the flavors of these tropical Pacific islands. 

“Maybe it was inevitable—with tiki drinks suddenly chic again and surfer culture capturing fashion’s imagination that Hawaiian food would be ready for a moment in the sun.” Vogue – Dec, 2015

“No longer lumped into Asian fusion or executed as a version of Spam-topped this, spit-roasted that, contemporary Hawaiian food is riding a new wave.” Tasting Table 5-15

Go beyond your burger or pizza for lunch and try one of Roy’s lunch plates – 4 courses on a bento inspired plate: Teriyaki tofu, Karaage fried chicken, Teppanyaki shrimp, macadamia nut crusted Mahi Mahi, or braised beef short ribs, each comes with a green salad, soup, pineapple fried rice and a fresh baked cookie – starting at $12.90 and topping off at $16.90.  

Check out the complete story and slideshow at 

Friday, April 01, 2016

Keccos Woodfire Kitchen to open in Reisterstown

Reisterstown, Maryland and Carroll County residents can look forward to a new restaurant located in Reisterstown Crossing on Westminster Pike.  The former owner of Glydon’s Mezzanotte Bistro, Tony Scotto DiFrega, is coming back to his old neighborhood with an Italian inspired restaurant featuring brick oven pizzas.  Kecco’s Woodfire Kitchen will be a full service, sit down restaurant.

Tony Scotto DiFrega named the restaurant after his son, and brings diverse experience in restaurant ownership and management to this new venture. He recently sold an Italian restaurant in the Elkridge section of Howard County to open Keccos Woodfire Kitchen.

“I live extremely close to the location and I understand the community and what they want from a restaurant experience,” explained Tony Scott DiFrega. “There are many families that look for reasonably-priced and high-quality meals, and we intend to service this audience in a comfortable and warm environment. The number of businesses in the area is also growing, so we see an opportunity for strong lunchtime traffic as well.”   

Look for the opening mid-summer. 

Keccos Woodfire Kitchen – 114 Westminster Pike – Reisterstown, MD 

Maryland crab season starts today - no joke

I know it is April 1st, April Fools Day but I'm not joking, the Maryland Seafood commission has advised that April 1st kicks off Maryland blue crab season.  Start saving your newspapers to line your tabletops for the hot steamed crabs and look for soft shell sammies appearing on  your favorite restaurant menus. The Maryland blue crab season runs now through December 15, 2016.


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