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, August 27, 2016

Tapas in the City: A new generation of restaurant tastings

Before the age of Instagram and Twitter, before social media had such an impact on restaurant visibility, there were organizations like the American Institute of Wine founded by the likes of Julia Child and Robert Mondavi that emphasized learning about food and how it comes to the table.  Food and wine dinners at local restaurants around the country allowed the populous to come in and taste a multiple course dinner paired with wines. That was yesterday, today pop-up dinners are the rage, and taking advantage of that concept is Tapas in the City.  Take two young ladies with marketing backgrounds, Jordan Zelesnick and Rachel Lipton, highly visible social media curators, created Baltimore’s Tapas in the City - multi course pop up food and wine events at a fair market price. 

The fledging Tapas in the City dinners have been held at Bluegrass Tavern in Federal Hill, Sammy’s Enoteca in Fells Point, Cava Mezze which borders Harbor East on Fleet Street and an upcoming event at  Cosima in Mill No 1 in the Woodberry area of the city on Tuesday, September 20th.

Cava Mezze, which is “new Greek cuisine”, is a favorite so I jumped at a chance to experience Tapas in the City this past week.  Cava Mezze definitely went above and beyond to make the experience a huge success.  A reception with sparkling wine and assorted dips of hummus, tzatziki, taramosalata, their spicy crazy feta with chips kicked off the evening.   The six course small plate dinner, like other Tapas in the City dinners offered a traditional menu and a vegetarian menu along with optional wine pairings during the meal.  Prices vary from restaurant to restaurant, although in the whole part, are quite reasonable considering they are all inclusive.  

Tapas in the City events are ideal for couples, singles, groups and individuals.  Not being shy, I spoke to a number of the attendees ranging in varying ages.  Seating at Cava Mezze was at multiple long tables, more communal where you met and chatted with others. A partnership with Flowers and Fancies had fresh flower centerpieces on the tables, good food and wine, and lively conversation formed a pleasant evening out. 

The Cava Mezze’s Tapas in the City was a sell-out, so they added a second evening that too sold out.  From what was announced the other evening, the Cosima event, September 20th has been half way filled – so don’t hesitate or wait to the last minute.  

Tapas in the City’s Cosima details:

On Tuesday, September 20th, 6:30 PM to 9PM ,join them for a six course tapas meal with an optional wine pairing. Here you will enjoy some of the delicious Italian specialties coming out of the Cosima Kitchen.

The wine pairing will consist of four courses of authentic Sicilian wine to accompany your dinner.

Traditional Menu:
Pizza with Smoked Sea Scallops and Candied Bacon
Grilled Octopus on Potato Salad
Arancini with Sicilian Pesto
Ricotta Gnocchi
Housemade Ravioli with Maryland Summer Vegetables
Sfinci (Sicilian Doughnut)

Vegetarian Menu:
Pizza Simplice with charred tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic and basil
Eggplant Involtini (stuffed eggplant with ricotta, roasted red peppers)
Arancini with Sicilian Pesto
Ricotta Gnocchi
Housemade Ravioli with Maryland Summer Vegetables
Sfinci (Sicilian Doughnut)

Wine Pairing:
Colosi Bianco Sicilia
Regaliali Rose
Leon De Castris Primitivo
Montenegro Amaro

Cosima – 3000 Falls Road, Baltimore MD  21211

Cosima’s Tapas in the City: Purchase tickets

Prices including service fee are all inclusive: Traditional menu $54.81 (with 4 wine pairings $65.16) and Vegetarian menu $54.81 (with 4 wine pairing $65.16). 

Learn more about Tapas in the City on Facebook  while there sign up for their newsletter.  They are all over local social media as @tapasinthe city

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