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, August 31, 2016

Meet and greet: Authors of Maryland’s Chesapeake at B&O American Brasserie Happy Hour

Tonight, local authors Neal and Kathy Wielech Patterson are doing a meet,greet and drink happy hours at B & O American Brasserie to launch their latest book Maryland’s Chesapeake. The history along with recipes both old and new are featured in the this tome focused on the influence of the Cheseapeake Bay’s bounty on the lives of those making a living from the bay as well as those living in the region.

Copies of Maryland’s Chesapeake will be available for purchase and Kathy and Neal will be on hand to sign their book. 

That is tonight, Wednesday, August 31st with an extended happy hour from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the B & O American Brassierie – 2 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.

Enjoy select beer for $3, champagne and wine for $4 and specialty cocktails for $5. 

Can’t make the meet, greet and eat – you can purchase Maryland’s Chesapeake at

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.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Nine year old Baltimorean competes on Food Network’s Chopped

What a surprise I just got from my friend Daniel Waldman, he just posted to watch  his daughter Amandine on the Food Network’s Chopped Junior, Tuesday, September 6th at 8pm ET/PT.  Things started to make sense to me – I had mentored Amandine back in March on knife skills, taste and flavor just thinking she wanted to learn more about cooking, she loves to cook with her dad. But I digress.

Daniel just explained what he could, which is very limited until the show airs.  He said Amandine; his perky, petite powerhouse of a nine year old wanted to compete on Chopped Junior, and what parent can deny their child an opportunity--- so they let her apply.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dove Chocolate's New Commercial - Premieres today

The 60-second commercial features the timeless voice and lyrics of Edith Piaf’s “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” (“No, I Do Not Regret Anything”), a song that serves as an anthem to live life to its fullest. Titled “Each and Every Day,” the ad shows a woman as she ages from baby to older woman in one 24-hour day and prioritizes pleasure as essential throughout her life each and every day.

Taste 15 wines with personality and wit: Pours Personified

Wit and Wisdom is your host as their award winning sommelier, Julie Dalton, takes guests through the tasting of 15 wines they offer by the glass this Thursday, August 25th.  It should be a enlightening evening on their harbor-side patio starting at 5 pm through to 7 pm.

Dalton, earning Wine Spectator’s 2016 Best of Award of Excellence for Wit & Wisdom, put personality and wit to this wine tasting “Pours Personified.”    Each wine on the Wines by the Glass menu is personified, containing three unique descriptors: one witty, another wise and the third a pop culture icon evocative of the respective wine’s qualities.

Below are a few examples and attached is the full menu:
·         Selbach-Oster Pinot Blanc is: Utilitarian, Delicious, Coco Chanel
·         Wimmer Zcerny Roter Veltliner is: Broad, Apricot, Clark Kent
·         Chandon Etoile Brut is: Sexy, Smokey, Lana Del Rey

During the event, guests will rotate from three categorized tables to taste a total of 15 different wines from the menu. Guests will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they’ve learned by recommending their own pop culture descriptor of four additional wines. Dalton will pick her favorite descriptor and add it to the Wines by the Glass menu for the fall season. 

Wit & Wisdom will also offer small bite pairing provide by Executive Chef Zack Mills to furth highlight the wines’ characteristics.
Pours Personified – Thursday, August 25th 5 pm to 7 pm  $40 per guest (all inclusive)

Wit & Wisdom
Four Seasons Hotel
200 International Drive
Baltimore, MD  21202

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Funday at the Rusty Scupper

With the best view of Baltimore’s Harbor, the Rusty Scupper invites you to their top deck to take in the view, nosh a nosh, have a cold one and enjoy the tunes.  Every Sunday, is Funday on the upper deck of this well established restaurant. 

·         Nosh a nosh:  From oysters to a juicy bacon burger – there is something for everyone’s hunger level.
·         Have a cold one:  Adults chill with a draught or bottle beer, specialty cocktails and wine and the kiddies can kick back with an Arnold Palmer, soda or a non-alcoholic version of the specialty cocktails.
·         Enjoy the tunes:  Enjoy the breeze on the upper deck while The Jimmy Buffet cover band plays some mellow tunes.  Added bonus, the musicians playing at Pier 6 streams into the evening air.

From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., every Sunday hopefully throughout to early fall – grab a seat, a plate and a drink and soak in the best view of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
For more information or to make a reservation, visit or call (410) 727-3678.

The Rusty Scupper
402 Key Highway
Baltimore, MD  21230
410 727 3678
Facebook: RustyScupper  Instagram & Twitter @RustyScupper1

Friday, August 12, 2016

New Owners for Tark's Grill: City Cafe's Bodie and Cardinale

Come October 1, 2016, Gino Cardinale and Bruce Bodie, owners of City Cafe will take over ownership of Green Spring Station's -Tark’s Grill.  City Cafe has been a success and a neighborhood staple in Mount Vernon for 22 years and will remain, continuing to grow.  Cardinale and Bodie’s plans for Tark’s Grill will  slowly evolve. At this time, the name will not change, but interior renovations will take place in 2017.

City Cafe’s popular ala carte brunch will soon be arriving to Tark’s Grill once they take ownership.  James Jennings, executive chef of City Cafe, will partner with Cardinale and Bodie on this new venture. Jennings was recently chef de cuisine at The Food Market and sous chef under Michael Mina in San Francisco. All Tark’s staff will be retained, including kitchen staff, who will work under Jennings come October 1. For those concerned, Tark’s gift cards will still be honored.

Tark’s namesake and co-owner Terry Arenson said Tark’s has always been a labor of love. “We’re Valley area guys and our first priority has always been to do right by this wonderful community. We’ve had a great run, but the time has come to pass the torch. In our careful analysis, City Cafe came up first-rate across every metric. We’re confident that they bring the experience and reputation necessary to succeed.”

Patrons can soon enjoy recent renovations to the courtyard at Tark’s, completion scheduled in September. Tom Peddy, principal at Foxleigh Enterprises, an owner at Green Spring Station stated, “The outdoor area connected to Tark’s will soon be a one-of-a-kind place with a fountain featuring both fire and water. The Italian-made pergola will give those who love dining al fresco the chance to do so for nine months out of the year.”

Fun Factoid:

Tark’s Grill, has had a successful run since 2008, taking over the restaurant spot that once was Harvey’s Restaurant @ The Green Spring Station owned by Harvey Shugarman.  It was also Shugarman who was the food and beverage guru at the old Girard’s night club that occupied the same space, wait for it, City Cafe.  

Tark’s Grill is located at 2360 West Joppa Road in Lutherville/Timonium - Baltimore County and City Cafe is located at the corner of Cathedral and Eager Streets in Baltimore City.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Orioles’ Adam Jones versus The Local Fry’s Kevin and Elizabeth Irish

Elizabeth and Kevin Irish - The Local Fry
The best I can tell, this is the 5th year for CareFirst Fans’ Ballpark Cooking Challenge, it is taking place this afternoon and airing tonight, August 3 on MASN during O's Xtra, the Orioles exclusive pregame show, before the Birds take on the Rangers. The Orioles’ outfielder has won the past two Ballpark Food Challenges and the bragging rights but will that stand for another year?

Back in June, fans were asked to Tweet or Instagram their best recipe tagged with #IChallengeAJ and the #StayHungry man chose the winner.

AJ’s competition is the husband and wife duo who own Federal Hill’s The Local Fry  famous for their British Isles inspired chips topped with  the tastiest toppings.  French fry aficionados need to try The Local Fry’s selection of specialty French fries.  The plain and unadulterated triple fried Idaho potatoes are top-notch, crispy and tasty, but at The Local Fry you want to dig into their specialty French fries.  This isn’t just stoner food, the French fries are topped with tasty flavor profiles that are globally inspired: Poutine, Greek, Kimchi Pork, Buffalo Chicken, Hawaiian,Bahn Mi,  Tonkatsu Curry and the house fries named ‘The Local Fries’ on the blackboard menu are spicy Mexican.  
The Local Fry's Hawaiian fries
Judges include Chef Chad Gauss from The Food Market and 13-year-old Bryce Taylor, a Food Network Teen Chef and Junior Finalist from Food Network’s show Chopped Junior. Chris Person, Sous Chef for Dempsey’s Brew Pub & Restaurant, will serve as Jones' assistant for the day.

For those of you who like to follow on social media: Adam Jones @simplyaj10 – The Local Fry @The LocalFry

Maryland wine competition announces their winners

The Annual Comptrollers Cup Competition, formerly known as the Winemasters Choice Competition, brings together wine makers from across the state of Maryland for a blind judging where the judges only know the composition of the wine, not the label, price nor any other details.  A flight of wines in a single category was dispersed to the five judges for evaluation.  

It is time to make room in your wine cellar for 2016 "Best in Class" Winners:

  • BEST WHITE: Boordy Vineyards • Landmark Reserve Albariño 2015 (Baltimore Co.)
  • BEST WHITE BLEND: Old Westminster Winery • Greenstone, Third Edition (Carroll Co.)
  • BEST ROSÉ: Crow Vineyard • Rosé 2015 (Kent Co.)
  • BEST RED: Old Westminster Winery • Malbec 2014 (Carroll Co.) *Best in Show
  • BEST RED BLEND: Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard • Evoe 2013 (Montgomery Co.)
  • BEST CIDER: Great Shoals Winery • Hard Blackberry (Montgomery Co.)
  • BEST FRUIT: Linganore Winecellars • Mango Sangria (Frederick Co.)
  • BEST MEAD: Charm City Meadworks • Sweet Blossom (Baltimore City)
  • BEST DESSERT: Linganore Winecellars • Indulgence (Frederick Co.)

Monday, August 01, 2016

Dine well in August with Summer Restaurant Week promotions

Sotto Sopra's 2 Course Restaurant Week lunch - $15 thru Aug 7th
Baltimore City’s Restaurant Week which kicked off last week has numerous restaurants that have extended through to Sunday, August 7th while Baltimore County Restaurant Week will start this Friday, August 5th and run through Sunday, August 20th.  A number of restaurants both in the city and county are offering special brunch options for the weekends. There is a little overlap, some county restaurants participate in the Baltimore City’s promotion and vice versa. 

Traveling during August, check your destinations for their summer restaurant week promotions.  NewYork City started their restaurant week in July,  July 25th, and it ends August 19th – 2 course lunch $29 and 3 course dinner $42.  


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