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.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Top-notched Virginia hospitality at the historic Jefferson Hotel


From the moment my car approached the impressive 19th century Jefferson Hotel, pulled into the cobblestoned drive lined with well-manicured topiary, greenery and flowers, I knew then that a luxury stay was eminent. Weary and road tired from a week long culinary road trip through the Carolinas, we were looking forward to our stay at the historic, AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. This stay would be the cherry-on-the-top, the icing-on-the-cake, and the crème-de-la-crème in sumptuous creature comforts especially in contrast to our trip’s previous Air BnB and Comfort Inn accommodations.


One cannot but be gobsmacked by the beauty of the Jefferson’s Palm Court lobby with its centerpiece, a statue of Thomas Jefferson, the focal point under the skylight of stained glass, with a selection of 1907 Tiffany  side windows.  The beaux arts continue as we peered down the 36 step grand staircase to the rotunda level from the mezzanine with its 70 foot decorative pillars. It surely feels like a step back in time, stunning – one can almost feel the exuberance of past guests and revelers. 

Watch the entire slideshow and read more at the Dara Cooks blog at Baltimore Post Examiner.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Wishes do come true - Down on the Farm Summer Celebration


Don’t save the date, buy your tickets now to an evening that will help make local children with life-threatening medical conditions wishes come true.  The Franzoni Family present’s their 5th Annual Summer Celebration on Saturday, September 9th – Down on their Verdant Valley Farm, under the stars, stars we’ve all been told by Disney to wish upon and isn’t that apropos for this evening’s festivities. The goal this year, $1,000,000 – and you can help make that wish come true by attending.  If your social calendar is already full and you can’t make this summer celebration, you can still donate cash and/or sponsor. Don’t be hesitant to share this story or event with your friends and family. One hundred of the net proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic. 

Watch the video and read the full story at Dara Cooks at Baltimore Post Examiner

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Stanford Kitchen Restaurant to open in Owings Mills

Press Release: Stanford Kitchen, part of the Blueridge Restaurant Group that operates sit-down restaurant locations in Columbia and Rockville, Maryland, as well as Orlando, Florida is entering the Baltimore County marketplace with its 4200 square foot lease in the former Stone’s Cove Kitbar free-standing building within Boulevard College Center. Located directly off Owings Mills Boulevard and Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Boulevard College Center is a 55-acre business community managed by David S. Brown Enterprises, LTD.

            Stanford Kitchen, which was designed to ensure that patrons enjoy a memorable dining experience, will bring an intimate feel to a relaxed atmosphere, serving recognizable American food from a scratch kitchen. The made to order, open-air kitchen will provide an upscale, yet inviting dining experience featuring 130 seats, and a large outdoor patio area. The restaurant bar will feature a wide array of specialty cocktails, beers on tap, and a large selection of wines.

Blueridge Restaurant Group expects to open Stanford Kitchen in Owings Mills by first quarter 2018.

“We are thrilled to bring our newest restaurant concept, Stanford Kitchen, to the Owings Mills community,” said David Jones, Managing Member of Blueridge Restaurant Group.  “We spent a considerable amount of time on this decision and ultimately came to the conclusion that this was an ideal location.  This concept will be familiar, but slightly smaller in size, for guests that have previously dined at the Stanford Grill, in Columbia.  As typical with all Blueridge Restaurant concepts, guests should expect a restaurant with a polished casual ambiance, top notch service, and understandable American cuisine that simply tastes great. We cannot wait to bring this signature concept to the Owings Mills community.”

“The owners and operators of Stanford Kitchen have established an extremely popular restaurant brand in Howard and Montgomery Counties, and we are bringing a well-known local operator to Baltimore County with this inaugural concept,” stated Ken Bernstein of David S. Brown Enterprises. “We are extremely confident in their ability to create a restaurant in which local consumers will embrace the atmosphere, menu and drink specialties. This concept is the perfect addition to Boulevard College Center. We believe Stanford Kitchen will immediately become a high traffic generator to the benefit of the existing merchant base because they run a first-class operation”

            Headquartered in Howard County, Maryland, Blueridge Restaurant group owns six restaurants throughout Florida and Maryland. In addition to four Copper Canyon Grill, and two Stanford Grill restaurants, this will be Blueridge Restaurant Group’s first Stanford Kitchen opening. The Stanford Kitchen brand features distinct, chef-inspired American cuisine in an upscale casual atmosphere that is conducive for power meetings, intimate diners or general gatherings with friends and families. For additional information visit www.BlueRidgeRestaurants.com

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Historic landmark to be made into a bakery


Single mom, hard working, award winning pastry chef Brandi Edinger reached out to me back in November asking my help should she go forward on a Kickstarter program, a dream to own her own bakery.  I first met Brandi when she was working at Baltimore’s Maryland Club and we have remained friends since.  She is a fighter, tenacious and let me add, talented. I’m asking for your generosity to help her achieve the long standing dream of owning her own bakery.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Finalists of Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament Set to Compete


PRESS RELEASE:  The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, is a  multi-week event is a single-elimination tournament designed to showcase some of the area's finest executive chefs and restaurants. Guests attending this exciting event will be more than just spectators, as they enjoy the unique experience of witnessing two spectacular area chefs battle it out in the prep kitchen right on the main floor. Each evening two chef teams go head-to-head to prepare an appetizer, entrée and dessert for each of three expert judges, as well as amuse bouche portions of their entrees for up to 30 audience member judges. Their creations are scored on creativity, presentation and taste, and only one chef advances to the next round. At the end of this tournament only one of the 16 competing chefs will emerge as THE Mason Dixon Master Chef! 10% of the net proceeds of each ticket sold directly to Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland. More information available at www.MasonDixonMasterChef.com ,

Final Two Restaurants to Compete on August 13, 2017

The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, the mid-Atlantic’s largest, live, interactive culinary competition, is coming to a close this Sunday, August 13, 2017. The summer-long competition began in early June with a field of 16 hopefuls, but is now down to the final two chef teams, who will go head-to-head for cash and prizes and the title of The 2017 Mason Dixon Master Chef Champions!

Below are the details for the final match Battle Royale, tickets are on sale now and are expected to sell-out.

Battle Royale

August 13 – Chef Fabio Mura of Grille 620 and River Hill Grill vs. Chef Damon Hersh of The Inn at Brookville Farms

Chef Fabio Mura, Grille 620 / River Hill Grill
Chef Fabio grew up in Sardinia, Italy where he obtained his culinary Degree in Culinary Arts and Management. He moved to the U.S. 19 years ago, where he made a home in Baltimore, and has since worked at some of the best restaurants in Baltimore, including: Sotto Sopra, Boccaccio, Blue Sea Grill, and Chazz: a Bronx Original. He is currently the executive chef at Grille 620 located at the Turf Valley Town Square and at River Hill Grill.

Chef Fabio won "Favorite New Restaurant" from the Restaurant Association of Maryland in 2014. He was also nominated for "Best Chef" from the Restaurant Association of Maryland in 2015.

Chef Damon Hersh, The Inn at Brookeville Farms
Chef Damon Hersh has been cooking for over 20 years, and in the restaurant business for over 25 years. He has experience and skill in a wide variety of culinary environments, including high-end fine dining, casual eating, family style, and ethnic influences. Chef Damon is currently the executive chef at The Inn at Brookville Farms located in Montgomery County in Brookeville, MD.

The Championship match will be held Sunday, August 13th. Bios of all competing chefs are available at http://www.masondixonmasterchef.com/schedule-results/bracket.php. The competitions will be held at Points South Latin Kitchen, 1640 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD (www.pointssouthbaltimore.com/).

Tournament Ticket Details

Tickets for the Final match are available for purchase at:

http://www.masondixonmasterchef.com/purchase-tickets/. Tickets are $65 and include all taxes, a wine tasting by Boordy Vineyards, passed hors d’oeurves, the competition, dessert and coffee.  New this year, ALL Tickets for the competition are ‘Judging Experience’ tickets, which allow all guests to taste each of the six courses the chef teams produce (family-style) and be part of the voting to decide the winner!

In addition, the Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament donates 10% of the net proceeds of each ticket sold directly to their charity partner Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland (http://www.mealsonwheelsmd.org).

Event Timeline:

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)– Happy Hour with Complementary passed Hors d’oeurves and Wine Tasting by Boordy Vineyards, plus Drink and Food Specials
6:15 p.m. – Cold Prep Begins for the Competition
7:00 p.m. – Chef Competition
8:00 p.m. – Judging Begins, Complementary Dessert and Coffee Served


Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Where is Giada de Laurentiis opening her Baltimore restaurant?

Revealed during a live Facebook interview, the Italian chef and television personality Giada de Laurentiis let it be known she is opening a restaurant in Baltimore in 2018 but not the specific location.  My best guess, and guess it will be, is Baltimore Horseshoe Casino.

1.       Horseshoe Baltimore Casino has 3 banners showing the chefs/restaurateurs (see photograph) on the front of the casino: Guy Fieri with his Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen + Bar, Gordon Ramsay taking over the Jack Binion’s Steak House location with his  eponymous steak house and the 3rd, a silhouette of what looks like a woman --- could it be Giada? My guess is yes!   

2.       Giada has a relationship with Caesars Entertainment Corporation with her Las Vegas restaurant in the Cromwell Hotel and Caesars is affiliated with the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino

So a second question arises, why there is no banner for the celebrated chef duo of Aaron Sanchez and John Besh for their Johnny Sanchez Restaurant – is that the space Giada will be taking over?  This is all speculation on my part; I have no confirmation on any of this. If Johnny Sanchez Restaurant remains, then where does Giada’s restaurant go? Not the tiny Asian Fύ Noodle House – so again, my guess, Johnny Sanchez’s location. The Baltimore Horseshoe Casino opened in August, 2014 – so are we looking at 4 year contracts on the restaurants?  Again, this just conjecture, no real facts to support any of what I have posted here. Let me know if you think she is opening elsewhere in Baltimore.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Summer Restaurant Weeks - Baltimore City, Baltimore County & Howard County

It seems this is the week that you can pick from an enormous amount of local restaurants as Baltimore City, Howard County and Baltimore County restaurant weeks converge together.  Howard County started first, Baltimore City kicked off on Friday and this coming Friday launches Baltimore County's Resaturant Weeks. Choices, choices, choices.  

Below are the links to the Restaurant Week pages for all three municapalities and my personal picks of specific restaurants worthy of a reservation.     


July 24 to August 7
Restaurants are offering lunch and dinners

Baldwin's Station – 7618 Main Street – Sykesville

Baldwin's Station is in the heart of downtown historical Sykesville – an old train station with al fresco dining right at the railroad track. Enjoy the farm-to-table dining and then with the money you saved, meander the many quaint shops on Main Street.

Lunch- 2 or 3 courses - $14.17 or $18.17 / Dinner – 3 courses $36.17

The Turn House – 11130 Willow Bottom Drive – Columbia

The Turn House is located at the Hobbit Glen Golf Course.  The vistas overlooking the greens and Chef Tom Zippelli, a native to Howard County, has come back to roost after working at Michelin starred restaurants 11 Madison Park and the French Laundry.

Dinner – 3 Courses $38.17

 BALTIMORE CITY - http://www.baltimorerestaurantweek.com/
July 28 to August 6
Restaurants are offering lunch, brunch and dinners. 

Sotto Sopra Restaurant – 405 N. Charles Street – Baltimore

Sotto Sopra has the most extensive menus, greater selection of their award winning Italian cuisines with a Maryland accent.  The room is stunning, candle lit tables, gilded mirrors, artwork in the historical 19th townhouse.  They have already extended both their lunch and dinner restaurant weeks through to Sunday August 13th.

Lunch – 2 Courses $15
Dinner – 3 Courses $35

Le Bistro Du Village – 1609 Sulgrave Avenue – Baltimore

Le Bistro Du Village, formerly known as Crepe Du Jour, is  in Mt. Washington Village. Their 3 course dinner menu is enticing with all the items you want to eat at a French Bistro; escargot, lamb chops, duck confit, chicken cordon blue and desserts…oooh laaa laaa- crepe Suzette, chocolate mousse. 

Dinner – 3 Courses $35

BALTIMORE COUNTY - http://www.baltimorecountyrestaurantweek.com/
August 4 to August 19
Restaurants are offering lunch, brunch and dinners

By the Docks – 3321 Eastern Boulevard – Middle River

By the Docks is valued packed seafood, a regular winner of the best crab cake in Baltimore. Can you imagine a 4 course dinner for $35.17 that includes choices like Seafood imperial, double crab cakes or New York Strip topped with crabmeat. 

Lunch – 3 Courses $20.17
Dinner – 4 Courses $35.17

The Milton Inn – 14833 York Road – Sparks

The Milton Inn has a rich history and the food by Chef Brian Boston is worth the simple drive out Interstate 83.  Romantic, visually stunning rooms and the menus for restaurant weeks are extensive in choices.

Lunch – 3 Courses $25.17
Dinner – 3 Courses $35.17
Brunch – 3 Courses $25.17


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Cochon555 is back! Don't be the little piggy that stays home


They’re back; those delicious, plump heritage pigs will be making an appearance Sunday, August 6th at Cochon555 in Washington DC at the Watergate Hotel.  An all out pig out and competition where five chefs (Jon Sybert-Tail Up Goat, BJ Lieberman-Rose’s Luxury, Kosta Kontogiannis-Kingbrid Restaurant, Zach Mills-Wit and Wisdom and Ben Pflaumer-Osteria Morini) create menus featuring the most delectable, tasty and imaginative dishes from their pigs.  

Read more and watch the video at Baltimore Post Examiner - Dara Cooks

Howard County Restaurant Week kicks off

PRESS RELEASE: Visit Howard County’s Summer Restaurant Weeks run July 24 - August 7, 2017. Howard County’s top restaurants are serving up savings with special menus that feature refreshing twists on summertime favorites that will feel light on your wallet. Participating restaurants will offer fixed price chef’s menus ranging from $15.00 to $45.00 (beverages, tax, gratuity not included, promotions and menus vary.)

“Our Restaurant Weeks are a highlight of the summer. The variety and options are fantastic – 30 restaurants offering fixed price meals and innovative dishes,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “We look forward to this opportunity every year to try out new restaurants and visit favorite spots. I encourage residents to get out and support local restaurants and enjoy a fabulous meal in the process.”
Amanda Hof, Director of Tourism Development for Visit Howard County coordinates the program and adds “we have a great variety of restaurants participating this year. There is truly something for everyone. All the familiar favorites are back as well as many new restaurants. Restaurant Weeks is a great opportunity for visitors and residents alike to experience the local culinary scene.”  

Also not to miss during Restaurant Weeks is the 7th annual Film ‘Feast’ival, July 25, at Clark’s Elioak Farm from 4:30 - 8:30 pm. This year’s event will include a farmers market, food trucks, samples from restaurants participating in Restaurant Weeks, music and an artisan market. In addition, ‘Feast’ival goers will have the chance to taste locally produced beer from Manor Hill Farm Brewery and spirits from Lost Ark Distilling Co. The featured film is “Forgotten Farms.”  It is the real-life story of New England Dairy Farms and talks about the challenges they face with today’s dairy industry.  These are the same challenges that Howard County family owned dairies face. It is a must-see film.  In between the two showings there will be a panel discussion of the film.  There is a $5 charge for each seating of the film, one at 5:00 pm and one at 7:00 pm.  Proceeds from the film showings will be donated to the Howard County Farm-City Scholarship Fund.

HOWARD COUNTY SUMMER RESTAURANT WEEKS, PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS as of July 18, 2017:

5485 Restaurant and Bar
AIDA Bistro
Alexandra's American Fusion
Baldwin's Station
BOLDER food/drink
Centre Park Grill
Clyde's Columbia
Elkridge Furnace Inn
Great Sage
Grille620
Kelsey's Restaurant and Catering
Kloby's Smokehouse
La Palapa
LongHorn Steakhouse
Maggianos Little Italy
Nora's Kabob
Petit Louis
Ranazul
Season's 52
Stella Notte Ristorante
Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant
The Alehouse Columbia
The County Cork Wine Pub
The Grill
The Iron Bridge Wine Co
The Kings Contrivance Restaurant
The Melting Pot
The Turn House
Town Grill at Fosters Country Store
Victoria Gastro Pub

An up-to-date list of participating restaurants is available at www.HoCoRestaurantWeeks.com along with behind the scenes YouTube videos of top chefs preparing their farm-to-table and dock-to-dish feasts.  

Tag For Swag Photo Contest

Diners enjoying Howard County Restaurant Weeks are encouraged to post pictures of their meals with the hashtag #HoCoRestaurantWeeks. Participants could win dining certificates from local restaurants!

McKeldin Square pop-up food marketplace adds music

PRESS RELEASE: Harbor Market, a pop-up food marketplace at McKeldin Square featuring the best eats from around Baltimore, will now feature live music on select dates throughout the summer.  Local musicians will be providing live tunes as Harbor Market visitors enjoy a variety of menu offerings from food trucks and local vendors, making Wednesday and Friday lunch breaks just that much more fun.

The musician line-up is below:
8/18: Sloe Jim
8/25: Mike Manos

The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore hosts the Harbor Market at McKeldin Square every Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. throughout the summer.

Rotating food vendors include:
·      Doobys
·      Smoking Swine
·      Green Bowl
·      Mex on the Run
·      Sobo Café
·      Dizzy Cow
·      Gypsy Queen
·      Ekiben
·      Bon Fresco


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ed Kim's Mi & Yu Noodle Shops expanding


Mi & Yu Noodle Shop reminds me of Tampopo, a 1985 Japanese comedy of many subplots, but at its core, making that perfect bowl of slurpable ramen noodle soups and we aren’t talking those packaged dried noodles with the flavor packets.  One might call Mi & Yu Noodle Shop a Ramen—ya, where ramen is a specialty and the soups are a reflection of the chef’s culinary prowess.  Chef Edward Kim worked months perfecting and creating his own broths, his own culinary spin on the ideal bowl of ramen. 

READ MORE at Dara Cooks at Baltimore Post Examiner 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Eddie's of Roland Park sampling Le Bon Magot - Don't miss this!


So, I ran into Amy today who I haven’t seen in eons and we were playing catch up with our lives.  We both discovered that we were at the Summer Fancy Food Show; she was scouting new products and food trends for Eddie’s of Roland Park. Our conversation proceeded with what did you see that you liked?

Read more: Baltimore Post Examiner - Dara Cooks  

Goodbye Jack Binion’s Steak, hello Gordon Ramsay Steak


By year’s end, Jack Binion’s Steak on the 1st level of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore will become the first east coast Gordon Ramsay Steak. Chef Ramsay’s cache, a television personality with multiple shows, currently: MasterChef, The F Word with Gordon Ramsay, Hell’s Kitchen. His expertise, his Gordon Ramsay Group operates a total of 31 restaurants globally, with seven Michelin stars.

“I’m thrilled to be coming to Baltimore, a really exciting and emerging culinary city,” Ramsay said. “Our exceptional team is developing a menu that will combine the best dry-aged beef, finest seafood and freshest locally-sourced ingredients to create a unique Charm City dining experience.”


The press release states, “Ramsay’s vision for the restaurant is reflected in the dishes on the modern steakhouse menu. Gordon Ramsay Steak showcases prime beef dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days and cuts such as the 32-ounce Royal Long-bone Chop for two as well as American Kobe. With a nod to his British roots, Ramsay has expanded on the traditional land and sea offerings and developed a menu that is both distinctive and creative. Ramsay’s Beef Wellington and Sticky Toffee Pudding dishes, which have been popular items at Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas, will be signature items on Ramsay’s Baltimore menu.” 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Points South Latin Kitchen will have you saying olé



My Points South Latin Kitchen review is live on Gayot.com.  They are located on the  cobblestone Thames Street in Fells Point. The restaurant is sizzling with great cuisine, service and you don't want to miss the Drag Brunches. You can also find them on the Hot 10 Baltimore Restaurants list.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

World Renowned Jazz Pianist in Baltimore for 1 Night Only

 Peter Beets, World-Renowned Pianist
“Chopin meets the Blues”
Sotto Sopra Restaurant - 405 N. Charles Street - Baltimore, MD 21201
Wednesday, June 28th
Open Reservations: from 6 pm to 9 pm
410 625 0534
 $10 cover charge per person plus dinner reservations -ala carte menu


It is with great pleasure that Sotto Sopra announces the internationally-acclaimed jazz pianist Peter Beets will be back performing at their restaurant on Wednesday, June 28th from 6 pm to 9 pm when he returns to touring in the United States.  Beets wowed our guests back in March and so enjoyed the intimacy of playing our dining room, he has agreed to play for you once again. 

 Beets is regularly featured at major concert venues and international jazz festivals.

The Dutch-born pianist will be playing limited engagement concerts in the US, on the East Coast: New York, Philadelphia and in Baltimore at Sotto Sopra. The theme will be "Chopin meets the Blues," a take on his album, Chopin meets the Blues Live.

Sotto Sopra will be serving our regular ala carte dinner menu and offering open seating between 6 pm to 9 pm. There will be a $10 cover charge per person along plus dinner from our ala carte menu. Seating is limited to 100 guests for the evening.
Listen to Peter Beets
Facebook: @PeterBeetsNL  Twitter: @PeterBeets
Cost per Person:  $10 cover charge per person plus entree order from our ala carte menu
Reservations required: (410) 625-0534
Sotto Sopra Restaurant - 405 N. Charles Street - Baltimore, MD  21201
(410) 625-0534

Link to Event Web Page


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Adult vacation playground: Virginia



For a couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to focus on writing my story about a recent trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, finding a focal point.  First, Virginia is core to our American History, over 400 years since the landing of the first English colony, Jamestown, and of course historic Colonial Williamsburg, where one steps back in time to what life was like in the days of yore. Virginia is steeped in the roots of America’s history. 


Virginia boasts an ever growing aquaculture, the largest producer of oysters on the East Coast.  Oyster lovers can indulge by following the Virginia Oyster Trail to 8 distinct locations throughout the state.  As aquaculture grows, so does the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ekiben: Don't leave Baltimore before trying their Asian fusion fare



The word “ekiben” loosely translates as a boxed meal sold at railway food stalls in Japan to passengers for their journey. The proprietors of Ekiben on Eastern Avenue are three college buddies who created a steamed bun phenomenon, selling their Asian fusion mashup fare at the local farmers market, and now at their own restaurant. 

Read my review at Gayot.com  - 10 Hot Spots for Dining in Baltimore



Friday, June 09, 2017

Potato Masala Recipe: National herb and spice day - Saturday June 10th

Your Dining Dish will be on Channel 45 WBFF at approximately 9:50 a.m, Saturday, June 10th  talking about National Herb and Spice Day.  I will be sharing spice and herb hacks along with preparing the potato masala recipe.  



Potato Masala
INGREDIENTS:

6 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Garlic powder to taste
10 curry leaves (not available use a teaspoon of madras curry)
24 oz. boiled waxy potatoes, cubed
Green chili, cut into small pieces
Add salt to taste
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. red chili powder
Cilantro, chopped fine

DIRECTIONS:
Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let crackle. After cumin seeds start to crackle, add garlic powder and curry leaves. Add potatoes while ingredients crackle in pan. Lower heat to simmer and add green chili, salt, sugar, red chili powder and chopped cilantro. Mix well and cover for 3-5 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and serve!

I crave Indian food from time-to-time but don't have the time to do it right, grind the spices fresh, or don't have all the ingredients...for a "quick Indian food fix" I eat the Tandoor Chef frozen dinner products found here in Baltimore at Whole Foods and Safeway. 

Watch the cooking demonstration on Fox 45 Baltimore: Cooking Segment


Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Feastival is back: Come hungry


Benefitting Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, this waterfront food and drink walkabout is my charity event pick for June.
 
Enjoy the waterfront view at the Four Seasons Hotel Promenade on Saturday, June 17th from noon to 4 p.m. as you indulge in culinary delights from restaurants  like Wit & Wisdom, Gnocco, Cask & Grain, Minnow, La Food Marketa, Center Cut Doughnuts, Modern Cook Shop, Loch Bar, Clavel, Azumi, Gunther & Co., Hersh’s, Blue Pit BBQ,and more!


Feastival, Date: June 17, 2017 - Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Harbor East’s Waterfront Promenade (Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore) - 200 International Drive, Baltimore, MD 21202
Tickets: $125 or Two for $200 
Purchase tickets at the event website:   bit.ly/CF4Feastival
Instagram @Feastivalbaltimore

Friday, June 02, 2017

Hot top 10 restaurants in Baltimore: Cosima



You will never go wrong seeking out Cosima, the Sicilian based cuisine restaurant. Executive chef Donna Crivello's vision is inspired by her Italian grandmother. Check out my review on Gayot.com where they have already been put in the top ten Baltimore restaurants as well as top al fresco dining.  


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hot Club of Baltimore back by popular demand at Sotto Sopra Restaurant

Sotto Sopra Restaurant is on fire with their live entertainment for the month of June, especially for jazz lovers.

 
The Hot Club of Baltimore, a gypsy jazz group specializing in the vast repertoire of vintage jazz including early swing, musette waltzes, bebop and French standards from the 30’s and 40’s.  Along with the musicians, Ethan Philion, Michael Joseph Harris and Sami Arefin, you will be treated to their song stylings from the young chanteuse Alexis Tantau who will mesmerize you with her authentic treatment of songs from Edith Piaf to Ella Fitzgerald

Hot Club of Baltimore thrilled Sotto Sopra's 21st Anniversary Party crowd back in April and they are excited to have them in on this Sunday evening to entertain you once again with their gypsy jazz and renditions of tunes both old and new.   

Hot Club of Baltimore with chanteuse Alexis Tantau
Sunday, June 11th
6 pm to 9 pm – open reservations
$10 cover plus dinner reservations / ala carte menu

Sotto Sopra Restaurant – 405 N. Charles Street – Baltimore, MD  21201  410 625-0534





Friday, May 26, 2017

Broadway Night at Sotto Sopra: Join in the sounds of music



Sotto Sopra Restaurant at 405 N. Charles Street is turning Mt. Vernon into their own Great White Way with their Broadway Night on Sunday, June 4th starting at 6 p.m.  Featured performers from the Baltimore Men’s Chorus (BMC); Cole Reilly, Nathan “Brad” Bradley, and Stephen McMahon will breathe life into popular Broadway Musical songbooks

Sotto Sopra is encouraging attendees to come dressed as anyone of their favorite Broadway show characters, so put on your lederhosen if Sound of Music is your favorite or rollers in your hair if you are a beauty school dropout from Grease. 

READ MORE: At Dara Cooks Blog at Baltimore Post Examiner

Friday, May 19, 2017

Seafood bonanza: By the Docks



By the Docks, a Middle River restaurant, a prominent fixture on Eastern Boulevard, has been recognized and awarded numerous accolades for Baltimore’s Best Crab Cake.  Is it the best, many will agree that the large, lump  Blue Swimming crabmeat cake, broiled to golden brown perfection reigns supreme.  By the Docks’ crab cakes are so popular that you can now have them shipped to anywhere in the contiguous United States. 

Read more and watch the slideshow at my Dara Cooks Blog on Baltimore Post Examiner. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New Pappas Sports Bar in recently renovated Holiday Inn Inner Harbor

Located in the heart of downtown Baltimore, a short walk from Baltimore’s Convention Center, Camden Yards, and Royal Farms Arena is the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor at 301 W. Lombard Street.  Along with the refreshed 365 rooms are the common areas including the lobby, lounge, coffee and gift shop serving Baltimore’s own Zeke’s Coffee, business center, indoor pool, event space including the 4,000 sq. ft. Chesapeake Ballroom and notably a new restaurant, Pappas Sports Bar.  Yes, Baltimore, one the contenders for the Best Crab Cake in Baltimore, Pappas will be offering their award-winning crab cakes to visitors and locals alike in their first downtown location.


“For decades, this iconic hotel has graced the Baltimore skyline, and welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests.  The renovations are extensive – it looks and feels like a brand new property and we couldn’t be happier,” said Adam Novotny, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor. “We know our guests and meeting attendees will appreciate a higher level of comfort and exceptional service delivered by our outstanding team.”

Friday, May 12, 2017

New bar bites and crafted cocktails at Bonefish Grill


Bonefish Grill calls it their Hand-Crafted Happy Hour because they feature their $5 Hand-Crafted Martini and Cocktails the likes of the Raspberry Vodka Collins with Tito’s vodka, Blueberry Lemon Drop with Absolut Citron, Tropical Tiki Martini with Captain Morgan rum, and Fresh Margarita with Dimeca Altos Tequila.  There are other libation specials: $1 off draft beers, $4 House Wines and select spirits $5. The Raspberry Collins was a bit strong for my companion, but the Tropical Tiki Martini was enjoyed by both of us. The Tropical Tiki Martini was a refreshing blend of island flavors and not to overly sweet.

Watch the slideshow and read more at Dara Cooks at Baltimore Post Examiner

Thursday, May 04, 2017

The Nickel Taphouse keeps brunch hot with Nashville Hot Fried Chicken


If I rave on about the Nickel Taphouse Brunch it is because there is so much that is good.  Yes, I was invited in as their guest to taste their new brunch menu items, to spread the Nickel Taphouse Brunch good word, but I fell in love with numerous brunch offerings, especially the Nashville Hot Fried Chicken with French toast.  They take a couple liberties with the traditional Tennessee recipe rather than Tabasco or Texas Pete they use honey Sriracha for that sweet hot bite of flavor which is counterbalanced with the cool, airy, whipped cream on their French toast. It was so good, I have had sense memory flashbacks and I find myself licking my lips.  

Watch the slideshow and read the full story at my Dara Cooks blog - Baltimore Post Examiner 

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