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, March 29, 2018

Duck Duck Goose to replace 8 Ball Bar & Grill

Announced just yesterday on their Facebook page, Fells Point’s  8 Ball Bar & Grill is closing at 814 South Broadway.  The meatball centric restaurant and bar opened its doors February, 2016 which had previously been Tapas Adela. In their Facebook farewell notice they reminded folks, “to continue to shop local, eat local, BE local.”  There will be lots of specials happening building up to their grand finale on Monday, April 2nd.    

Chef Ashish Allfred
In a press release received yesterday comes the news that Bethesda Chef Ashish Alfred is bringing his popular French-style brasserie to Fells Point this summer in the same location.   Southern Living magazine named Bethesda’s Duck Duck Goose (DDG) Maryland’s best restaurant. 

Everything you want to know at this time is in the press release, so let me just paste it all for your edification and review.

“The new Duck Duck Goose will bring its fresh take on the classic French brasserie, focusing on seasonal ingredients prepared through simple, time-honored cooking methods. Guests will savour delicious, expertly-prepared cuisine spanning classical to modern Parisian influences. Chef Alfred has a simple description of his creations: “good food, done well.” As in Bethesda, guests will be treated to an unparalleled standard of service from the moment they arrive. But Alfred is adamant that the new Baltimore location isn’t going to be a clone no Duck Duck Goose, The Deuce here. Instead, he says it will have its own unique personality and flair.

Unique to Baltimore: the facility’s front and rear private outdoor patios, large centralized bar, and busy Fells Point locale, perfect for catering to locals and tourists. Chef Alfred plans to offer more small plate options than in Bethesda. The average entree is expected to cost less than $24. In peak times, Duck Duck Goose will accommodate about 85 people at 22 tables and the bar, plus more at the outdoor cafes. With its five-star location near the water and posh atmosphere, Alfred plans to tap into Fells Point sophisticated nightlife scene and serve food and cocktails late into the night. It will be the ideal place to start, enjoy and/or end the evening.

The culinary star has competed on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchenand Chopped. Chef Al, as he’s often called, ​ ​trained at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, and sharpened his skills in some of the best kitchens in NYC. He is the chef and owner of the Alfred Restaurant Group’s three restaurants (George’s Chophouse, also in Bethesda, is the third). Alfred opened Duck Duck Goose in Bethesda in 2016, and it quickly became the destination for casually elegant dining, fine wine tastings, weekend brunches and intimate, late-night cocktails.

Chef Al is also candid about his long running drug and alcohol addiction issues, which started when he was in his late teens. He credits his passion for creating recipes and cooking among the reasons he’s been sober now for three years. In addition, he’s named his latest restaurant after his late brother George, who was also critical in helping him find the road to sobriety.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Best place to slurp oysters on National Oyster on the Half Shell Day

Ok, there are a number of places to get your raw oysters on National Oysters on the Half Shell Day on March 31st BUT, how about free valet parking all day long, an amazing view and portions of the proceeds benefit Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation.  Oysters are only $1.50 each and if you order a dozen, enjoy a glass of Prosecco for just $6.

You ask, OK, where is this place? It is 16 on the Park (the 16th floor), the Residence Inn Baltimore at The John Hopkins Medical Campus’ rooftop restaurant in Eager Park. Located at 800 N Wolfe Street, near Orleans Street, and again, let me stress free valet parking all day.  We might even be seeing spring that day, highs near 60 – enjoy the patio and the sunshine. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Spanish Paella Day

Paella flashback! In honor of today being Spanish Paella Day I submit to you, for your review, a paella I made for 40 people back in the days I worked in the kitchen at the Center for Hellenic Studies. Tapped into my big supply of saffron*, homemade chicken stock and went for it. chicken, shrimp, mussel - no peas, why - because I don't like peas. The pan was so heavy that someone had to lift it to the buffet. Success was gauged by the two Spanish women who worked there who said it was one of the best paellas they had ever had. I think they were kissing up so they could take leftovers home with them. I don't believe I've made paella since.

*From my days working at Vanns Spices.

Have you made paella, if so, what do you like to put in your paella?

Sunday, March 25, 2018

It's National International Waffle Day


Food memory:  This tasty tidbit is the Not Your Mama's Shortcake Belgium Waffle at the Iron Rooster in Hunt Valley. I was awarded yet another gold star in the clean plate club.  Ice cream, waffle, strawberries and whipped cream - you would clean the plate as well.  So if you are brunchng this Sunday, feel free to indulge!

Friday, March 16, 2018

MY SHIP- Songs from 1941 Cabaret comes to Baltimore

 New York’s Cabaret MAC Award Winner
Dawn Derow’s  docks “My Ship” at Sotto Sopra
Sunday, August 8th – 6 pm to 9 pm

Cabaret at its best – MY SHIP has won accolades from New York City audiences this past fall and for a “one night only” performance, singer extraordinaire Dawn Derow and her pianist, Ian Hermann, will perform the award winning show at Sotto Sopra Restaurant. Step back in time and listen to Dawn Derow’s renditions of 1941’s Hit Parade interspersed with a five course, fine dining Italian dinner from Sotto Sopra.

The reviews are in, MY SHIP ~ Songs from 1941 - “Dawn Derow’s show exceeds and changed my opinion of cabaret singers. This isn’t just a cabaret, but a fabulous one women show.” - Suzanne Bowling - Times Square Chronicles. “The title song of the show, “My Ship” (Kurt Weill, Ira Gershwin), which she sings far better than Gertrude Lawrence ever did… “ - Robert Windeler from The Bistros

Tapping into the top hits of 1941 with songs like "Chattanooga Choo Choo", " Boggie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "The White Cliffs of Dover," Dawn Derow's "My Ship" explores the emotional climate of America as it entered WWII and opens our minds and heart to the women of that era, whether they were a 'Rosie the Riveter', a housewife raising children alone, a USO entertainer, or a nightclub singer. Derow revisits the music that comforted and uplifted a nation until there was peace "At Last."


Boston Lettuce Salad
Gorgonzola cheese/pomegranate seeds/Champagne vinaigrette/balsamic glaze

Asparagus Risotto
with scallop /orange brown butter

Mango Sorbet

Duck Confit
With mashed potatoes/broccolini/demi-glaze

Vanilla & Orange Cheesecake
with raspberry sorbet

$62 per person
(includes 5 course dinner & live cabaret show)
Excludes beverages, tax and gratuity

Tickets/Reservations: 410 625 0534
Watch Dawn perform songs from MY SHIP

DAWN DEROW: A graduate from Boston Conservatory with a degree in Music: Vocal Performance & Opera Emphasis. Since moving to New York, she has performed in various clubs such as Birdland, The Metropolitan Room The Cutting Room, Don’t Tell Mama, The Friar’s Club and Carnegie Hall, as part of “Cole Porter’s 125 De-lovely Celebration.” Dawn won a 2015 MAC award for her work in the duo show REVOLUTION. Her album MUSIC 4 TWO with guitarist, Sean Harkness won for her a 2014 MAC Nomination for album of the year and in 2016 Bistro Award for Outstanding Vocalist for LEGIT: a Classical Cabaret.

IAN HERMAN: He began his musical career studying classical piano. At the age of thirteen he was a guest soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. After attending Manhattan School Of Music, Ian began working with performers including Jane Olivor, Donna McKechnie, Anita Morris, Judy Kaye, Tom Andersen, Karen Mason, Sharon McNight,Marilyn Sokol, Angela LaGreca, Carole Demas, and Joy Behar in nightclubs in New York and around the country. In 1999 he received the Backstage Bistro Award for best Musical Director. He was a pianist and vocal coach at the Broadway revival of Grease, working with guest stars such as Al Jarreau, Jon Secada, Sheena Easton, Chubby Checker, and Darlene Love. His other Broadway credits include “Jelly’s Last Jam”, “The Who’s Tommy”, “Song And Dance”, and “Swing”, for which he wrote vocal and dance arrangements. and “Laughing Room Only” with Jackie Mason. Recently he performed a concert with guitarist Sean Harkness, celebrating their new CD “DUET”, consisting of all original music.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

7th Annual Taste of Pikesville


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27TH - 5:30 pm to 8 pm

Suburban Club
7600 Park Heights Avenue - Baltimore MD  21208 

This casual night of food, festivity and fun highlighting Pikesville will feature signature dishes from 45+ restaurants and caterers, along with complimentary beer, wine and cocktails, music, raffle prizes and other surprises. Approximately 350 guests are expected.

Here is a small selection of participating restaurants:  Citron, Cravin, Mezcal, La Food Marketa, Linwoods, Ruth's Chris Steak, Island Quizine, Mr. Chan, Eggspectation, Gourmet Again, Bonefish

Proceeds from the Taste of Pikesville will support the Baltimore Hunger Project a 501(c) 3 non-profit charity that feeds hungry children on weekends during the school year. The remainder will support the Chamber’s efforts to improve Pikesville to attract more people and businesses to the area.


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