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, June 27, 2013

Shiso Tavern anniversary party and sushi making classes

If you are wondering where to be tonight, Thursday, June 27th, for libations and some top notched sushi considered Canton Squares’ Shiso Tavern.  It is their one year anniversary and there will be drink specials, complimentary appetizers and an extend happy hour, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  

$3 Blue Moon Agave Nectar Ale
$10 Brew Buckets
$5 Specialty Cocktails
$5 Glasses of Wine
$3 Drafts and Bottles
$9 WOKS 

Check out the slideshow and details about the July Sushi classes HERE

Fleet Street Kitchen – their farm to your table

This is not the first time I’ve written about Bagby Restaurant Group’s Fleet Street Kitchen and probably won’t be the last.  From the media sneak peek at Fleet Street Kitchen at their own Cunningham Farms, the addition to the Fleet Street culinary guard of Executive Chef Chris Amendola and to this post about what’s new at Fleet Street Kitchen under culinary tutelage of Chef Amendola, I continue to wax poetic.

Amendola, not only embraces farm-to-table, one could say he has it in a bear hug.  He is a forager finding ramps in the spring to the mulberries of summer. He also has Bagby Restaurant Group’s Cunningham Farms in Baltimore that supplies not just one kind of tomato but 15 varieties, 18 other crops, 3 types of edible flowers, 13 herbs and their own chickens for eggs.  And it keeps growing.  

Read the full story and watch the slideshow HERE 

Fleet Street Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Drop your mallets and vote for Baltimore's crabs

Website 10Best, a division of USA Today Travel has just launched the 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards.  It will cover all those things that travel encompasses from food, hotels, modes of transportation, things to do etc.  

Their first Readers’ Choice is the Best Iconic American Food and our Baltimore Crabs are one of twenty nominees. We are competing against the likes of Honolulu Poi. Kentucky Burgoo, Wisconsin Cheese Curds, Key West Key Lime Pie, Seattle Dungeness Crab for the top 10 spots.

Voters will have four weeks to vote, and are allowed one vote per category, per day. Click on the snapshot of the steamed crabs to vote at 10Best Iconic American Food. We are currently in 3rd place. Drop your mallets and vote!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Restaurant news from Hampden

The first day of summer was beautiful weather and an inspiration to hop in my car and go check out the comings, the arrived and the remodeled in Hampden. .

Get the scoop on The ChaRmery, Paulie Gee's Hampden, Choux - Ma Petite Shoe Cafe, Cafe Hon, and Birroteca HERE

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why you should make a reservation for Heavy Seas Alehouse guest chefs dinner

If your calendar for Wednesday, June 26th is open and you want to experience a unique evening of food and diverse beverages then you should make a reservation for the Heavy Seas Alehouse guest chef dinner.

Reason one – an amazing line up of chefs who will create your five course dinner. These aren’t your average run-of-the-mill chefs:

  • Chef & Restaurateur Cathal Armstrong – Restaurant Eve – Alexandria, VA – 2013 James Beard Finalist – Cathal’s restaurant empire includes Eamonn’s, The Majestic and Virtue Food and Grain.
Read the full story and check out the amazing chefs and the diversity of beverages HERE

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Little Italy’s open air film fest now serving food and beverages

Every Friday night at 9 p.m. during the summer since 1999 Baltimore’s Little Italy Restaurant Association has offered Cinema al Fresco, an open air film festival featuring Italian made or Italian themed movies free of charge. Numerous guests arrive early to dine at local Little Italy restaurants, put up their lawn chairs and enjoy the featured Italian film of the evening.

The movies are projected on the outside wall of Ciao Bella Restaurant in the Da Mimmo Ristorante parking lot from a row home across the street. Mr. John Pente, whose home it was until his passing at 100 year of age in 2011, whole heartedly supported the film fest. His nephew, Ray Lancelotta, continuing the tradition has opened the home so a projector can be set up in the third floor bedroom window.

Watch the video, get the movie schedule and new menu HERE

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

River Park, River Park Farm and lunch with Suzanne

What a day in New York usually means to me dining in as many restaurants as possible and for my trip the next to the last day of May was no exception. The reason for the trip was to write a story on three Baltimore’s restaurants and their chefs that were creating a five course dinner at the James Beard House –read the full story – Charm City culinary stars shine at the legendary James Beard HouseThat would be dinner.

Where to dine for lunch? I've learned to leave that up to my New York City dwelling friends, most often Suzanne, a chef, sought after cookbook editor and indexer. She never fails me with interesting and delicious meals from a Korean tofu house, Vietnamese, Indian and American cuisine restaurants – all memorable, all delicious.

Read the full story, watch slideshow and video HERE 
Riverpark on Urbanspoon

Charm City culinary stars shine at legendary James Beard House

I stepped into the former home of the late cookbook author James Beard, where a number of folks were gathered in the foyer as well as the front anteroom. I spied the open kitchen in the New York brownstone, pausing to take photographs and watch the chefs hard at work.

What the Emmys are to television, the Oscars to the movies is what the James Beard Foundation Awards are to the culinary industry. Snagging a nomination for the highly coveted award is a badge of honor.

Read the full feature story at and check out the snapshots HERE

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ten Ten's new Chef de Cuisine

Chef Roger Black, the new chef de cuisine at Ten Ten, an American bistro, gave us media types a sneak peek of his slow food approach to cooking, making as much in house and from scratch culinary slant for Ten Ten seasonal menus. Black earned his taller toques as he worked in kitchens in Maryland and Arizona, one being the executive chef of Severna Park’s Woodfire Grill and at Baltimore Country Club.

Part of the Bagby Restaurant Group, Ten Ten takes advantage of their own Cunningham Farms produce, eggs from their chickens and soon their own farm raised pigs and lambs. Committed to local sustainability, all their seafood falls within the “good” or “good alternative” categories of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Watch.

Read the full story and watch the slideshow HERE

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where has David Derewicz gone?

The man who was for more years anyone would like to think about was the face of one of Baltimore’s premiere restaurants, The Prime Rib, had disappeared.  We, in the related food businesses, kept asking where has David Derewicz gone? No response, nothing on Facebook, LinkedIn – no one had a clue.

Not long ago, David reached out to me to respond on a story that I was writing about what patrons steal from restaurants.  Not only did he share a juicy tidbit for my story but told me he was going to work for a restaurant group in Baltimore but at that time couldn’t share which one. 

Find out where David is - click HERE for the full story.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Local chef competition begins June 17th and you are invited

The Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, a summer long single-elimination culinary competition, featuring 16 local restaurants and chef teams is set to begin this month. The tournament, which began in 2010, has moved back to Baltimore City this year, and found a new home at Mari Luna Bistro (1225 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201) right in the heart of the cultural district.

This year’s tournament looks to be the best year yet, and has some exciting new features to offer guests, all included with their admission:

Learn more on how you can attend and even be a judge of the food HERE

Monday, June 03, 2013

Introducing B & O American Brasserie Chef Brad Willits

The husband and I took advantage of a media invite to come sample the culinary wares of the B & O American Brasserie’s new chef for our anniversary dinner. We were advised early in the afternoon that Chef Brad Willits had hurt his back that day and would not be able to join us. Chefs work through pain, you’ve seen it on Top Chef when they have cut, burned or even broken bones they continue on. Chef Willits has that same fortitude and worked through his pain to be there that evening. He came to our table a couple of times during the meal to talk about the dishes, answer questions. I should call him Chef Charming, so warm, so knowledgeable and so damn cute – I wanted to adopt him.

We chatted about his culinary lineage from his Italian grandfather, his dad’s cafĂ© in Florida to his stages and positions at James Beard Award winning chefs’ kitchens. Within a year’s time he has risen from chef-de-cuisine at the B & 0 American Brasserie to his new position as executive chef overseeing not only the restaurant but the Hotel Monaco’s banquets (i.e. business, weddings, bar or bat mitzvahs etc.).

Watch the slideshow and read the full story HERE


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