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, July 30, 2016

Sellout Fork & Cork dinner series is back: Four top chefs and four top sommeliers

Such a success last year,  Fork & Cork dinner series, now called Fork & Cork 2.0 brings together a selection of Baltimore’s top chefs who for one night a month fashion a pop up dinner at each other’s restaurants as they cook together.  Now their sommeliers are challenged to find the best pairings with the chefs inspired culinary renderings.  Last year was a sell out with three nights, three chefs and three sommeliers.  This year there are now four chefs and four sommeliers, adding Chef Ben Lefenfeld of La Cuchara and their sommelier, Greg Schwab.

Each pop up dinner, the chef host and sommelier set the tone with their choices for the main course and dessert, the other three visiting chefs and sommeliers put their best visions on their plate and in the wine glass to cover the three remaining courses.  Each month, on a Tuesday evening at 6: 30 pm, all four chefs and all four sommeliers put together your food and wine dining experience.

1.       August 16th – Aggio Restaurant – Chef Bryan Volaggio and Advanced Sommelier Chris Coker
2.       September 13th – La Cuchara – Chef Ben Lefenfeld and Advanced Sommelier Greg Schwab
3.       October 18th – Fleet Street Kitchen – Chef Chris Becker and Sommelier Tim Riley
4.       November 15th – Wit & Wisdom – Chef Zack Mills and Advanced Sommelier Julie Dalton

You can attend one, two or three of these dinners BUT if you purchase all four dinners, there is an added bonus, you will receive a $20 gift card to each of these four restaurants and you will be entered in to "WIN dinner for Two" at all of them.

The five course dinner and wine pairing is $115 per person (excludes tax and service charge) Purchase tickets at EventBrite

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The biggest, best Bloody Mary east of the Rockies: Phillips Crab Feast Bloody Mary

Come the weekends with brunches in full swing, Instagram is saturated with snaps of the latest and greatest Bloody Mary’s topped with bacon, burgers, ribs, chicken almost every concoction of food toppings but nothing like Phillips Seafood’s Crab Feast Bloody Mary Meal. A pitcher of Bloody Marys bedecked with skewered Maryland steamed crabs, jumbo shrimp, chicken wings, corn and baked potatoes all draped with fishermen’s netting and lemon slices presented with plastic cups rimmed with their seafood seasoning and a ladle to fill those cups with local favorite, George’s Bloody Mary Mix, and jalapeño-infused vodka – you should be full just reading this!

The Crab Feast Bloody Mary won’t be around long, it is a limited engagement available only on Saturdays and Sundays at Phillips Crab Deck where you can enjoy a nice breeze, great view, people watching and when we were there, live music. 

Phillips Bloody Mary Crab Feast brought oohs and aaahs and it was placed on our paper-covered table and diners lined up to take photographs. The real fun began digging in, what first a steamed crab, no shrimp; no, let’s have a taste of the chicken wings.  My gal pal and I put a serious hurting on this gargantuan Bloody Mary Meal – I think there was only a potato left when we cried uncle. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Horseshoe Casino Lucky Food Truck Festival

On Thursday, August 4th from 4PM - 9PM bite into the delicious flavors of nine of Baltimore's most delicious food trucks. Partake of this culinary adventure at Horseshoe Casino’s Entertainament Plaza.This gathering is sure to exceed your expectations with nine insanely delicious mobile eateries and drink specials all night!

The Food Truck Lineup:
-Bistro Lunchbox
-Deja Roux
-Greek On The Street
-Jimmy's Seafood
-Koco Korean Fusion
-Pasta La Vista Baby
-Pizza Di Joey
-T&J Waffles
-The Smoking Swine

All Total Rewards members will also have a chance to win a 4 NIGHT STAY at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas and new members can win up to $250 in Free Play!

Horseshoe Casino – 1525 Russell Street – Baltimore, MD 21230

Sunday, July 17, 2016

It’s a party – Hampden’s The Charmery turns 3

A 3 year old would have ice cream at their birthday party, but this 3 year old, Baltimore’s most creative ice cream parlor, the Charmery, will be rocking out their specialty ice cream flavors on Saturday, July 23rd from noon until 11 p.m.  This year’s theme is 90’s R&B and hip-hop complete with a performance by the Team Squad Up Baltimore Dance Crew and a 90’s invasion at the dipping cabinet. 

Owner and master flavor mixer, David Alima has stated, “There are at least eight brand new flavors based off the lyrics of our favorite 90’s R&B songs. We’ve based the flavors on song lyrics and there is a contest for who can identify the most songs. As we believe in fair play, this means we can’t tell you the flavors just yet, but some of the new flavors include a Sourdough & Jam, Fresh Mint and Honeydew, and one based off of a Philly Cheesesteak.“

Thursday, July 14, 2016

14th Silver Diner opens in Frederick

The Maryland owned Silver Diner chain has opened their 14th diner in Frederick Maryland.  All shiny and new, the Silver Diner will have all the bells, whistle and replica 1956 Seeburg jukeboxes. Updated since starting 27 years ago, the diner offers a number of items that are locally sourced, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu items. Unlike some Silver Diner locations, the bar at the Frederick location will be expanded with handcrafted cocktails, local beers and wines and spiked shakes.    

This latest Silver Diner is located 5120 Buckeystown Pike, located at the Westview Promenade, has a whopping 230 seats.  If you are heading to the Frederick Wine Festival, Saturday, August 6th, might be a great time to pop in and grab a bite going to or from the festival.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

And the winner is Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey

Baltimore’s newly based rye whiskey company, Sagamore Spirit, won two SIP Awards for their flavor profile and packaging; the Platinum Best in Class Award in the American Straight Rye whiskey category and a Gold Award in the Individual Bottle Design category.  Sagamore Spirit was one of 462 international brands presented to consumers in a double blind tasting.

The new rye whiskey born, where rye whiskey distillers had their home since the mid 1800’s, Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey brings back the American rye whiskey tradition.  From the pure naturally filtered spring waters, fed from a limestone aquifer, Maryland’s Sagamore Farm/ Sagamore Spirit has risen to wow whiskey drinkers

Impressive kitchen creds for new chef/owner of Coho Grill

Coho Grill, overlooking Hobbit’s Glen Golf Course in Columbia, Maryland welcomed a new chef owner, Thomas Zippelli on  July 1st.  Chef Zippeli  has a very impressive CV: Bachelor of Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales, worked 3 years, not a week’s stagiaire, 3 years  under 3 Michelin Star chef Daniel Humm at Eleven Madison Park in New York and 2 ½ years under Chef Thomas Keller, another 3 Michelin Star chef of the world renowned The French Laundry. I did say impressive and I don’t lie.

My food curiosity is up and a trip to Coho Grill is on my itinerary and probably should be on yours. A look at their regular dinner menu lends insight into a moderately priced bistro, casual dining operation.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dinner guests with food allergies

When entertaining these days, how do you cope with people's food allergies and/or dislikes. What used to be simple has become fixing a different meal for each guest? Your thoughts?

You don't want to go to the trouble of fixing a meal and finding out your guest can't eat half of what you have fixed BUT between food allergies, specialty diets your window of what to fix has narrowed or you become a short order cook meeting everyone's needs. What do you do?

Talk amongst yourselves and then share!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Frederick Wine Festival inaugural event – can you say “Day Trip”

Frederick, Maryland, a city with a rich history, is having their first ever Wine Festival on Saturday, August 6th at  Carroll Creek Linear Park.  A visit last year to Frederick reminded me how much I like the quaint Main Street feel and embraced the new Carroll Creek Linear Park along the water – centerpiece of the city’s revival. 

No more than an hour away from Baltimore and Washington DC, located in the rolling hills for Frederick County – come get your wine on!

Twenty local wineries are participating – enjoy complimentary tastes and take advantage of the Wine Check for your bottles of wine  purchased:

Tentative chefs/restaurants and offerings are:

Langermann's expands

pan roasted Alaskan Halibut
Langermann’s, the Southern, Lowcountry inspired restaurant located in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood, at the Can Company, has grown, adding additional seating for outdoor dining plus, get this…a bocce ball court. Be sure to grab one of those new extra seats for live entertainment on Wednesday evenings located on the patio and indulge in the ½ price wine special for that evening.  

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Madame BBQ and Bistro Lunch Box food trucks partnering in Share Kitchen

Hot off Facebook! Friend and talented chef Nikki Mcgowan, owner of the Madame BBQ (@MadameBBQ) food truck has partnered with the folks at Bistro Lunch Box (@bistrolunchbox) food truck and signed a lease on a 2400 square foot kitchen in Locust Point.  It is to be called Share Kitchen and it will be a commissary space for like minded food lovers. They will be in the same building including Diamondback Brewery which will be right next door.


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