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.

Friday, February 23, 2018

New culinary options at Baltimore Washington International Airport

I’m not as old as the Wright Brothers, but I do remember when Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport was Friendship Airport.  It was a time when one dressed up to travel; ladies in dresses, high heels, and white gloves not pajamas and slippers that I’ve seen recently. We could go outside onto the observation deck and watch the planes taxi and take off.  Meals were served on flights, definitely not haute cuisine, but more than the bag peanuts or pretzels offered today by the airlines. 

I remember a trip to Paris with my friend, a caterer, who beautifully packed up meals tied with multicolored ribbons to eat on the plane and sharing the remains of cheese from Paris’s street markets on the flight home.  Those days are gone!

Check out the full story and slideshow at the Dara Cooks column at Baltimore Post Examiner

Sunday, February 18, 2018

New hardy winter dishes at the BoatHouse in Canton

Canton’s waterfront restaurant, the BoatHouse, is way more than that beautiful waterfront view and al fresco dining.  The restaurant boasts an active bar and multi level dining rooms.  The BoatHouse is the full package: lunch, happy hour, dinner and brunch on the weekends.  

Check out the new menu items, slideshow and puppy pop-up at Dara Cooks at Baltimore Post Examiner

Santé: A Culinary Odyssey

Thursday, March 15th - 6 pm to 10 pm

American Visionary Art Museum
800 Key Hwy, Baltimore, MD 21230

With over 300 guests anticipated, this business casual evening will feature tastings from 25 of Baltimore’s best restaurants, caterers and chefs, paired with enticing beverages. To date some of the participating vendors include B&O American Brasserie, Cunningham’s, The Food Market, Natasha’s Just Brittle, Alexandra's American Fusion, Libs Grill, Lotz of Sweets, George Martins Grillfire, Honey Hive Bakery, Copper Kitchen, Maryland Club, Richardson Farms, Little Havana, Tagliata, Sandy Bottom Sparkling Rum Cocktails and Baltimore Whiskey Company.

Adding to the fun will be celebrity judges, the People’s Choice competition, live entertainment and a silent auction featuring sports memorabilia, dining, entertainment, local art, spa, health and fitness, and vacation packages. Guests also can bid on one-of-a-kind experiences in the live auction.

Santé was one of our most popular events and we are delighted to bring it back as a fun way for foodies and others alike to celebrate and have a great time,” said Pattie Dash, executive director of the National Kidney Foundation Serving Maryland and Delaware. “The event also puts the spotlight on kidney disease, which affects 1 in 9 Marylanders, and takes more lives than breast and prostate cancers.”

Sumeska Thavarajah, MD (chair of the Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board and assistant professor of medicine – Division of Nephrology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center) is the Santé event chair, while Ben Simpkins ‎CEC CCA WCC (executive sous chef - ‎Baltimore Country Club, 2018 Northeast Region Chef of the Year - American Culinary Federation and kidney transplant recipient) is returning to chair the Restaurant Recruitment Committee.

Proceeds from Santé will support the Foundation’s local patient emergency assistance program, providing essentials such as medication, food, transportation to dialysis, housing costs and utilities. Dollars raised also help fund vital research from the top nephrologists at Johns Hopkins Medicine and University of Maryland Medical Center.

Admission to this business causal event is $100/person or $2,500 for a table of 10.To purchase tickets or tables and/or to receive sponsorship, vendor participation or auction donation information, visit 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Weekday Dining Deals at Cunningham's - Three Course Dinner - $39

Probably one of best upscale, quality dining spots in Baltimore County, if not the best is Cunningham’s. The surroundings are lush, warm and inviting, the service is on point – not intrusive, free interior valet parking and their cuisine is pure Americana with a couple nods to Italy. READ MORE and watch the slideshow at Baltimore Post Examiner Dara Cooks

Sunday, February 11, 2018

BROADWAY NIGHT IS BACK - 5 Course Italian Dinner & Live Performances

Hits songs from your favorite Broadway shows & 5 course Italian Dinner
Sotto Sopra Restaurant
Sunday, February 25th – 6 pm to 9 pm
Tickets:  410-625-0534

After the sellout crowd at Sotto Sopra Restaurant’s first Broadway Night we have been hearing  “encore, encore.”  In the words from the Broadway play Oliver, “Please sir, I want some more?” has been resonating.  Sotto Sopra listened and pulled together an amazing cast of performers for this unique February 25th Sunday evening of your favorite Broadway tunes from Cabaret, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserable, and even Dear Evan Hansen

An ideal evening of our award winning fine Italian cuisine interspersed with live performances of the songs that continue-to-this-day lighting up the Great White Way.  Sotto Sopra is located at 405 N. Charles Street, the archway to Baltimore’s cultural district. Reservations/tickets should be placed at (410)625-0534.

Be part of the evening’s festivities; you might even be inspired to dress as your favorite Broadway character. It will be an evening of great vocal performances by these amazing talents:

Jennifer Miller: A professional vocalist and vocal educator, Jennifer has her Masters in Music from the University of Michigan. She has performed in musicals the likes of Sound of Music, South Pacific, Little Shop of Horrors, Godspell, Will Rodgers Follies and the Man of la Mancha. Jennifer was the choral music teacher at Loyola Blakefield for 14 years, and acted as musical director for all musical productions. She is now in her 15th year of teaching music at the Children’s Chorus of Maryland. Jennifer has been guest conductor of the Maryland All-State Middle School Chorus, and clinician to music educators in Baltimore County.

George Wilkerson:  This tenor has extensive experience in opera and musical theater; most notably, performing the the roles of Beppe in I Pagliacci, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Bill in A Hand of Bridge, Donald in Gallantry, Professor Bhaer in Little Women: The Musical, Chauvelin in The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Jake in Side Show. He holds the Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education (Instrumental), the Master of Arts degree in Music (Voice) and is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance. Mr. Wilkerson thoroughly enjoys his careers as a teacher, conductor, percussionist, and saxophonist and has taught band, choir, and applied voice for over 15 years.

Patricia McKewen Amato:  Amato’s  extensive experience includes duties as conductor, coach, and accompanist at the AIMS Institute in Graz, Austria, Brevard Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Peabody Institute, Cumberland Valley Chamber Orchestra, and the Young Victorian Theatre.   She served as assistant music director of the Baltimore Opera Company and music director of its touring company; music director/conductor for Annapolis Opera, Maryland Lyric Opera, Brevard Music Festival, Opera Americana, Washington Savoyards, Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and Rep Stage; and assistant conductor/chorus master for Washington Summer Opera and Opera AACC.  She holds a BM from the Catholic University of America (magna cum laude), a MM from the University of Houston (magna cum laude), and certificates in lieder, opera, and chamber music from The American Institute of Musical Studies, in Graz, Austria.      


Cream of Potato Soup with Crispy Bacon

Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Oil

Raspberry Sorbet

Pan-Seared Salmon with Red Pepper Tapenade & Roasted Vegetables

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Gelato

$58 per person
(live performances and 5 course dinner)
Excludes beverages, tax and gratuity

For tickets call  (410) 625 – 0534
Credit card guarantees apply

Sotto Sopra Restaurant is an award-winning Northern Italian Restaurant that has enjoyed success for over 21 years located on Baltimore’s historical byway Charles Street at the archway to the city’s cultural Mt. Vernon district.  It’s 19th century building’s dining room boasts tall ceilings, tile floors, gilded mirrors and a contemporary mural that depicts restaurant life.  

Thursday, February 01, 2018

16 on the Park Restaurant: Put it on your dining list

Dinner with a view at 16 On The Park, high atop the newly opened Residence Inn Baltimore at Johns Hopkins Medical Campus. Take the express elevator to the top floor, sixteen of course, not only offers up the great views of the city, the bar/dining room is filled with nooks and crannies for comfortable seating both indoors and outdoors.  

The restaurant is American themed, seafood focused.  A holiday party afforded me an opportunity to indulge in many offerings inclusive of their seafood tower:  lobster, oysters, shrimp, tuna poke and lump crabmeat. I was hard pressed to have to share this, but I did.

Read the full review and watch the slideshow at Dara Cooks at Baltimore Post Examiner 


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