Every spring, the Homewood Museum at Johns Hopkins University hosts An Evening of Traditional Beverages on the lawn of the museum’s grounds. Each year there is drink theme — everything from whiskey to champagne to last year’s theme of punch (boy, that was a FUN parTAY!) This year’s theme is Fruitful Brews.
Just to give you a little background…Homewood is the 1801 country house of Charles and Harriet Carroll and one of few surviving examples of Baltimore’s Federal Period architecture. This was a time when the City of Baltimore was a major boom town. The creation of a retreat for summer’s use was really the very beginning of the concept of “the suburbs”, which would be followed 100 years later by nearby developments such as Roland Park, Homeland and Guilford. At the time Homewood was built, the area around the house was quite rural and the site included a 130 acre working farm with two vegetable gardens, as well as an orchard of apples, peaches and pears. The farm and original orchards were the inspiration for this year’s Evening of Traditional Beverages: Fruitful Brews and also for the reestablishment of a small orchard that would have provided fruit for the table, for livestock and for delicious fermented beverages!
If you know me – or follow me on Instagram – you know I like a cocktail. A drink at the end of a long day is nice treat every once in a while. But last week, I was doing my, um, “research” and went out six nights. In a row. I was tired. But happy. Happy to discover so many great drinks in Charm City. Here are a few that really stood out…
Spring. It gives you a feeling of hopefulness, no? Me, I’m hopeful for asparagus. And peas. And oh yeah, rhubarb! (And tulips, peonies, hydrangeas…)
This post is a super simple one: a few of my favorite spring recipes. If you make these once, they will be in the rotation. Promise.
I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about Vino Rosina lately and I visited the restaurant to check it out for myself. I had been once before for dinner and loved it. I went with a group of great friends and we shared cocktails, wine and a bunch of small plates to celebrate my birthday. We had such a great time. Lately, it seemed like some people had forgotten about this place – maybe because so many new restaurants have opened in Harbor East. A few friends have said, “Oh, I love that place…let’s go back!” So, I did.
Ah, dinner at the bar. I like it a lot. It’s casual, you get to really know the person waiting on you and the people around you…and you can also get a fabulous meal. When I go to faves like The Food Market, Birroteca, The Wine Market, PABU, I love to eat at the bar.
One of things I like best about Vino Rosina is that it’s a really approachable place. You walk in, grab a seat at the open square bar (get there early) and can take in the entire place. The people are friendly, the decor is modern yet warm and it’s not too big. And, wow, the kitchen is tiny, tiny…just ask Jesse Sandlin, the former executive chef who’s just returned. When she left in early 2011, her sous chef Sajin Renae took the reigns and ran the kitchen very successfully until she left to open Fork & Wrench in Canton. Then, owner Jim Lancaster recruited his former chef Jesse back – and she’s creating great things in that little kitchen once again.
That’s me. Taking it all in.
I’ve never been one for fancy restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I love great food and service but I can do without the formality. I suppose I’m more of a Peter’s Inn or Corner BYOB kind of girl. So, this was my first time at Wit & Wisdom and I wondered…what would a girl from a tiny town with two traffic lights who now lives in the land of hipsters and pink flamingos identify with there? I figured that out pretty quickly when I visited for dinner a few weeks ago. It was pretty eye-opening actually.