I haven’t been this stoked for an event in a long time. Thai food + beer? Yep. A match made in culinary heaven – the Ten Ten Thai & Union Brewing Extravaganza is this Sunday night!
Crafted with local ingredients and designed from a passion for Thai cuisine, this beer dinner to kick off Baltimore Beer Week will be unlike any other. Based on many of his mother-in-law’s Thai recipes, Chef Hufnagel will be pairing delicious Thai dishes with the award-winning beers from Union Craft Brewing. In case you missed it, Union just won YET ANOTHER award at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last week!
The new Oliver Specks Eats & Drinks in Harbor East – the restaurant formerly known as Vino Rosina – has officially reopened. Chef Jesse Sandlin has created an approachable, creative menu of comfort food, cocktails and more and the clean, modern decor of the former restaurant has remained. I attended a little opening tasting party last night and I am definitely going back soon. A server walked by with a gorgeous plate of ribs and mac ‘n cheese that I have got to try!
Yes, I’m writing about another Harbor East restaurant. The Hampden girl. But hey, I like to go downtown with the fancy people sometimes. I’m still amazed that Harbor East has become what it is: a dining and shopping destination downtown. How cool is that? I love this city! My big retail weakness there? Oh, just a little bit ‘o Anthropologie. The housewares in that place are pretty much my biggest weakness. Ever. I’d almost say it’s like crack, but I know that’s an incredibly overused term. Some friends of mine wanted me to name my salted caramel brownies “crack brownies.” But, this is Baltimore and people already think we live on The Wire, so no. Let’s just say this store is a real problem for me.
Harbor East is also filled with such good places to eat and drink. One fave is Fleet Street Kitchen. It’s part of The Bagby Restaurant Group, which is a real presence in this super hot ‘hood. Much like the folks over at the Michael Mina restaurants at the Four Seasons, PABU and Wit & Wisdom, as well as Foreman Wolf (Charleston, Cinghiale, Bin 604, PAZO in Harbor East), the folks at Bagby have done an excellent job in recruiting the best of the best to run them and are now considered anchor restaurants in Harbor East. And, we are the lucky ones who get to enjoy it all.
First up for the Bagby group was the opening of Bagby Pizza Co in 2009 – a great casual pizza joint on Fleet Street. I visited with some friends when it opened and we were all very impressed. Great service, even better pizza pie (and sammies, salads and more.) Then came TEN TEN (I went last year and dreamed about the pork belly BLT)…and then Fleet Street Kitchen, where I dined earlier this week. And…next up, Cunningham’s Kitchen in Towson – a neighborhood that can really use a new restaurant! Get ready, my friends in the ‘burbs of Towson, Ruxton, Lutherville, etc. – it’s gonna be in the Towson CIty Center and it’s gonna be good. Most likely opening in September 2013. They are working hard to get it open, but are more concerned with making sure it’s exactly what they want. Bagby’s Chief Operating Officer Chef Chris Becker (formerly the Chef at The Wine Market and most recently, Fleet Street), told me that he’s writing the menu for Cunningham’s now. And with Beverage Director Tim Riley at the helm, I’m confident that the drinks side of the house will be spot on.