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I have a thing about anything that "becomes a thing". Like, avocado toast, espresso martinis and the latest internet food trend, butter boards. Stop it. It's less about the actual thing and more about the bandwagon aspect. It just feels so lazy. 

But, this avocado toast at Atwater's is a total pleasure to eat. The freshest avocado, plus (lighter than cream cheese) goat cheese, the texture and flavors of dukkah and then simple olive oil and s+p on housemade 7-grain and flax bread. YUM.
Now Open in Old Goucher
See that martini? It started out frozen. Pictured, halfway through, it's still very cold, even smoother, dangerously drinkable – might I say crushable? – five to six sips in, yes. For someone who always orders their martini extra cold, I was one happy sipper. 
I am so happy for you – Chelsea, Marisa and Martha – for everything that Church Bar is – beautiful, welcoming, delicious and most of all, its own kind of place. With a model that encourages true collaboration, inclusion and creativity, Church Bar is very unique.

Every three months, a new guest chef comes in for a sort of residence and offers their take on the static menu template (like: an interesting salad, local game, crispy potato...) and then simultaneously, the drink menu changes, too. They also offer a changing selection of beers and wines by the glass and bottle. FYI, the current chef-in-residence is Jamaican-born chef Dwight Campbell, who also happens to be the co-founder of the fantastic
Cajou Creamery.
I mention Jamaica specifically because I caught a glimpse of the jerk ribs and they looked very good!

While you can order just a drink and a snack, you could easily have a full-on meal, too, simply by ordering a larger portion of whatever you had your eye on, plus maybe a few other items to share with your dining partner. I’m a big “let’s just share a bunch of things” eater. While we weren’t planning to eat, my friend Jamie and I decided to share a small salad (loved the pickled jalapeños) and a small plate of heirloom tomatoes out on the patio. Both were beautiful with creative ingredients and very tasty! As we left and walked through the dining room, all of the tables were full and people were enjoying lots of food, drinks and just enjoying being out. 

TIP: Be sure to hit up
Resy to save your seats at the bar or at a table before you go. I believe the front area outside will soon be available for first come, first served seating – depending on the weather. We had no idea the bar is reservation-only, but the staff took good care of us and we enjoyed sitting near the entrance until they were able to move us to a table out back. 
New Dive Bar Coming to Canton
Chef Jesse Sandlin is a very busy person right now and we are all the luckier for it.

I met Jesse about eight years ago when I interviewed her for my Chewing the Fat feature for Baltimore Fishbowl. Now, I consider her a friend and we've even gifted each other house plants (we both have a plant problem) and I am so, so happy for her. Chefs – and their family and close friends – know how hard this is. Years and years of working your tail off and you finally, finally have your own place. By 2023, Jesse will own (with business partners) three places. Along the way, she has cooked places like PAZO, Petit Louis, Charleston, Vino Rosina, Abacrombie and Vespa, among others. And yes, she was on Top Chef. 

Her restaurant, Sally O's in Highlandtown, serves up creative, comforting plates and some very nice cocktails, too. It is so good! The decor is bright and fun and there's no pretense, just like Jesse. Their smash burger is one of the very best in Baltimore. If you haven't been yet or it's been a while, you really need to get there for a visit.

Later this fall,
The Dive joins Sally O's as restaurant and bar #2. Picture it: 1970s dive bar offering casual fare like pizza, sandwiches and snacks. It's in Canton, the former location of Fuisine, The Regal Beagle and Jack's Bistro. There is a beautiful mural on the side of the building by local artist Kait Kluse

Then, next year, Jesse and partners will be reopening the iconic Wharf Rat in Fell's Point as Bunny's. Stay tuned for more on that one. But yes, I am excited. 

Photos by Kait Kluse and Kenneth Lam
Ash Bar and Bloom's now open and next comes The Coral Wig
I haven't visited the ultra cool new Hotel Ulysses in Mt. Vernon yet. I will get there but I've been sick for what feels like forever and am rationing my nights out for some of my favorites lately. People seem to be loving this very unique place and I'm excited to stop by soon. I love that they are doing Apertivo Hour (relaxing, post-work/pre-dinner sort of thing) beginning at 4:00pm. Also, since it's a hotel, you can get coffee and house-created baked goods and small plates anytime after 7:00am. 

Ash Bar is the hotel's all-day cafe, while Bloom's is the cocktail bar, open in the evening. Both the New York Times and Travel & Leisure have written about the hotel and its' food and beverage options. Baltimoreans may know that Hotel Ulyssses is also known as the Latrobe Building and one of the most recent tentants was the Baltimore Community Foundation. It's at the corner of Charles and Read Streets. 

One thing you may not have heard a lot about yet is the project still to come inside Hotel Ulysses: The Coral Wig from co-owners Lane Harlan and Matthew Pierce of Clavel, WC Harlan, Fadensonnen and Angels Ate Lemons. The Coral Wig will have its own separate entrance and will be run by the team at WC Harlan. Says Lane, "It will be a 35-seat cocktail bar and the concept is influenced by my mother Lola's coming of age in the Phillipines in the 1980s." She also clarified that it will not be a tiki bar. Right now, the hope is to be open in early 2023. Very excited for this. Follow along HERE.

Photo: Hotel Ulysses
Where to eat in Baltimore 
Alma Cocina Latina
Always love to see Baltimore get some national love and when the story is written by a local, it's even better – very nice job, Julekha Dash! Lots of excellent places got a mention and it's Julekha highlighted a more diverse list of folks like the people behind such hits as Magdalena, NiHao and Blk Swan, just to mention a few.

Read the article HERE.

Photos by: Irena Stein, foraged, Magdalena
The Winter Greenhouses
The lovely – and, I might add agile and innovative – team at Old Westminster Winery is back with another creative way to visit – the Winter Greenhouses at Old Westminster. 

From OWW:

Beginning on Friday, November 4, we invite you to join us at the farm to enjoy the warmth of the season with the ones you love in a private greenhouse!

Each greenhouse – set with warm decor under string lights – includes a comfortable seating arrangement for 2 - 12 guests on our patio overlooking the vineyard. The greenhouses are heated and weatherproof to keep you comfortable. A non-refundable reservation fee books your greenhouse and a $150 food and beverage spend minimum is required. The reservation fee does not count toward the spend minimum.

Info and booking:
Open inside The Admiral Fell Inn
From the team at Duck Duck Goose, the bar downstairs inside the Admiral Fell Inn has found new life. Anchor Bar is now open, go check it out! Soon to follow, an Italian restaurant, so be sure to follow Chef Ashish Alfred to stay in the loop.

Learn more HERE
Say It Ain't So
Per their social media, Bertha's owner announced they are selling and the Fell's Point institution will close by the end of the year.

"Closing Bertha's is bittersweet. As a family, we've given so many great years to this wonderful place and are now ready to pursue other life paths and interests. We have made many treasured friendships over the years with our customers, staff and neighbors. We THANK YOU ALL for being part of our lives." – The Norris Family

Alex Cooper will handle the auction, which is scheduled for November 15. 

Make sure you head to Bertha's for one last visit soon. They will surely be missed.
Opening next year in former Alexander Brown restaurant space
Liliahna Hospitality, the group behind Allora (the best meal I had this year) and the soon to open, Vellegia's at Cross Street Market, is taking over the gorgeous restaurant space inside downtown's Alexander Brown building. They are hoping to open in Spring/Summer 2023. Follow HERE to stay up-to-date. 
Photo: Biz Journals
Local kimchi CSA, classes and more
Check this out! Broth & Stone is a local small business offering everything from a kimchi CSA to classes to private dinners. Also, try the marinated shiso leaves!

Learn more HERE.
From The Local Oyster and True Chesapeake
Oyfest is one of my very, very favorites! Why? Oysters. And, beer and it's outside! I mean, you can also hang out inside at Union Craft Brewing but it's fall, so why would you ever do that? Fall is perfect for all the outdoor things. You can buy tickets to attend and then pay-your-way for all of the raw and grilled oysters, grilled shrimp and crab cakes, plus all of the delicious Union beers. You can also register online to compete in the oyster eating contest, which is always wild, and slightly terrifying, to see. The event benefits the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and is so much fun. 
Do me a favor and FORWARD this onto your friends who love Baltimore and food.

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Amy Langrehr
Charm City Cook
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