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I created this newsletter as a way to keep people in Baltimore informed on ways we all can support our favorite local restaurants and food & beverage businesses. 

No ads, no memberships, just info.

All I ask is this: forward it onto a few of your friends who love good food. 

new outdoor space open
                                                                                                                         Photo by Justin Tsucalas
​​The folks at The Bluebird Cocktail Room have been working hard since buying the Belgian beer bar next door, De Kleine Duivel. Their latest project is a new patio on the north side of the building with tables to hang out outside on these lovely spring nights.

Their menu, of course, has a ton of bottled beers. On tap, you'll find beer, cider, cocktails. There's also a tight little wine list, pots of Taiwanese tea and other fermented (booze-free) drinks. On the food side of things, think small plates of yakatori (grilled meats), pickled vegetables, grilled focaccia. They are making their own salami, cheese and more. 

They're offering happy hour specials, too:

$3 off drafts and 1/2 off grill items 
Sunday, Monday all evening
Thursday, Friday 5:00-7:00pm
Wine and Pantry Provisions
After the pandemic began, the team at award-winning restaurant, Le Comptoir du Vin in Station North (where the original Bottega was) have transformed their space into a shop. They sell really nice pantry items, wine and more. You can shop in person or order online.

Now they are also offering a monthly subscription service of chef-selected items. Each month, Chef Will and the team will build a pantry box composed of local and international ingredients. $80/$150 (ps. I signed up for this as my monthly treat!)

On the wine side: Each month, the LCDV team will fill your wine package from regional and imported selections in the Le Comptoir cellar. It’s all about balance, so count on both classic and contemporary treasures. $30/$80/$120

Details and signup info on the 
LCDV site. I suggest you sign up for Le Comptoir du Vin's e-newsletter. Lots of good stuff!
Gin + wine tasting May 26
Yes, this email newsletter usually only includes city businesses, projects and people, but for someone wonderful like Binda Singh, I make an exception. I have always been a fan of the Singhs, way back to my BMA days and going to lunch at The Ambassador Dining Room on payday Fridays with my friends. They have since sold The Ambassador to a former employee in order to focus on their other properties.

When Binda and his family opened Ananda in Maple Lawn (Howard County) in 2014, I was invited for a media dinner (back when I used to go to those) and was immediately smitten. The space, the food, the service. I've been back many times. It is where my best friends and I have had dinner (and toasted quitting my job!) and it's where I go when I want Indian food that is not only delicious, but presented in the most beautiful way. But it's not stuffy. I love that. 

Onto Peerce's. As many Baltimoreans remember, Peerce's Plantation was one of those places that was sort of an institution. I remember my cousin's wedding reception there and my friends and I went there after receiving our class rings at Perry Hall High School. That was some very FINE dining for a bunch of 17 year olds. It sat empty for so many years, and in that location — right next to the Loch Raven Reservoir and where there are no other places to eat — it seemed like it was only a matter of time. And here come brothers Keir and Binda Singh, hospitality veterans. I knew it would be successful. And, as the new owners, they dropped the "plantation" in the name. 

I went to Peerce's with some friends late last year and we had a lovely, lovely meal and experience. We sat inside, but at a huge open window (similar to the sliding garage doors at Ananda.) I was jealous we didn't get to sit out on the patio, they have done such a nice job making the outdoor space so special.

Peerce's is having a series of monthly spirit and wine tastings and May 26 is one featuring gin and wine. Guests will be able to taste many different things, have hors d'oeuvres and also receive 10% off dinner that night. And before you say, "I don't do gin," I highly recommend you try different kinds. There are SO many. Some of my favorites include elderflower, botanicals, citrus...seriously, so many different options. Promise. 

An important p.s.:
What is currently happening in India is so horrible. If you can, please consider making a donation to help the people there. I just did.
​​India COVID relief 

the loveliest little wine shop
I wrote about this before but I wanted to revisit. I highly recommend ordering some wine at Lane Harlan's (Clavel) natural wine shop, Angels Ate Lemons, located above Sophomore Coffee on Maryland Avenue in Old Goucher.

You can shop in person and they also do free wine tastings and offer FREE delivery two days a week to a 25 mile radius. Angels Ate Lemons is open Wednesday-Sunday 1-7pm. I
personally like to order online and let them choose for me. You just add some preferences, notes, likes, dislikes...and they do the rest. It's wonderful. This week, I ordered white, rose and sake. While I don't drink at home that much, it's good to have options when the mood strikes!

but not very far...
                                                                                                                                  Photo by Scott Suchman
Since 1914, Di Pasquale's has been in Highlandtown. And in a city of neighborhoods like Baltimore, moving a little over a mile might feel far. But, at their soon-to-be-open new location in Brewer's Hill, Joe Di Pasquale and his team will have more space, more parking, more everything. Di Pasquale's is the Italian deli that many Baltimoreans consider to be "the" place for a quintessential old school Italian AND Bmore experience. 

The new location at 3700 Toone Street opens this Thursday, May 6. Go get yourself a "Real Italian" (the best cold cut!), some salami and mortadella, stock your pantry. I hope to visit next weekend. 
great food, great people
First stop in Philly, Parc, for escargot and a dry, dry martini
ROOST Rittenhouse was perfect, plus easy parking next door.
I love a hotel bed. 
Local tulips at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers Market
Focaccia with the Via Giovanni: Tequila, Aperol, Grapefruit
Asparagus with pancetta, shallots and mint
Last weekend, I took a little getaway to a new favorite city, Philadelphia. I've been to Philly a few times for work over the last two years and I feel so comfortable there — much more so than DC. It's got that working class feel like Baltimore. And really, really good food. 

I was researching this trip a few months ago and had found a couple of pet-friendly hotels, but then realized that not many places were offering traditional room service because of COVID. To me, room service is the best part of a hotel stay. I love to pretty much camp out in my room, sleep, eat, sleep. And over the last year, I took Magnolia on three hotel staycations - Four Seasons, Hotel Monaco and Canopy Harbor Point. She loved each one! 

Since, Magnolia was now gone, sadly, I thought of bailing on this getaway but then realized I really needed a change of scenery. So, I drove to Philly and stayed at what I can only describe as "like being at my apartment but with a bathtub" at Roost Rittenhouse. It's an extended stay boutique hotel with furnished apartments in varying sizes and layouts. Mine was a studio and it had a full kitchen and washer/dryer, too. I shopped down the street at DiBruno Brothers and also went out for some meals in the neighborhood. I love Rittenhouse Square for the ease, restaurants, green space. One place I love (that at lot of people love) is Parc and I had an early dinner there outside on my first night. Steak frites, a martini and people watching for the win. 

On Saturday morning, I strolled through the Rittenhouse Square Farmers Market where I bought some tulips and asparagus. Then, headed to brunch at
Via Locusta. The best thing I ate the whole weekend was the focaccia there. It is served hot, had a hint of rosemary and comes with whipped honey butter and bee pollen. It was incredible. I want to go back there for dinner next time. My server, Sadie, was wonderful. I also loved that at both Via Locusta and Parc they were so welcoming to a solo diner. I do a fair amount of dining, drinking, sitting...alone. It's always nice when someone immediately puts you at ease. 

I also had a late afternoon visit (happy hour starts at 3:00, no reservations) at the
Oyster House, where I satisfied my weeks-long craving for lobster. It was a beautiful day and they were slammed inside and also outside in the street in front of the restaurant, where they had just installed a huge, raised wooden patio on Saturday morning. The staff was fantastic. Also, a woman at the table next to me got pooped on by a bird and that made for some funny theater. Sorry, ma'am.

I drove home through country roads into Kennett Square on down to North East, into Kingsville and made a stop at St. Stephen's to say hi to my dad's gravesite. That always makes me feel grounded. 
bidding starts this Monday at noon
Here's a fun and easy way to support The GreenMount School — shopping!

Last year, just as we were planning a big auction at my school, COVID shut the world down. A year later, as we are still unable to safely gather together in person, we are having
an online auction — our first ever!

Here are a few of the items you can bid on...and, we are still adding more.

Cooking + butchery class at 
John Brown General & Butchery
 (at their new location in Remington)

Justin Tucker signed football

Farmers Market Tour with John Shields and me!

Zoom cocktail happy hour with Cane Collective

One Straw Farm CSA Full Share

Dinner at the (new) Milton Inn

Chef prepared dinner in your home from Beej Flamholz

An in-person meet-up with Eddie Lucas from Bravo's Below Deck

Bidding goes live on Monday, May 3 and will be up for two weeks. Please bookmark it and add a reminder to your calendar to check it out at 12:00 on Monday. Anyone is welcome to bid — I know I will! 

what a lovely morning
Rhubarb from Richfield Farm
​​Bouquets from Two Boots Farm​​
Fontina cheese, sliced to order from Cinghiale
I hope you have a really good week.
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