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With each newsletter, I like to share a favorite photo I've taken. Sometimes they were taen years ago and when I look at them, they take me back to an experience. The one I am sharing today is from just a few weeks ago, on a day that was so sweltering that you could feel the heat coming up from the sidewalk. Let's just say, that kind of weather is my least favorite and tends to make me very cranky pants. Thankfully, I was with a good friend, running errands in the city and we were near Sally O's soooooo in we went.

This is the Star Tropics cocktail at Sally O's, one of my favorite places in the city. No pretense, just really, really nice people and great food and drinks. If I wasn't driving, I would have had a second one of this cocktail for sure. It was so refreshing on a (feels like) 110 day in the city. It's El Tequileño blanco tequila, lime, Lane's tropical mix #1, soda water. So simple and perfect and exactly what I needed that day. 
New List of 38 Essential Restaurants in Baltimore
                                                                                             Photo: The Food Market Facebook
Every so often, the folks at Eater put out their "Essential 38" lists for several US cities. And while Eater does not have a specific presence in Bmore, we often get the Essential 38 treatment via Eater DC. HERE is the latest list. Some of my faves (and yours, probably) are represented. Thanks, James Beard Award Winner Jess Mayhugh and the team at Eater!
New Bagel Shop from Chef Ben Sawyer
Coming later this year to Canton is the long-dreamed-of project of Chef Ben Sawyer, Good Boy Bagels. You may know Ben from places like John Brown Butchery and Fork & Wrench. He's a very talented guy and is working on opening his new bagel shop (at Conkling & Hudson) in the fall. Follow on IG!

A side note about opening dates for new places. When a place or owner says "opening soon" that is a very relative term. To them, opening soon usually means, "opening as soon a possible and we're very excited". Let them do their thing without asking WHEN. And if a new restaurant actually shares an anticipated opening day, month or season, keep in mind that most times, they have very little control over when that opening will actually happen. Building material cost and delays, city permits, finding contractors, it all takes way more time than you'd ever think. These are things that you have absolutely no control over. So, when you hear about a new place coming, please be patient. It's a lot.
Remember Gnocco? They're back . . . 
Welp, something really good is happening! Brian Lavin and Sam White are again teaming up. If you ever went to the lovely – and dare I say, perfect – Gnocco in Highlandtown, you're probably as excited as I am about this new project. No solid ETA (see above paragraph about restaurant openings...) but for now, know it's in the works. In the meantime, they're doing a pop-up menu every Saturday in August at Southpaw in Fell's Point. Incidentally, Southpaw was just named best new bar by Baltimore Magazine – go, Doug, go! 

The concept for Costiera is Coastal Mediterranean food by Brian and creative cocktails by Sam. Think seafood crudos, house-milled flour for pasta made fresh daily and locally sourced ingredients. Follow them on Instagram to stay in the loopy.  
A new place to stay in Hampden 
                                                                                                                              Photo courtesy of Good Neighbor 
                                                                                                                              Photo courtesy of Good Neighbor 
There's a cool, new place to stay uptown, guesthouse by good neighbor, and it's right above the fab Good Neighbor coffee shop. It's been in the works for a while, the buildout took place over the last 18 months or so – and the boutique hotel is now open for booking. Pricing is comparable to other similar places, from about $120-$300 per night. It's design-focused with clean lines and simple (gorgeous) furnishings. I think this will be a great place for people to book as a group – ie: all seven rooms, at a group rate – for holidays, weddings and more!

Shawn Chopra and Anne Morgan of Good Neighbor are creating what I guess I'd describe as a creative collective with everything from interior design consulting and shopping to plants, coffee, food, furnishings and more. I must add that they are extremely nice people – I always say it, nice matters. 
Still a classic after all these years
I had dinner with a friend at Amiccis of Little Italy last week for the first time in many years! Pictured above is the Panino, the "baby sized" version of their signature dish. It's four pieces of toasted garlic bread topped with shrimp, smothered in creamy, garlic scampi sauce. And they made me an excellent dry martini and we shared a $20 bottle of vino. Lovely. Check out their nightly $10 specials!
The first EVER cookbook dedicated to the Venezeulan delight
I'm so excited for my truly amazing friend, Irena Stein. She has just published the world's very first arepa cookbook – Arepa: Classic and Contemporary Recipes for Venezuela's Daily Bread.

I was a lucky girl and got to attend the book's launch party at Irena's fabulous restaurant, Alma Cocina Latina in Station North last week. Her groundbreaking book has already received national praise, landing on Food & Wine’s recent list of the The Best New Summer Cookbooks – wow! And, the excellent news keeps on going: later this fall, Irena and her husband Mark are opening an arepa bar right around the corner from Alma. But if you are craving an Alma arepa by chef David Zamudio before the new place opens, there are usually TWO arepas on the new Alma brunch menu. They serve brunch on both Saturday and Sunday. I went for brunch a few weeks ago and I have to say, you should also get the steak and eggs. Holy moly, its generous portion size is perfect for the table to share – my favorite way to eat.

You can purchase the cookbook at
The Ivy Bookshop and at Alma Cocina Latina. More retail locations to come, I'm sure. 
$7 Spritzes and Snacks, Anyone?
One new thing I'm loving lately? The new happy hours at Cinghiale and The Milton Inn

At Cinghiale, you can valet or street (meters) park and it's always nice to be in Harbor East for an evening. I highly recommend shrimp bruscetta, lamb arrosticini and fried chicken bites! Next time, I want to try the garlic dip with focaccia and crispy Castelvetrano olives. We also had two Aperol Spritzes and it was a perfect amount of relaxation. (haha)

And, if you can make a 4:00-6:00pm happy hour out in the county work in your schedule, I also tried and LOVED the happy hour at Milton Inn. They offer $6 Martinis, Manhattans and wine, plus $5 beers and $8 small plates. I think this is one the best happy hour deals in one of THE most beautiful spaces. You can also enjoy happy hour on the patio. We ordered a bunch of things to share including the shrimp and asparagus beignets (a Foreman Wolf classic), scallops, lamb skewers, gnocchi and oysters. Other tables were enjoying mussels that looked very nice. Small plates are also nicely sized portions (ie: not skimpy and also not overwhelming) and I really enjoyed them all. They also do complimentary bread service with the most amazing butter. Yes, the butter is worth a rave. ps. Their fantastic bartender Elum made me the best off-the-cuff, non-alcoholic cocktail as my "dessert" after dinner. 

Be sure to check both restaurant's sites for dates and times for these excellent happy hours.
Farm Dinner with Chef Jossie of Tooth & Belly
Saturday, August 19 (rain date August 20)
Two Boots Farm, Hampstead
Tickets HERE
Today 8/16 is the last day to buy tickets!
Be the Match Benefit Dinner with Chef Bryan Voltaggio
Thursday, September 7
Old Westminster Winery, Westminster 
Tickets HERE

This is a very special event with 100% of proceeds going to Be the Match – an organization that is very important to the Baker family of Old Westminster. You may know that Drew Baker is currently going through treatment for leukemia. If you cannot make this dinner, please consider registering as a bone marrow or stem cell donor.
Outstanding in the Field Dinners 
Friday, September 22 with Chefs David and Tonya Thomas 
Saturday, September 23 with Chef Rob Rubba (SOLD OUT)
Sunday, September 24 with Chef Eric Adjepong
Burnt Hill Farm, Clarksburg

Tickets (and wait list for 9/23)
REMINDER: All past newsletters are available on my website HERE and also in a link in my Instagram bio.

Please do me a big favor and forward this onto your friends who love Baltimore and food. Baltimore City restaurants still need our support very much.

Thank you so much,

xo - 

Amy Langrehr
Charm City Cook
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