Over the last few years, Baltimore’s food scene has exploded. New places opening up all the time, collaborations are everywhere, pop-ups, beer and wine dinners and more. And on the drinks side of the house, many local bartenders are using fresh housemade ingredients, creative spirits and featuring products from local breweries, wineries, distillers. And, it’s only going to get better – the next five years will be huge years of growth for food and drink in Baltimore. #ilovethiscity
Every once in a while, I meet a Baltimore chef who’s actually from Baltimore. That’s nice. They already know the city, understand the vibe. It has to be hard to come into a city you’re not from and really understand your audience…that takes some time. Chris Scanga of Petit Louis had a leg up. He grew up here and went to Calvert Hall College (you know, that “Where’d you go to school question…) and then onto CIA. He knew he wanted to be a chef.
Before we talk about food, I need to tell you something. The owners of The Local Fry – Liz and Kevin – met in Paris. Seriously, I love that. I have been to Paris three times and never met my person. I don’t think he lives there. But I still love Paris.
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…) The JFX farmers market opened last Sunday, daffodils are out and the winter coat has been moved to the back of the closet. Thank GOD.
Tim Dyson didn’t fall in love with cooking when he was young. There was no romantic notion of being in the kitchen, working with his hands or love of the rush of a busy night on the line. It simply was something that he was pretty good at and that was enough for him.
I don’t meant to make it sound like he didn’t care. It’s just that it took a little time. He was pragmatic. The function of what he was doing, blended with a love of food was a good combo. He started out helping his mom at work. She worked in many kitchens along the east coast and as a kid, Tim would do dishes, help with prep, side work and whatever else needed to get done. School wasn’t his biggest priority and he was attracted to the forgiving nature of the restaurant industry and he seemed to find a good fit.
I recently attended a fantastic brunch event hosted by Evolution Craft Brewing at Nickel Taphouse in Mt. Washington. We were treated to everything from craft beers and drinks, to brunch and lunch fare and more. I have to say I’ve never been a huge brunch (or Sunday Funday) person, as Sundays have always been my catch up day – how boring, I know.
Last night, I was lucky enough to be a guest at a special and intimate dinner at Wine Market Bistro in Locust Point. Opened in 2004 by Chris Spann, Wine Market has been putting out beautiful food for a good while now – in the restaurant world, 10 years is quite substantial. And Le Garage is a welcomed addition to the ever-changing Baltimore food scene and has quickly become a neighborhood go-to for me. When Chris invited me, I knew right away that this was one dinner I could not pass up.
Yes, it snowed in Baltimore on the first official day of spring. Poo. Everyone’s pretty sick of winter. Even, me…and I love snow. Well, I have to admit it’s mainly because for the last 13 years I worked at a school, so I’d get snow days. Yes, snow days are the best.
I’m ready for spring. Soon, we’ll be seeing strawberries, asparagus, peas and more at local farmers markets. And, soon it’s time for a nice cocktail – outside! This sangria on Serious Eats caught my eye, not only because it’s colorful, but also because you can make it in a big batch (punch = a party even on a boring Tuesday night.) Highly recommend this sangria – and it’s fun to have Lillet Rosé around!