Monday, February 17, 2014

Complimentary Scotch whisky tastings

he American Craft Council has partnered with The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky and will be offering complimentary Scotch whisky tastings during their Baltimore Show, held at the Baltimore Convention Center, February 21 – 23. The Balvenie, the world’s most handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky, will host tastings in a space artfully designed by a team of artisans from Baltimore-based manufacturer LUKE WORKS.

Show goers participating in the complimentary tastings will have the chance to meet The Balvenie Brand Ambassador Lorne Cousin, who will lead guided tastings, discussing The Balvenie’s collection of award-winning single malts and how The Balvenie and the American Craft Council execute their parallel missions to celebrate craft.

“Like the American Craft Council, The Balvenie champions fine craftsmanship,” said Lorne Cousin, Brand Ambassador, The Balvenie. “We are committed to retaining and nurturing a high level of hand craftsmanship, as are the Craft Council’s many gifted artists. We feel a kinship with the American Craft Council and are excited to continue to grow our partnership.”

The Balvenie is a unique range of single malt whiskies produced in Dufftown, inScotland’s Speyside region. Each variant in the range has its own unique taste, while still maintaining the recognizable undertones of the distinctively rich, smooth and honeyed character of The Balvenie. The exceptional quality of The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky stems from its commitment to retain and nurture the high level of hand craftsmanship no longer employed by other malt whisky producers.

The tasting room is designed by artist, designer and craftsman Mark Melonas and his team of artisans from LUKE WORKS. Melonas’ vision is to create an inviting entertainment lounge that celebrates the simple joys in life: natural materialswood, metal, and concreteexpertly crafted to create a space that allows for clear thoughts, a conversation, a good album, a drink and a laugh. The space will elevate the activities involved in having a drink and enjoying friends through unexpected connections, simple geometric forms and sensual surfaces.

Friday, February 14, 2014

New shows on Food Network and Cooking Channel

Check out the upcoming shows on Food Network and Cooking Channel! 

BUY THIS RESTAURANT – premiers on Food Network February 5, 2014
WORST COOKS IN AMERICA – premiers on Food Network February 17, 2014
FOOD COURT WARS – premiers on Food Network February 23, 2014

BEAT BOBBY FLAY – premiers on Food Network March 6, 2014
HEARTLAND TABLE – premiers on Food Network March 8, 2014
CHOPPED ‘TOURNAMENT OF STARS’ – premiers on Food Network March 9, 2014
THE FRESHMAN CLASS – premiers on Cooking Channel March 11, 2014
SOUTHERN AT HEART – premiers on Food Network March 16, 2014
SAVE MY BAKERY – premiers on Food Network March 19, 2014
SWEET JULIA – premiers on Cooking Channel March 21, 2014

Did you see the new show BUY THIS RESTAURANT????

Aspiring restaurant owners take the first steps toward achieving their dreams in new Food Network series Buy This Restaurant that premiered on Wednesday, February 5th at 9pm ET/PT. With the help of commercial real estate expert Keith Simpson, each hopeful restaurateur searches to find the ideal space to launch their new business. In each episode, Keith shows each novice three different properties that could work for their restaurant concept and helps them visualize how the space can work for their business.  From a turn-key operation complete with supplies but little room for creativity to a vacant, dilapidated space that needs renovation but has tons of potential, Keith helps the newbies secure the foundation to run the restaurant of their dreams.      

“Owning a restaurant is the new American dream and we wanted to capture the exciting, yet crucial first steps of launching that dream into reality,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. 

In one episode, Keith helps Texas native, Joanie, find the best space to launch her new juice business. Currently operating out of a mobile trailer, Joanie is looking for a brick and mortar that will not be a huge financial risk.  Keith pushes her outside her comfort zone by showing her a variety of spaces in Austin including a bar and restaurant on popular 6th street, a former music store and an abandoned Thai restaurant.  Each property is more different than the next but with Keith’s skilled eye he is able to map out the transformation so Joanie can envision her future and make the final decision that will determine the success of her business. In another episode, Keith heads to Minneapolis to guide Kelly and her sister Lisa as they search for the perfect space to launch their café. Keith shows these first-time buyers a charming café in a lakeside community, a busy downtown coffee shop and a rundown bakery in the suburbs. Kelly and Lisa are overwhelmed as they make one of the biggest decisions of their career.  

Keith Simpson is a commercial real estate expert specializing in restaurant businesses and properties.  He began his career in the UK as a chef in 1973 graduating from a London college for Hotel and Catering. His career led him to graciously cater for the British Royal Family which developed his taste not only for fine wine but also his desire to share food with others.  Keith purchased his first restaurant in California in 1996 and in 2006 – at the height of the economy – he sold it for over three times what he paid.  This initial deal piqued his interest in real estate and Keith became a full-time restaurant broker.  Over the course of his career, Keith has owned three restaurants and one catering company in addition to his many successful property deals.  His deals run the gamut from small family-owned pizza joints to fine dining establishments.  Keith resides in Sacramento, California.

South Baltimore Learning Center to hold Cirque du Learning Gala

 South Baltimore Learning Center (SBLC) will present its Cirque du Learning Gala, Saturday, Mar. 8, from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m., at Montgomery Park Business Center (1800 Washington Blvd.).

With Fox 45 Chief Meteorologist Vytas Reid as emcee, the black-tie optional celebration will feature flavorful dishes, wine, beer and cocktails provided by Baltimore’s best restaurants and caterers, including: Banditos, Cowboys and Rednecks, Mother's Federal Hill Grille, Matsuri, John's Italian Deli and Nicks Inner Harbor Seafood Restaurant.

Adding to the fun, guests can enjoy Cirque-style entertainment, as well as dancing to the jazz, rock, R&B, funk, reggae, Top 40, swing, soul and pop sounds of Fifth Avenue.

Silent and live auctions will have a variety of items up for bid, including: a week’s stay in a Paris apartment, a long weekend’s cabin stay in the forest of West Virginia, Camden Yards skybox parties, premium Ravens and Orioles tickets, and signed Ravens’ memorabilia.

Co-chaired by SBLC Board Vice President Ian H. Neuman (principal, Abbey Drum Co.) and SBLC Board Secretary Darlene Davis (an attorney with Ober, Kaler Grimes & Shriver), the gala will honor Barry Blumberg, longtime board member and donor and Bank of America for its longtime commitment and support of South Baltimore Learning Center.  

The Gala is intended to raise over $75,000 to support SBLC’s educational services and operations. Individual admission is $110/person. Additionally, corporate sponsorships are available. For registration or sponsorship details, call 410.625.4215 or visit 

About SBLC

SBLC is a community-based nonprofit organization providing functional literacy and life skills training in addition to career preparation services to educationally disadvantaged adults in the Baltimore area. It has been in operation since 1990 and now serves over 1,000 adults annually.

Suggested by the author

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine’s Day dinner at Roy’s

Credit:  Roy's
Roy's has some ongoing offers and specials perfect to cozy up next to their loved ones for a romantic Valentine’s Day. 
Valentine’s Day dinner at Roy’s allows guests to indulge in special, seasonal offers, including:
  • Winter Prix Fixe Menu – Experience a decadent three-course meal, including the enticing Lobster Bisque (see below), Pork Osso Bucco and Butterscotch and Miso Budino. All for just $36.95. (Not available at Hawaii or Pebble Beach locations)
  • Winter Trio Limited Time Offer – Order the Winter Trio, a sensational collection of dishes brought together for one irresistible meal. The three featured items include Hoisin-Glazed Duck, a Grilled Kalbi Beef Short Rib and a Singapore-Style Crab Cake with Asian vegetables and noodles. Enjoy for just $26.95. (Not available at Hawaii or Pebble Beach locations)
  • Finally, if there’s room for dessert, don’t forget about Roy’s famous Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé (see top picture). A Roy’s signature dessert and a perfect sweet indulgence for two to split on Valentine’s Day.
    Credit:  Roy's

    Suggested by the author

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Kooper's North Valentine's Day Specials

 $39.95 per person (Tax and gratuity excluded) 
Add Wine Pairing for Two for $19.95 
It will be available for lunch and dinner from Friday 2/14 to Sunday 2/16

Soup Course (choose one) 

  • Roasted Tomato Bisque with Tomato Concassé A full bodied bisque consisting of tomato, fresh herbs & a touch of cream, served with a sweet roasted garlic croustade 
  • Cream of Wild Mushroom A hearty blend of wild mushrooms in a rich creamy stock finished with a touch of Sherry 

Entrée Course (choose one) 

  • Grilled Beef Filet Tornado A 6oz. Beef Tenderloin, grilled to perfection with a bundle of asparagus, and petite herb roasted fingerling potatoes, accompanied by a Cabernet Green Peppercorn jus 
  • Filet of Atlantic Salmon A pan seared filet of Atlantic Salmon topped with Kooper’s signature herb topping, wild rice Pilaf, medley of seasonal cognac glazed vegetables and beurre rouge sauce. 

Dessert Course 

  • Homemade Dessert sampler Belgian Chocolate Mousse, Mini Raspberry Cheesecake, and Grand Marnier-macerated berry medley in a Dark Chocolate tulip with mint Chantilly 

Kooper’s North
12240 Tullamore Rd.
Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093 
(410) 853-7324 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Valentine's Day at Havana Road Cuban Cafe

Valentine's Day at Havana Road Cuban Cafe~ A little Cuban love goes a long way!

Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu at Havana Road

Four Course Prix-Fixe Menu 
Camaguey Cocktail and a Rose for each Lady

Cositas~Starters (Choose One)
  • Havana salad with herbed goat cheese, roasted reds sun dried apricots & toasted almonds. Drizzled with Mango-Mojo Vinaigrette
  • Bourbon Roasted Red Pepper Soup, garnished with crème fraiche served with a Cuban bread toast point

Aperitivos~Appetizer (Choose One)
  • P.E.I. Mussels with Spanish Chorizo cooked in a light tomato/garlic brandy sauce. Plenty of hot Cuban bread for dipping.
  • Spinach, Crab & Artichoke hot dip, served with Cuban bread.

Entradas~ Entrees (Choose One)
  • Boliche Estofado~ Slow cooked roast stuffed with Spanish Chorizo, Carrots, Onions and Garlic. Cooked for 6 hours in a light wine tomato sauce. Served with our house Saffron rice, butter sautéed fresh green beans and sweet Plantains
  • Salmon Guantanamo with Capers ~ Fillet of Salmon pan seared in Mango- Mojito sauce. Comes with Yucca Mash Potatoes, Caramelized Carrots with Red Onions
  • Plato Vegetariano ~ Sweet Plantain Lasagna layered with sweet Plantains, assortment of fresh vegetables pan seared in our garlic-brandy sauce, topped off with sweet plantains, light béchamel sauce and manchego cheese

Dessert and Coffee~ Chef’s Surprise 

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Dazzle your date for Valentine's Day at the 13th Floor

Score major brownie points at our special Valentine's Day Dinner from Friday, February 14th + Saturday, February 15th.
(shared course)
  • BURRATA CHEESE - Peppernotta, Roasted Garlic, Grilled Bread, Olive Oil, Balsamic
  • POACHED LOBSTER - Grilled Pineapple, Baby Arugula, Warm Bacon Dressing
  • KALE AND BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD - Apples, Cherries, Almonds, Champagne Vinaigrette
  • OVEN ROASTED RED SNAPPER - Sweet Potato Puree, Haricot Vert, Toasted Hazelnut Butter
  • DUCK PAPPARDELLE - Slow Cooked Duck, Chanterelles, Prosciutto, Herb Ricotta, Porcini Cream
  • STOUT AND ROSEMARY BRAISED SHORT RIBS - Winter Vegetable Ragout, Horseradish Mustard
  • BAKED CRAB IMPERIAL - Jumbo Lump Crab, Sherry Béchamel, Roasted Asparagus
  • PETIT FOURS - With Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Live music from Tommy Joy & Marissa Muro
$55 per person, not inclusive of beverages, service charge or tax
No substitutions on special dinner menu
Only our Valentine's Day Menu will be available on February 14th + 15th

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Monday, February 03, 2014

B&O American Brasserie Valentine's Day specials

B&O American Brasseriewill be offering their couple menu, which theme is aphrodisiacs, Thursday, February 13 – Sunday, February 16 for $120 per couple. They will be running their normal dinner menu as well.

Aphrodisiacs Shared Menu

1st Course
Butter Poached Oyster-$18
Thai chile oil and sturgeon caviar

2nd Course
Arugula Salad-$16
Honey Roasted Marcona Almonds, Lemon, and Toasted Garlic Vinaigrette

3rd Course
Crema de Aguacate-$18
Lime, toasted cumin, cilantro

4th course
herb roasted potatoes, roasted asparagus, and tarragon demi-glace

5th Course
Chocolate Ménage et Trois-$18
Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle, White Chocolate-Vanilla Mousse, and  Pot de Crème

Served with 2 glasses of Prosecco

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Celebrate seafood and love with Phillips Seafood this Valentine's Day

Celebrate your love of seafood and the love of your life with Phillips this Valentine’s Day. The Phillips kitchen has prepared a special Valentine’s menu sure to complement a romantic evening to celebrate the love between you and your sweetheart. These specially crafted dinners will be available Friday, February 14 through Sunday, February 16, 2014.
Start out with the chef’s Sweetheart Shrimp Bruschetta, served on toasted crostini. Then choose between two tantalizing entrées. Order the Lover’s Lane Lobster and Shrimp Marsala, a lobster tail and jumbo shrimp sautéed in shallots and butter, flamed in marsala wine and served with a roasted polenta cake and wild mushrooms. Or, try Love Me Tenderloin and Crab Imperial: tournedos of beef topped with crab imperial and served with julienned vegetables and potato croquettes. Be sure to save room and end your meal on a sweet note with the Chocolate Hunka Burnin’ Love Lava Cake – a moist devil’s food cake with a molten chocolate center, served à la mode with vanilla ice cream. Phillips’ full à la carte menu will also be available.
Phillips Seafood is anchored in tradition and remains family owned and operated by the Phillips family. In 2014, the company is celebrating a Century of Seafood, marking the 100th Anniversary of their first seafood processing plant on Hoopers Island in the Chesapeake Bay. Within the world famous Inner Harbor, Baltimore's premiere dining and entertainment destination, Phillips Seafood Restaurant is located at 601 East Pratt Street. Open Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm. For more information, call410.685.6600 or visit

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Valentines' Day Specials at Frank & Nic's West End Grille

Frank & Nic's West End Grille have some tremendous specials and are anticipating an eventful day/evening for Valentine's Day. It is also offering a complementary dessert to all reservations taken by couples only with a purchase of any entree. In addition, it is offering $20 bottles of all Snap Dragon Wines.
Small Plates
Crab and Asparagus Bisque
Cup $5 Bowl $7
Wild Mushroom Ravioli and Jumbo Crab
Wild Mushroom ravioli, jumbo lump blue crab meat, fresh sage, brown butter and parmesan cheese. $9
Bacon and Egg Salad
Baby spinach, poached egg, pecan wood smoked bacon, oven roasted tomatoes, and warm bacon vinaigrette. $7
Bacon Jam and Fig Bruschetta
House made maple bacon jam, fresh figs, and sage and honey goat cheese on toasted crostini, drizzled with balsamic reduction. $8
Roman Mussels
PEI mussels steamed with fresh herbs, garlic bread crumbs, extra virgin olive oil and white wine served with grilled crostini. $9

Large Plates/ Entrées
Lamb Osso Bucco
Slow braised lamb shank osso bucco, roasted faro and smoked brussel sprouts. $19
Whole Cold Water Lobster
Pound and a quarter lobster, steamed and served with drawn butter, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and house made cole slaw. $27
Hickory Smoked Chop
Cold smoked hickory pork chop grilled and served with soffritto green beans and baked macaroni and cheese. $16
Meatball and Spaghetti
Meatballs made from a house blend of beef, veal and pork topped with marinara and fresh mozzarella cheese served over fresh spaghetti. $15
Grandma Simeti’s Manicotti
House made manicotti with fresh ricotta cheese and spinach, just like grandma used to make, served with garlic bread and a mixed green salad. $14
Prime Rib
Slow cooked Prime Rib, hand cut to order, pan au jus, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus $21

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