Who Doesn’t Like a Free Festival?

Light City is a free festival that transforms Baltimore neighborhoods with large-scale light installations, performances, music, and innovation. It kicked off on March 31 and continues through April 8.  Central to Light City is the BGE Light Art Walk along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor featuring more than 50 attractions including illuminated sculptures, projections, interactive technologies, performances, concerts, food vendors, and a children’s area. The FoodLab at Light City takes place on Saturday, April 8 at the IMET (Columbus Center, 701 E Pratt Street). It showcases acclaimed culinary thinkers and chefs as they explore the world of food — how it’s grown, accessed, eaten, and innovated.  One of the events celebrating Light City is The Emporiyum!  What is it, you ask? The Emporiyum is a hybrid marketplace and food festival designed to introduce people to a curated selection of over 100 artisans, producers, makers, chefs, and restaurants from across the Mid-Atlantic region and around the U.S. The Emporiyum takes place on April 1-2 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Inner Harbor in the former Best Buy Space (600 E. Pratt Street).  This very cool, two-day event allows guests to meet the people behind the brands, taste and learn about their products, and take home amazing edible treats. Meet. Eat.  Shop!;
Executive Chef Brigitte Bledsoe debuted a new spring menu at Miss Shirley’s Café. Menu options include the “Southern Skillet” — fried buttermilk boneless breast of chicken pieces on a benne seed Cajun and green onion buttermilk biscuit — and Cobb chicken salad with roasted corn, green onion, and applewood-smoked bacon. From the Lighter Side menu, there’s the “Skinny Shirley,” a crustless egg white quiche made with grilled salmon, asparagus, tomato, and capers, and the spinach and asparagus salad. FYI, Miss Shirley’s pays great attention to detail for those with food allergies.
The 6th Annual Taste of Pikesville is set for Wednesday, April 26 from 6:30 to 9 pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Baltimore North-Pikesville (1726 Reisterstown Rd.). Highlighting Pikesville and surrounding areas, the event will feature signature dishes from 45+ restaurants and caterers, beer, wine and cocktails, music, raffle prizes, the People’s Choice and celebrity judge competitions, and more. This year, they’ll host a VIF (Very Important Foodie) reception prior to the event. Those participating include Simply Elegant Catering @ Grey Rock, Ruth’s Chris, Linwoods, Mezcal, and La Food Marketa.
Sagamore Spirit, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s whiskey, can be found in bars and restaurants around Baltimore. And starting April 21, fans of this hometown spirit will be able to visit The Port Covington distillery (301 E. Cromwell Street) for free public tours and tastings of the straight rye whiskey. Guests can learn about the process of making the whiskey, including bringing in water from Sagamore Farm, the Reisterstown horse farm also owned by Plank. A 22,000-square-foot distillery building houses the production equipment. Next door is a 27,000-square-foot welcome and processing center with two tasting rooms. The project also includes a two-story restaurant that will house a concept by James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Carmellii of New York. Carmellini is also establishing the concepts at Plank’s Sagamore Pendry Baltimore hotel in Fells Point.;
As part of ALS Awareness Month in May, the Brigance Brigade Foundation presents … ALS Bites! Participating restaurants across the state will feature specific food or drink items with the proceeds going to the foundation. The mission of the Brigance Brigade Foundation is to equip, encourage, and empower People living with ALS (PALS) to live life through the provision of much needed equipment, resource guidance, and support services, as well as funding various ALS research initiatives. #ALSBites;
Open for Biz
Former “Top Chef” contestant Jesse Sandlin takes the helm in the kitchen at the recently opened Outpost American Tavern in Federal Hill. Located at 1032 Riverside Avenue in the spot where Porter’s Pub used to be, the 72-seat restaurant offers classic American fare with an upscale twist.
The Delta Hotels Marriott opened at 1 East Redwood Street in a historic, 1904 building. The TellTale (a reference Edgar Allan Poe) serves Maryland-inspired coastal cuisine, local craft beer, and specialty whiskey and bourbon cocktails.
Coming Soon
The owners of La Cuchara in Hampden will open a new 140-seat seafood restaurant in Federal Hill called Minnow.

About the Author

RANDI ROM is a Baltimore special events planner, marketing and public relations maven, freelance writer and head of R.J. Rom & Associates. Have a hot scoop? Contact Randi via e-mail at or by phone at 443-691-9671.

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