We've finally given winter a proper sendoff, which means that it's the perfect time of year to get out there and dine al fresco or take a stroll to a local food truck on your lunch break. No closings to report this time around, but a fleet of potential new favorites are joining the scene just in time for spring. Here's what should be on your radar:
Baroak Cookhouse & Taproom: This new restaurant inside the Loews Annapolis Hotel opened its doors earlier this month. Executive chef Teddy Folkman's American and Belgian-inspired menu highlights mussels, frites, and plenty of craft beer for guests to enjoy in the relaxed bar-centric space. 126 W. St., Annapolis, 410-263-7777.
Chef Mac on the Artist's Palate Food Truck: Fans of the short-lived Hamilton restaurant Chef Mac's and All that Blues will be happy to hear that Chef Maclonza Lee has recently been hitting the streets in MICA's Artist's Palate food truck to serve up his signature Louisiana comfort food all over town. Catch the truck on Preston St. on Wednesdays and on N. Calvert St. on Thursdays to sample Cajun-inspired fare like oyster po' boys and barbecue shrimp. 410-319-6227.
Chick-fil-A: One hundred early risers got lucky on Thursday morning, as this chain restaurant celebrated its grand opening at the Inner Harbor by giving the first patrons in line free food for a year. The new eatery joins recently-opened Shake Shack and in-the-works create-your-own salad bar Nalley Fresh on the ground floor of 400 E. Pratt St. Chick-fil-A offers chicken nuggets, wraps, salads, and a variety of chicken sandwiches served with its signature waffle-cut French fries. 400 E. Pratt St.
Center-Cut Doughnuts: Up-and-coming donut seller Josh Kowitz put himself on the map last month when dozens of his sweet treats sold out within an hour at a pop-up event at The Charmery. If you're still kicking yourself for not getting there in time, mark your calendar because Kowitz's Center-Cut Doughnuts will be back at the Hampden ice-cream shop once again on April 11 from 2 p.m. until they sell out. Flavors offered will include key lime pie, peach sriracha, and milk chocolate iced with sprinkles. 801 W. 36th St., 410-814-0493.
Fractured Prune: Speaking of donuts, locals have recently taken to social media to post pictures of the colorful confections purchased at this highly anticipated donut shop in Owings Mills. The Ocean City-based franchise opened a location at the new Metro Centre late last month, and a multitude of unique options including banana cream pie, lemonade, salted caramel, and s'mores flavored donuts are featured daily. 10209 Grand Central Ave., Owings Mills, 410-356-3949.
Luigi's Italian Deli of Hampden: This W. 36th St. spot on The Avenue has been somewhat of a revolving door over the past few months, but with a new owner taking over, Luigi's is back in the game. The deli's original owner Jeanine Little decided to terminate her lease last year, and for a while the buzz was that former Fork & Wrench chef Cyrus Keefer was to transform the space into a 30-seat boutique bistro called Pique. But when Keefer's project fell through due to financial issues, Hampden resident Chris Doiron moved forward with his plans to buy Luigi's and restore the deli back to its former glory in its original home. Luigi's celebrated its grand re-opening on Tuesday, with its signature antipasti and authentic Italian sandwiches. 864 W. 36th St., 443-438-4195.
Preserve: Husband-and-wife team Jeremy and Michelle Hoffman are putting a unique spin on the farm-to-table concept with the upcoming opening of Preserve, their highly anticipated new Annapolis spot. Slated to open on April 15, the restaurant's menu will focus on sustainability, pickling, and fermentation (as its clever name signifies). The interior of the 42-seat space will feature jars of pickled vegetables, jams, and jellies on display, and some of the menu items will include kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, braised pork shoulder, and cauliflower steak. 164 Main St., Annapolis, 443-598-6920.