From displaying works by local artists to hosting neighborhood meetings with political leaders, Reservoir Hill newbie Dovecote Cafe, which opened in December, has already started to make a significant impact on the community at large.
In addition to highlighting up-and-coming artists, authors, and musicians, the space will now serve as a showcase for local culinary talent, thanks to a new pop-up series launching next week.
“We, as a cafe, are all about small-batch anything,” says co-owner Aisha Pew. “There are so many talented chefs in the area that don’t have the capital to have their own restaurant, or they’re working on someone else’s line and not getting the promotion that they need.”
Dovecote’s reoccurring “Chef Takeover Series” begins next Sunday, March 13, and will continue with special dinners on the second Sunday of every month. For each installment, a new chef will take over the space, serving a four-course menu and altering the furniture and décor in the dining area to fit their vision for the meal. (Some chefs will opt for traditional seating, while others will serve communal, family-style dinners.)
The inaugural pop-up will showcase the skills of Heather Smith, a private chef who has taught nutrition and culinary arts in the Baltimore City Public School system. Diners can look forward to a wide array of global-fusion dishes on her specialty menu, which includes fare like smoked turkey borscht, African sweet potato soup, potato-crusted whitefish, roasted sweet pepper risotto, and wine and amaretto-poached pears.
Pew says that, because the cafe closes at 3:30 p.m., the new series is an ideal way to make use of the space during evening hours.
“We’re the only commercial space in the community,” she says. “There are no big restaurants or vintage boutiques, so it’s exciting to be able to provide such an essential experience for our neighbors.”
Since its debut, the cafe has made community outreach its main priority, attracting support from diners who have come from as far as Philadelphia to browse its art exhibitions and snack on the signature sweet and savory pies.
“We’re a community first and a cafe second,” Pew says. “We know that what makes a neighborhood is a place that people can gather and interact and connect. It’s not about the fancy coffee, it’s about the story behind the coffee, and knowing how your neighbors take it.”
To read more about Dovecote, pick up a copy of our April issue, on newsstands March 25.