In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Lupa; Cinnaholic; Brookside Market

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


Lupa: Foreman Wolf’s new Roman trattoria on the Kittamaqundi lakefront is officially open for business. Formerly the home of Petit Louis’ Columbia location, the rebranded restaurant boasts a fresh interior by local designer—and Curiosity boutique owner—Katie DeStefano. The space now features long farm tables, pops of merlot red and terra cotta orange, and 60-inch iron light fixtures that further the rustic Italian vibe. Executed by chef James Lewandowski—who also heads up the kitchen at Lupa’s sister-spot Cinghiale in Harbor East—the menu will highlight Roman-style paninis, focaccia pizzas, and handmade pastas paired with a Central Italian wine list. Be sure to save room for dessert, as Lupa will also operate its own gelateria with 20 gelatos and sorbettos made in-house daily. 10215 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, 410-964-9999


On the heels of the second-annual Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week, the city’s dairy-free movement continues to expand with the addition of this new vegan cinnamon roll shop. Cinnaholic—a national chain that was featured on Shark Tank—will debut its first Maryland location at The Rotunda in Hampden this spring. The DIY menu features sustainably sourced cinnamon rolls drizzled with various frosting flavors (think cream cheese, banana, and amaretto) and topped with everything from almonds and apples to pecans and pretzels. The coffee and dessert destination will also be joined by new Rotunda retailers The Local Fry and MOD Pizza when it cuts the ribbon this spring. 711 W. 40th St.

Brookside Market: Equipped with a brand new deli counter, 50-seat dining room, and an Italian pizza oven custom-made by a family in Naples, this new Jarrettsville Pike eatery is readying for a grand opening in Jacksonville this week. Owner Casey Brooks—who previously owned Casey’s Bar and Restaurant on Joppa Road for 10 years—is putting the finishing touches on his new neighborhood eatery, which will offer a variety of deli sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, fish stew, osso bucco, and the signature chicken pot pie that was a favorite of regulars at Casey’s. Brooks is excited to unveil the new space—formerly a Royal Farms—which he designed from scratch. “Everything I’ve been involved in previously was kind of like, ‘Here’s what you’ve got, make it work,’” he says. “This is from the ground up. It’s a whole different world.” 14232 Jarrettsville Pike, Jacksonville, 410-667-8000

Mobtown Brewing Company: At a time where the future of Maryland’s craft beer laws is very much up in the air, it’s reassuring to see when brewers choose Baltimore as their home. While still in its planning stages, Mobtown Brewing Company is expected to make its debut in Canton this fall. Head brewer Dave Carpenter recently told the Baltimore Business Journal that he plans to use a 10-barrel system, and offer four to six rotating taps including a selection of sours and New England IPAs. Like many other neighborhood breweries, he hopes for the taproom to be a home for fundraisers, live music, and other community events. Stay tuned for more updates.


Joe Benny’s Named One of Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2018: We always love to see Baltimore get some national recognition. In addition to recent nods from Forbes and The New York Times, our local dining scene got some much-deserved praise last week when Yelp ranked Joe Benny’s No. 62 on its list of the nation’s top 100 places to eat in 2018. The Little Italy focacceria (a Best of Baltimore winner in 2016) was chosen by Yelp’s data science team, which considered quality, rankings, and number of reviews to narrow down the list. “While we can’t determine what people will ultimately write about us, we can try our hardest to put out the best experience for folks walking through our doors,” the eatery posted to Facebook, in response to the news. “We are so very happy, fortunate, proud, but mostly very grateful to be on this list. If not for anything else, it’s a blessing to know that the overwhelming majority of you love Joe Benny’s. And believe us—we love having you.” 313 High St., 443-835-4866.


3/4: Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis
The Baltimore Bartenders Guild’s annual cocktail competition benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation returns to the Hotel Monaco this weekend for its seventh year. Mingle with other cocktail enthusiasts while sampling creative rye whiskey drinks crafted by 17 guild members from bars throughout the city. The evening will also feature music spun by DJ Rob Macy of the acclaimed Save Your Soul dance parties, as well as light bites from local restaurants including Cultured, The Outpost American Tavern, Loch Bar, Pen & Quill, and Square Meal—one of two dining concepts opening inside Mt. Vernon’s yet-to-open Hotel Revival. Hotel Monaco, 2 N. Charles St., 5-8 p.m., $75.

3/4: Ethiopian Dinner at Motor House’s World Sounds Series
Famed Ethio-American vocalist Meklit—whose latest album When the People Move, The Music Moves, Too reached No. 4 on the iTunes World Music charts—is heading to Motor House in Station North this weekend for a special performance of her Ethio-jazz hits. To enhance the experience, Motor House is offering guests a traditional Ethiopian dinner buffet. Feast on dishes like shiro (chickpea stew), misir wott (spicy red lentils), and gomen (spicy collards), while swaying to Meklit’s soul-satisfying songs including her viral hit “Kemekem—I Like Your Afro.” The Motor House, 120 W. North Ave., 410-637-8300, 7-9 p.m., $15-35.