In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Pitango Bakery + Cafe; Karma Farm; Mussel Bar & Grille

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.


Pitango Bakery + Cafe: There will soon be more room to breathe at this waterfront cafe on South Ann Street in Fells Point. (Not to be confused with its accompanying gelato shop on South Broadway.) Management recently acquired the vacant retail space next door, and got to work transforming the former frame shop into an expanded dining room that will double the eatery’s capacity with nearly 40 additional seats. The expansion will also allow for the cafe’s outdoor patio to extend down the sidewalk. “When we’re busy, so many of our customers don’t have anywhere to sit and end up sitting on the curb outside,” says manager Khaled Awad. “Adding more seats is our biggest priority right now.” There is talk of launching a more refined Italian dinner concept in the space down the line, but, for now, Awad is looking forward to being able to accommodate more diners at the cafe—which is known for its coffees, pastries, and deli sandwiches on house-baked breads. The expanded space is slated to debut next week. “We’ve been moving at the speed of light to make sure we’re ready for spring and summer,” he says. “It’s really great to see how Baltimore has embraced our style. It’s not the cheapest food in the world, but the quality is there.” 903 S. Ann St., 443-676-6447


Bmore Licks: Patterson Park locals will be happy to hear that this corner ice cream shop is returning from its winter hiatus this week. The spot closed temporarily earlier this year so that management could make a few interior upgrades and train new staff, but it will officially reopen for the season at noon on Friday, April 6. To thank the community for its patience, Bmore Licks is giving away free hard-shell ice cream cones in flavors like cotton candy, peanut butter, and blue raspberry from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, April 5 while supplies last. 2437 Eastern Ave., 410-732-5425


Duck Duck Goose: Chef Ashish Alfred is opening a second location of his acclaimed Bethesda restaurant in Fells Point this summer. The French brasserie—named the best restaurant in the state by Southern Living magazine last year—will set up shop on South Broadway in the former home of 8 Ball Bar & Grill, which closed for good last week. Though the restaurant will mimic the Parisian flair of its flagship, Alfred says that the Charm City iteration won’t be a carbon copy. “The location and layout offer so many new opportunities,” he said in a press release. Alfred plans to play up the waterfront location and cater to the nightlife crowd with an expanded selection of small plates (think charcuterie, beef tartare, and charred cabbage) and cocktails. The chef originally planned to open inside the old Bad Decisions space at 1928 Fleet Street. Those plans later fell through, but a new restaurant called Baltimore Built Bistro (B3) is now in the process of taking over the corner bar. Stay tuned for more updates. 814 South Broadway

Karma Farm: Beatty Development’s Harbor Point project just got even more sustainable. The flourishing peninsula on the border of Fells Point and Harbor East already boasts Sandlot—a seasonal island oasis from local sustainability champion Spike Gjerde. And now, the group is bringing on Monkton’s Karma Farm to cultivate the land surrounding the Sandlot site. Starting this month, farmers will begin installing two hoop houses and a hydroponic unit that will grow crops for Sandlot’s kitchen, as well as many other area restaurants. Karma Farm will also offer a retail stand for locals to purchase its vegetables while visiting the waterfront hangout this summer. Be on the lookout for tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, and squash throughout the summer, as well as leafy greens, herbs, and hearty root vegetables in the winter. 1000 Wills St.


4/7: Spring Brunch Debut at The Charles
This weekend, chef Corey Pastor is launching a new brunch menu at The Charles in Federal Hill. The seasonal selections will have a Southern vibe, with options including Kentucky mac and cheese, grilled cheese avocado toast, soft shell crab eggs benedict, and classic biscuits and gravy topped with a fried chicken thigh. To sweeten the deal, the bar also offers bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, Orange Crushes, and sangria during brunch. 1110 S. Charles St., 410-727-2333

4/10: Chef’s Cycle Fundraiser at Gunther & Co.
Seven local chefs are heading to Gunther & Co. in Brewer’s Hill next week for this second-annual tasting event benefitting national hunger-prevention organization No Kid Hungry. Diners are invited to sample bites from Gunther chefs Jerry Trice and Jessica Banner, as well as visiting chefs including La Cuchara’s Ben Lefenfeld, The Food Market’s Chad Gauss, Cosima’s Donna Crivello, Mark Levy of Magdalena, Scott Hines of B&O American Brasserie, Jay Rohlfing of Cunningham’s, and Josh Brown of Vida Taco Bar. There will also be a silent auction, and special spirit tastings from the likes of Sagamore Spirit Rye, Tito’s Vodka, and Barr Hill Gin. A portion of all proceeds will support the Gunther owners in the upcoming Chef’s Cycle fundraiser—a three-day, 300-mile bike ride around Northern California that aims to raise $2.4 million to end childhood hunger. 3650 Toone St., 6-9 p.m., $75, 443-869-6874

4/11: Little Sesame Pop-Up at Artifact Coffee
D.C. diners might be familiar with Little Sesame, the hummus purveyor that previously operated a cozy subterranean shop near Dupont Circle. The eatery is now preparing to debut in a much larger brick-and-mortar on L Street downtown. In celebration of the grand opening, owners Nick Wiseman and Ronen Tenne are taking a road trip up the East Coast in a retro Volkswagen food truck. They’re stopping at Artifact Coffee in Hampden next week for a special collaboration dinner featuring their signature hummus bowls served with Artifact’s house-baked bread. The event marks the first installment of Artifact’s monthly “Bowl and a Beer” series, which will pair a la carte dishes from guest chefs with local beers. Future dinners will welcome Ida B’s Table in May, and Hersh’s Pizza & Drinks in June. 1500 Union Ave., 6 p.m., 410-235-1881


Mussel Bar & Grille: Due to the ongoing construction and clogged roads in Harbor East, this seafood spot from chef Robert Wiedmaier has decided to take some time off. The restaurant, known for its craft beer selection and pots of locally sourced mussels, opened on Lancaster Street three years ago. Management is planning to reopen once construction wraps up in April 2019. “We have loved being a part of the Baltimore food and drink scene and getting to know our great neighbors in Harbor East,” reads a statement. “We cannot wait to return and serve you, and please know that when we do, we intend to woo you all over again.”