Food and Drink

Come April 20, the outdoor ­calendar starts filling up

         Spring is on the calendar. We had another lovely taste of warm weather last week. Yet the forecasters say not to pack away the winter gear as the thermometer struggles to reconcile with our expectations of spring.          Prepare your sacrifices to the weather gods, for as April moves forward, more and more outdoor events call us out of hibernation.          Here’s a look at some of the reasons to pray for warm weather.

South River on the Half Shell ­celebrates South River Federation’s 17 years of success — and helps fund many more

      Chesapeake Country has no shortage of Bay champions. We have conservation organizations and nonprofits from mega-sized to tiny, from those that tackle the entire Bay to those that work locally on its rivers and streams. South River Federation is a small but mighty hero of the Chesapeake.
Welcome to Bay Weekly’s annual Dining Guide, a tour of good eats and good eating.
In this ­special, you’ll visit the many restaurants, delis, groceries and seafood markets whose advertising in our pages brings you Bay Weekly 52 weeks of each year. Most are locally owned, and all are in our neighborhoods.       Each is unique in its offerings — from fin- and shellfish fresh from the Bay to fine beef to satisfying preparations and presentations whether homestyle or exotics to regionally famous wines and beers to inventive cocktails.

Making beer is fun. Can it also be a means to make a living?

       For beer lovers, this is a heady time. Some 1.15 million Americans brew beer at home, in their kitchens, garages and porches, according to the American Homebrew Association. Most are guys, and most older than 30.        “Access to information and equipment has never been better,” says John Morehead, the Association’s competition director, noting that in those areas, “the lines between professional and amateur bleed into each other.”

Fame and fortune could be yours at the National Oyster Cook-off

Can you create an oyster recipe worth $1,300?          Suit the taste of this year’s judges at the 38th Annual National Oyster Cook-off, and that grand prize will be yours.     Last year, Tammy Davis of Chesapeake Beach earned all that money and enduring culinary fame for her Coconut Curry Oyster Soup.

That’s the goal of Pirate’s Cove’s Pigs & Pearls Fundraiser to benefit the West & Rhode Riverkeeper

They say it was a hungry man who was the first to eat an oyster, but I disagree. I say it was a smart man, one who figured out how to set a bunch of oysters on a flat rock by a fire, cover them over with wet leaves and let them steam until they popped open, then slurped down all those succulent bits of salty goodness. Come to think of it, that was probably one smart woman who figured that out.

Time, not effort, yields top-notch results

We find corned beef at delis, restaurants and at this time of year in groceries ready to boil for St. Patrick’s Day. This year I made it at home.     Do-it-yourself corning is neither complex, expensive nor labor-intensive. The challenge is finding the right containers for curing and cooking the beef. And maybe finding the refrigerator space.     There is nothing magical about the brisket. The traditional weight is six to eight pounds, but the recipe is just as successful with a smaller piece of meat.

b.b. Bistro’s Carla Lucente returns in Brandon Stalker’s new cafe

West Annapolis is soon to get a new eatery, as first-time restaurant owner Brandon Stalker waits for final permits to open the doors to Evelyn’s, a breakfast and lunch café focused on local and sustainable ingredients.     Stalker, an Annapolis native and former student at Key and Severn schools, purchased the building that previously housed German-themed Regina’s Restaurant. It’s been more than two years since Regina’s closed, which has led to much anticipation and speculation as to the new eatery.

The popular chain helps anchor Annapolis Towne Centre

Hard to believe it’s been eight years since the Annapolis Towne Centre (ironically in Parole) opened its many tenant doors, expanding the retail topography of the greater Annapolis landscape. Here, as in Waugh Chapel, developers Greenberg Gibbons have made a success embracing the build-it-and-they-will-come methodology.     There has been a fair amount of evolutionary turnover, but the big boys — anchors Whole Foods, Target, P.F. Chang’s and Brio Tuscan Grill — have remained.

From one waterfront restaurant comes another

“We’re always looking ahead and exploring new restaurant ideas and locations,” Julia Jones, owner of The Point Crab House and Grill in Arnold, told Bay Weekly last August.     Now Jones and her partner-husband Bobby have found the spot.     The pair who created a million-dollar waterfront destination on Mill Creek off the Magothy River are expanding to Herring Bay.     Ketch 22 will open at Herrington Harbour South Marina Resort by summer. A complete remodel is underway.