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Wine Cruise/Cigar Dinner

Updated: Monday, June 24 2013, 05:00 PM EDT


Thursday was sunny, humid and 90 degrees in Baltimore, so by the end of the day, a pier on the Fells Point waterfront was a perfect way to unwind after a day at the office. Luckily, I'd been invited by the folks at Waterfront Kitchen to come down and sample their "Dinner and A Cruise" series. I took a stroll with Living Classrooms co-founder James Piper Bond over to the Living Classrooms original campus, where a brand new greenhouse has recently been installed. (Students in the Living Classrooms program learn growing and farming techniques here first-hand, and the resulting produce supplies the chefs at Waterfront Kitchen.) The evening started with chef Jerry Pellegrino pouring us a Summer Kir comprised of a Francois Carillon 'Bourgogne' Chardonnay 2011 with Monthilde Raspberry. I chatted with PR guru Cynthia Glover and a few fellow media scribes, including Julekha Dash, Suzanne Loudermilk, Martha Thomas, and Sara & Reagan Warfield. Guests nibbled on housemade noodles with pea pods and scallops while touring the greenhouse with horticulturist Jo Cosgrove, then strolled down to the dock to board the Lady Maryland for two more courses and dessert while sailing down the Patapsco River. (Waterfront Kitchen is offering these cruises with four-course dinners and wine pairings through October, all in support of Living Classrooms' Tall Ship program.) Alas, I had to take my leave before the ship sailed, in order to make it to my next stop, a few blocks up Central Avenue at Heavy Seas Ale House.


Lou Licata founded the Baltimore Cigar & Fine Drink Club earlier this spring, and hosted his second event at Heavy Seas, with the featured spirit of the evening being rye. Thirty or so members took over the private room in the back for samplings of chef Matt Seeber's offerings, including rosemary shrimp, beef short ribs and pulled pork sliders. Tom Brinkley, of Infinium Spirits, gave a short introduction to one of the featured ryes, the new small-batch Templeton. I sampled it in a featured cocktail, as well as with a splash of soda. I'm a fan. The other ryes on offer included Bulleit and Jefferson's. Most guests then opted to step outdoors to the adjacent brick courtyard to indulge in a cigar-smoking session. I spent some time at a table with Mike Fishman of Quarry Wine & Spirits, Jon Manekin of COPT and Dave Clark of Labrador Logistics. Others enjoying the stogies included Danielle Scarcia and Nick Bartosiewicz. Back inside, I caught up with Heavy Seas Ale House co-owner Pat Dahlgren, who filled me in on the restaurant's plans to expand into Northern Virginia. Not a bad way to wind down a hot, humid, Baltimore summer day.


(Shown above: Guests enjoy rye and cigars in the courtyard at Heavy Seas Ale House.)

Wine Cruise/Cigar Dinner


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