Here are three things we love this week:
Guinness Open Gate Brewery. Guinness is going on our list of places we take the out-of-towners. It’s so impressive, and well, fun. It is of course the Dublin company’s only brewery in the U.S., built on a site with a long history of distilling and with more offerings than its famous stout (what bluegrass singer Tim O’Brien notably called a “loaf of bread in each pint”). I recently sampled one of their made-on-site current specials, the Session IPA, which has a 2.9 percent ABV and was perfect for someone like me, who doesn’t always keep up in a drinking crowd. The current menu also has a beer called Tangerine Cream that was crafted with more than 500 pounds of, you guessed it, tangerines. It has an Orangina-with-a-bit-of-beer kind of taste that makes it just shandy enough for the summer. This weekend, the brewery starts a free glassware promotion. Sign up for their email list and receive a free engraved glass the next time you grab a beer there. The promotion runs through June 30. And bring the down-on-Baltimore crowd — they will quickly forget to be haters.
Topside. This restaurant with a view atop Mount Vernon’s Hotel Revival has a new spring menu from chef Scott Hines. I was invited, along with several other food and lifestyle writers, to sample some of the entrees and appetizers a few weeks ago. As a native Marylander, I am always ready for seafood that goes beyond the crab cake. If that’s you, too, I would recommend the crispy octopus or the catfish and chips. The cocktails are fun and fresh, and totally Instagram-worthy against the backdrop of the summer sky. In this line of work, I often get asked by friends (or others) for restaurant recommendations — I am adding Topside to my list as a great place for mid-week cocktails and apps. Impromptu date night? Consider yourself ready.
Long Weekends. Hello, Memorial Day. We welcome you and the start of the summer. For years, my family went to the Orioles game on Memorial Day for both a patriotic and fun way to honor the occasion. This year, we are enjoying some down time. How about you? Anyone attending an old school Memorial Day parade? Tell us how you honor the day and also usher in summer. We look forward to hearing about your traditions. As always, you can reach me at [email protected].