Tastings: October 2018
Second Story Lounge
When crowds started taking over at Hootch and Banter, 49 S. Market St., owners Sherif Samlen and Cherie Nearman looked up. The second floor, which was once living space, was completely gutted and transformed into a classy, elegant lounge with an expansive bar and comfortable seating. Local artist Emily Dean has created an eye-catching mural and the views out the window make you feel like you’re in a special tree house.
The lounge has a special menu including shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell, charcuterie and cheese boards, along with a variety of flat breads to enjoy with a special cocktail, beer or wine. It’s a great place to wait for dinner downstairs, as well as a destination of its own. The space is available for private parties, as well. www.hoochandbanter.com
We Have Absinthe
Maryland’s first absinthe was recently released by Tenth Ward Distilling Co., 508 E. Church St. Distilled from the “holy trinity” of absinthe which is anise, fennel and wormwood, Tenth Ward also adds mace, bergamot peel, lemon balm, hyssop and chrysanthemum. The absinthe has rich licorice notes, a complex herbal profile and floral undertones, says owner Monica Pearce. Also causing a stir at the distillery are plans for a second location which they hope to open in November at 55 E. Patrick St. In addition to tastings, “we are also going to incorporate what we are calling the ‘cocktail lab’ so customers can come in, sit down and have a drink when they visit us,” Pearce says. www.tenthwarddistilling.com
Caitlin Crisafulli of Crisafulli’s Cheese Shop, 8 E. 2nd St. #104, recently received the American Cheese Society’s Certified Cheese Professional credential, one of 120 individuals from 44 companies to pass a test that included a broad range of topics including the cheesemaking process, storing and handling cheese and ability to communicate about cheese.
“It was very rigorous,” Crisafulli says. “I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.” The exam was established to en-courage high standards of comprehensive cheese knowledge and service for those in the industry. Currently, more than 1,000 individuals in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Mexico and Europe hold the certificate. www.cheesesociety.org
Wishing for Wings?
Anytime is a good time to enjoy a platter of chicken wings, but with football gearing up the craving seems to intensify. Coming to the rescue is the recently opened Wing Stop at 1031 W. Patrick St. The restaurant lists a multitude of flavors ranging from Atomic to Garlic Parmesan, Cajun, Spicy Korean Q and Louisiana Rub. Sides are also available including loaded fries and Cajun fried corn. www.wingstop.com